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8/19/2013
05:04 PM
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New York State Chooses Office 365

Microsoft's Windows 8 might be struggling, but Office 365 is a cloud juggernaut. Its latest customer: New York State, which will move 120,000 employees to the popular cloud office suite by the end of the year.

Google Apps To Microsoft Office 365: 10 Lessons
Google Apps To Microsoft Office 365: 10 Lessons
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Office 365 continues to rake in business from companies and government agencies, bolstering Microsoft's goal to become the enterprise cloud market's key player. Last week, Microsoft announced that New York State has become the latest government entity to sign up. The deal is also, according to the state's CIO, a testament to the simplicity and savings that cloud services can bring to large organizations.

More than 120,000 employees across New York's executive agencies are scheduled to move to Office 365 by the end of the year. Currently, the state employs more than 27 systems for email, word and data processing. The move to a standardized platform is expected to save approximately $3 million in annual license, hardware, maintenance, energy and personnel costs.

But these savings are just the immediate benefits, said Brian Digman, New York State CIO, in an interview.

"It saves us money but it's also a big step into the cloud," he said, adding, "It signals that the best solution might not always be homegrown."

[ Need to edit documents on the go? Read Microsoft Office Comes To iPhone: 1 Hitch. ]

Maintaining dozens of systems internally ties up taxpayer dollars that might otherwise go to worthy but underfunded projects. By ceding many of the administrative duties to Microsoft's cloud, New York will immediately gain the flexibility to reallocate millions of dollars.

But the move to Office 365 is part of a bigger plan, initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011, to make New York's government more modern, accountable and efficient. Digman said that Office 365 will advance this plan by allowing employees to drive efficiency -- and thus more savings -- via the cloud.

On a day-to-day basis, New York employees will benefit from the ability to access email, calendars and important documents from virtually any device and at virtually any location, he said. Microsoft's cloud infrastructure also makes the state more agile in the case of an emergency. Digman said that during a crisis, the demands on state resources spike, sometimes to the extent that communications are impaired by lagging or overlapping systems. Soon, critical New York systems will run through Microsoft's data center, rather than internally-managed servers. The new hosting environment, in combination with the standard interface, should allow agencies to respond quickly during an emergency, Digman stated.

Hosting the data in a state-run data center was untenable, Digman elaborated, saying, "For us to invest at a level to match a company like Microsoft is not feasible."

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Palpatine
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Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 9:28:49 AM
re: New York State Chooses Office 365
And you suppose there will be accessibilty neutrality to competitor's services over different os? The fall of win 8 will mean the fall of 365... btw, there where mostly ms office licenses being replaced in this move, so most of the money spared by the Big Apple are net loss for ms... genius ballmer strickes back...
KawiMan
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KawiMan,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 5:14:58 PM
re: New York State Chooses Office 365
Exchange 365 is a POS!!! Ever since our exchange server was replaced by Office 365, our email has been slow, unreliable (especially with attachments). I would never recommend this to anyone.
aboba0
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aboba0,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 5:31:39 PM
re: New York State Chooses Office 365
Not reported in this story, and something that concerns me, is document accessibility. What format will documents be stored in and what provisions for ensuring access now and in the future?

I've gone through plenty of system changes over the years and orphaning documents always seems to happen.

This is a state system with a huge user base (both the producers, state workers, and the consumers, state workers and citizens). No mention at all in the story of how document accessibility will be addressed for the user base to ensure continued availability now and in the future.

In my view a very weak report about the situation because it makes no attempt to inform about a hugely significant component of living with the system.
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