Colorado joins move to Google Apps

Colorado plans to move 26,000 state employees to Google Apps for Government to provide them with a unified e-mail system, according to state officials.

Google will provide e-mail and calendar services and, in the process, allow the state to eliminate disjointed and aging e-mail systems. The move will save the state approximately $2 million per year, state officials said.

Currently, the state has 15 siloed and disparate e-mail systems that in most cases are not integrated with each other. Moving to Google Apps for Government this year will allow state agencies to interconnect e-mail and calendar functions while maintaining strong security and privacy standards, officials said. The state’s public colleges and universities and the General Assembly will not be affected by this change.

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“We based this decision on the evaluation of cost, security and functionality, as well as an alignment to the administration’s overarching goals and our technology roadmap,” said Kristin Russell, Colorado’s secretary of technology and CIO.

“Using Google Apps for Government will enable more than 26,000 state employees to leverage the latest technology at a reduced cost and burden to the state while enhancing productivity, efficiency and collaboration between departments.”

The cost to maintain current on-premise e-mail for state employees is approximately $5.2 million annually. The move to Google Apps for Government will reduce that amount by nearly half.

Google’s cloud-based system will allow the state to pay only for what technology is used and reduce maintenance costs. This will let the state better plan and budget for e-mail and calendaring services and more quickly adapt to changing demands from individual agencies, Colorado officials said.

Colorado’s Office of Information Technology completed thorough testing and analysis of multiple products, including conducting an independent third-party comparative analysis, before selecting Google. Google’s security architecture meets or exceeds the state’s standards and Google Apps has achieved Federal Information Security Management Act certification, ensuring data is safe and secure, state officials said.

Colorado’s OIT will work closely with Tempus Nova, a Google Apps Premier Reseller, to bring Google Apps to the state’s employees. Wyoming, Utah and Maryland have also moved to Google Apps for Government.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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