Calif. county taking 15,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365

The County of Santa Clara, Calif., plans to consolidate its e-mail systems and move 15,000 employees to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud, according to county officials.

Officials are stepping up efforts to transform operations and improve the quality of services to residents while at the same time lower IT management costs. The county’s 15,000 employees work across 26 diverse agencies and departments.

Microsoft Office 365 provides the county’s workforce with new tools and collaboration technologies to help better serve residents, said Joyce Wing, Santa Clara County’s CIO.

The county has numerous remote field staff, which creates the need to share information electronically in a confidential manner, consistent with regulations that govern privacy and other sensitive information, officials said. The move to a cloud-based solution will increase the workers’ mobility by providing access virtually anywhere, any time and with any device. Additionally, they will be able to share documents across the organization electronically, which is mostly completed manually today.

Moving to Office 365 will cost the county $3.6 million annually for the entire workforce. Before this agreement, only half the county staff was covered, at a cost of $3.3 million, officials said.

“Our mid-managers and frontline employees are in a unique position to help the county find workable solutions to challenges,” said Jeffrey Smith, county executive, who established the Center for Leadership and Transformation (CLT), a strategic in-house program to transform the way the county does business.

“By standardizing the way we approach technology and procurement, we will be able to enhance efficiencies throughout the organization and finance them within existing resources,” Smith said. Until recently, various county departments made technology decisions in isolation, which led to fragmentation, redundancies and unnecessary costs, according to a CLT report.

Some of the many services that county employees deliver to the public include the operation of a public hospital and health system; a 45,000-acre system of urban and mountain parks, trails, lakes, streams and open spaces; tax collection; social services; law and justice operations; roads and airports; and conducting elections.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Feb 5, 2013

There are benefits to both GA and Office365. I could argue both sides and win. I am NOT a MS fan, but do get irritated with ignorant comments from folks who don't have all the facts to make these decisions and you and I do not. At $20/seat/mo is on the high side, but I would assume that cost to the county is paying for headcount to support the user base there. just a hunch, but then again, I know nothing and can't really say if they got a good deal or not.

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 GS15

Wow, expensive and proprietary. Could have had GoogleApps for about 5 times less per seat with significantly more capability and FISMA certified security AND platform agnostic services. Google Apps works on Windows, Mac OS X, iPad, Android, everything. Office 365 (degrees of spin) is just MS Office warmed over.

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 Col. Panek

So it costs them $240 per year, per seat? Seems like they could have come up with something better than that.

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