Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lesson for Plainfield IT? Westerville goes to Google Apps

Home page of City of Westerville, Ohio.

Is there something for Plainfield to learn from Westerville?

Westerville, Ohio is shifting its network operations to Google Apps.

The city is considerably smaller than Plainfield (at 35,318 vs. 47,829 in 2000), but has an EQUIVALENT WORKFORCE of about 500 who rely heavily on email, according to a notice on Google's enterprise website concerning the shift (see here). (The item caught my eye because Westerville is home to my alma mater's sister institution, Otterbein University.)

After issues with scaling Novell's Groupwise to the increasing needs of the city's networked workforce reached a crisis point, their two-person IT team reconnoitered possible solutions. (For an outline of their IT objectives, see here.)

Here is how they addressed the challenge --

...[w]hen we decided that GroupWise was no longer feasible for our city, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation that included the top hosted solutions, including Microsoft's hosted BPOS. We came away impressed with Google Apps' value and features. Google's solution was platform-agnostic, so we could easily support users on a variety of platforms. It was also less costly and came with capabilities like document sharing and Google Sites for building intranets. We felt that we could accomplish more with Google Apps for less money.

Our migration of all city departments – which included bringing over every single email, as well as calendar events and contacts – took just six weeks. We didn't lose data and we never had a major issue.

Our move into the cloud has freed IT staff time to focus on projects that provide more value to the city, departments, and the residents. We now have time to invest in new IT initiatives to help us grow our economic base. For example, we are working to build a newly-approved community data center – or 'community cloud' as we call it – which will provide access to services for small and medium business owners that typically only larger corporations enjoy. As far as we know, it is the first community data center in the country...
-- as detailed on the Google Enterprise blog (see here).

Google is hosting a live webinar this afternoon at 2:00 PM, at which Westerville's IT team of Todd Jackson and Bryan Mundy will discuss how they came to their decision to move 'to the cloud', how it is freeing them up for additional IT initiatives, and how it is saving their city money.

The webinar is free, but you must register. If you are interested, check it out here.

While you're at it, check out Westerville's well-organized and attractive website (see here).

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

We have Nat S. . . what more do we need?

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8:19 AM, what does Nat S. have to do with Dan's post?
Signed Nat S..