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By GCN Staff

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New York statehouse in Albany

New York State moving 120,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365

New York State is moving all of its executive agencies to Microsoft Office 365, consolidating 27 different email, word and data processing systems into a common cloud-based platform, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced. 

By moving 120,000 employees to a common platform for email, office productivity applications and calendaring, the state expects  to save approximately $3 million annually in license fees, hardware, maintenance, energy and personnel costs, Cuomo said in a release.

The agreement, the first of its kind in New York, is the result of the governor’s strategic sourcing and IT transformation projects. In April 2011, Cuomo appointed the Sage Commission, a 20-member team comprising public- and private-sector representatives, to perform a comprehensive review of New York State government and identify structural and operational changes that would help make it more modern, accountable and efficient. Consolidating the state’s email systems was one of the commission’s recommendations. The state currently manages a consolidated Microsoft Exchange email system used by 26 agencies, but more than 50 other agencies manage their own stand-alone email systems.

“This system of multiple email platforms is a barrier to statewide collaboration, results in higher operating costs and presents upgrade challenges, as many systems lag behind more modern services,” said Brian Digman, the state’s CIO.

Moreover, maintaining email systems is not a core business of a state agency and is an unnecessary expense for individual agencies. Resources such as people, money, technology and time are better spent on providing key services, Digman said. 

Over the remainder of the year, 120,000 state executive email boxes will be progressively moved to the Office 365 system, officials said. The move is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Once the consolidation is complete, Office 365 will provide the following benefits to state agencies:

  • Standardized email, document creation, calendaring, contacts and the ability to share files more efficiently across state executive agencies.  
  • Secure access to email and files anywhere, anytime, from multiple devices including laptops, smartphones and tablets.   
  • A universal address book for all executive agency state employees and some commissions, task forces and the state Education Department.
  • The most current versions of Office programs available on multiple platforms.
  • Automatic updates of all programs, without additional costs for new licenses.
  • Uniform archiving and increased storage.
  • Standardized antivirus, anti-spam and encryption security tools.
  • Full system redundancy and backup.

Other municipalities and government organizations are looking to save money and operate more efficiently by moving email and office productivity applications to Microsoft Office 365 or other cloud-based services such as Google Apps. San Jose, Calif., will be using Microsoft Office 365, Windows Azure and StorSimple for more than 5,000 city employees, Microsoft reported.

Microsoft’s cloud services also are being deployed by San Francisco; Chicago;  Kansas City, Mo.;  Seattle; Santa Clara County, Calif.; California; Texas; and Washington state as well as the Veterans Affairs Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Posted by Rutrell Yasin on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM


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