California Agencies Favor Microsoft For Email - InformationWeek

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California Agencies Favor Microsoft For Email

About two out of three state mailboxes will be migrated to Microsoft-hosted email, rather than a competing state system.

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California state agencies are choosing to migrate users to Microsoft-hosted email over a state-hosted system by about a 2-1 ratio.

Fully 98% of agencies in the state have decided which system to use to in a planned agency-wide migration, with agencies committing 105,584 mailboxes to California Email Services (CES), a hosted email system based on Microsoft's Business Process Online System (BPOS), according to a scorecard posted online as part of the state's transparency efforts.

Comparatively, agencies plan to move 56,504 mailboxes to CA.Mail, a state-hosted system, while 2,761 mailboxes are still up for grabs. The decision about which email system would be used was made at the administrative level in each agency, said Bill Maile, a spokesman for the state CIO's office.

The scorecard shows exactly which agencies and departments have made their decisions, how many mailboxes each agency has, and how many will move to either CA.Mail or CES.

It also shows how far along they are in the migration process using a color-coded system. Most have merely made their decision as to which hosted service to use, while some others have completed the migration. Some, however, have not begun the process at all, according to the scorecard.

In October, after a more-than year-long procurement process, California awarded a $50 million, three-year email migration contract to CSC and Microsoft to move state employees from 130 email systems -- 80% of which run on Microsoft Exchange Server -- to either one of the two systems.

The decision-making process was a contentious one, with Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs complaining to the Los Angeles Times that the bidding process was stacked against the company. Google considered submitting a bid but pulled out of the process early.

Agencies have until June 2011 to start the migration, which itself is part of a larger effort by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to clean up state IT operations. Schwarzenegger mandated sweeping IT reform in February, a move that was later codified by the state.

Other activities underway include a massive data center consolidation that will reduce the total amount of energy utilized by IT and telecommunications equipment by 20% by July 1, 2011, and by 30% by July 1, 2012. Data center square footage also should be reduced by 50% by July 2011 under the plan.

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