Colorado announced today it selected Google Apps for Government to provide email and calendar services for all Colorado state employees.

This decision migrates more than 26,000 Executive Branch state employees to “eliminate disjointed and aging email systems and provide a single email solution to all employees, while saving approximately $2 million per year,” according to the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology.

The Google Apps for Government edition is is a cloud-based productivity suite geared towards government under the Google Apps service. It features secure Google data centers engineered by leading security experts with FISMA certification and Gmail powered byPostini with 25GB storage and seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook. Other highlights include Google Calendar for agenda management, Google Docs for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, Google Sites for secure, coding-free intranets, and Video similar to a private YouTube.

Google Apps showcases several Web applications similar to traditional office suites. The features vary per edition but generally include Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Sites, Groups, Video, and Marketplace. The service is rapidly increasing in popularity among educational institutions and governments due to enhanced sharing features, accessibility, and cost.

More information is available below. 

Colorado’s Office of Information Technology has six priorities that closely aligns with Google Apps, according to the Official Google Enterprise blog, such as customer success, innovation, information security, people, service excellence, and trusted partnership. Switching to Google Apps aligns with these concerns.

“By bringing 15 siloed and disparate email systems together into one unified communications platform, the state will save approximately $2 million a year, cutting the cost of maintaining current email systems by nearly half,” announced Google’s Director of State and Local Government Scott McIntyre. “It will also allow employees across departments to find co-workers and communicate more effectively with one another. In addition, giving employees modern collaboration tools and better mobile access will help them deliver better citizen services.”

Colorado’s OIT conducted testing and analysis, including an independent third-party comparison, ­­­before deciding Google Apps for Government exceeded state goals.

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