CIO: Boston moves email to Google Apps

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Boston recently migrated 76,000 email accounts to Google Apps.

Writing for the Google Enterprise Blog, Bill Oates, Boston’s chief information officer who will soon leave to become Massachusetts CIO, said the city moved the email of all city employees, including the Boston Police Department, to the Google platform.

“Our new unified, cloud-based communication system is pretty big change from our old set-up,” Oates wrote. “Our agencies worked together to manage their mail environments, with resources focused on mail administration and working across the group structures. Our largest department, the public school district, operated on a very separate environment that was in need of a major technical upgrade.”

The public school district was one of the big winners in the transition, as every teacher and more than 50,000 public school students now each have an individual Google Apps account.

Oates said the city saw a need to upgrade its communications and collaboration infrastructure. In need of a new solution, it looked to the cloud as the service was the most cost-effective supportable platform to address the city’s needs going forward.

Last year, the city put out a request for proposal that attracted a number of cloud offering.

A selection committee composed of members from the city’s IT organization, Boston Police, and Boston Public Schools evaluated 10 proposals based on both cost and technical capabilities.

The committee unanimously chose Google Apps based on its ability to meet the needs of a fast-moving city while providing a secure cloud environment, Oates said.

“All in all, we’ve securely moved more than 20 million email messages to the cloud,” Oates said. “Every city employee — from police, to education, public works, transportation and beyond — has a Google account and a boston.gov email address accessible from any device, anywhere. We are confident Google’s secure, FISMA-compliant cloud environment ensures that city data is safe and private.”

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Bill Oates, Boston, Google, Massachusetts, States
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