Wyoming Goes Google
The state governor's office announced this week that Wyoming is the first state to "go Google."
All 10,000 of the state's employees have moved to using Google Apps for Government. Previously, the employees were supported through the use of over 13 different platforms. One of those platforms was Microsoft Outlook, according to Renny MacKay, communications director for the governor. He said in a phone interview that the multiple platforms sometimes made it difficult to find someone in the state directory.
Governor Matt Mead indicated in a released statement that the state of Wyoming will save "over a million dollars per year" in moving to Google Apps for Government, while also adding better storage and security capabilities.
The state will save money based on the costs it previously paid for servers, licensing and staff associated with earlier systems, Mead explained in an announcement, as transcribed at this Google blog post. The post includes an ad-like video showing that Wyoming state employees really have gone Google.
David Girouard, Google's president of enterprise, noted at the cord-cutting ceremony that "This is the first state-wide implementation of Google Apps, so it's something we're very excited to partner with Wyoming on," according to the released statement.
The agreement to add Google Apps for Government was finalized last October, and the state moved to the new system after less than nine months. MacKay said that the Wyoming government had conducted an RFP process, but that it was initiated by Mead's predecessor, former Governor Freudenthal.
It took a little while to get organized using the new system on the day of its launch, MacKay said, but government workers have already begun collaborating on documents in real time using Google Apps for Government. However, not all documents were moved over to Google Docs as Microsoft Word is still being used, MacKay clarified.
The governor's office aims to make the state high-tech friendly and is currently looking at bids for a new wind-powered supercomputer for a center that's already built. The effort is a collaboraton by state, university and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, MacKay said.
Wyoming is the tenth largest state in the United States, but it's also the least populous, with 563,626 people recorded in the 2010 U.S. census, according to Wikipedia's listing.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.