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6/22/2011
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Wyoming Completes Google Apps Migration

Days prior to Microsoft's Office 365 launch, the first state government to drop its in-house software in favor of Google's cloud-computing offering announced that all 10,000 employees have made the move.

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Wyoming has completed a migration of 10,000 employees to Google Apps for Government for collaboration and unified communications, the first state government to drop its in-house software in favor of Google's cloud-computing offering.

"Our entire state government has gone Google," Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said in a guest appearance on the Google Enterprise Blog. "Wyoming is the first state in the country to make this transition."

The news comes less than a week before Microsoft's June 28 planned launch of Office 365, a cloud-based suite of its Lync, Exchange, SharePoint, and Office software.

Microsoft nabbed its first state customer for its initial cloud offering--the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)--last September when it announced that Minnesota would move its email and collaboration services to the company's cloud. Google unveiled its deal with Wyoming the following month around the same time Microsoft also signed on the state of California for BPOS. The two companies are in a heated battle to lock down government customers for their respective cloud computing offerings.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead made a guest appearance on the Google Enterprise Blog to unveil the completion of the state's adoption of Google Apps for Government, highlighting the fact that it took less than nine months to make the move.

"This is a sign of the adaptability and flexibility of our state government--another source of pride for us," he wrote.

For the first time all of the state's employees will be on a shared email platform, something that will increase efficiency and allow the state to serve its constituents better, Mead said. He cited his own experience with this benefit of leveraging the cloud, as his office was one of the first to migrate.

"Among its many features, Google Apps has provided efficiencies for scheduling and for keeping the office running smoothly," Mead wrote.

Both Microsoft and Google have had significant government wins for their cloud offerings, but lately Microsoft seems to have a slight edge. While Google won the first major federal agency contract to move the General Services Administration to the cloud last December and also was the choice for the city of Los Angeles, Microsoft has had a series of big wins since, including the cities of San Francisco and New York, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior, although the last was contested by Google in a court case and has since been shelved due to an injunction that the search company and reseller Onix Networks won in January.

What industry can teach government about IT innovation and efficiency. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: Federal agencies have to shift from annual IT security assessments to continuous monitoring of their risks. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

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