L.A. Picks Google Apps And Partner CSC For E-mail System


The City of Los Angeles is replacing its Novell GroupWise e-mail system with Google's e-mail application and laying the foundation for implementing other Google Web-based applications in the future with the help of solution provider CSC.

CSC, Falls Church, Va., is providing Los Angeles with systems integration and services, including architecture, design, integration, migration, archiving, and training to help that organization's 30,000-plus personnel move away from GroupWise and to a cloud-based Google e-mail system, said Mark Kneidinger Managing partner for CSC's federal consulting practice.

"In doing that, we are also providing a platform for future development," Kneidinger said. "And we are providing a collaboration environment for the future."

The contract also calls for CSC to help Los Angeles implement new collaboration applications using the Google Apps platform, he said.

The deployment of the new Google Apps e-mail system for the approximately 34,000 e-mail accounts used by Los Angeles is expected to help the city enjoy overall cost savings of $5.5 million over the initial three-year period of the contract, Kneidinger said.

These savings primarily consist of eliminating the GroupWise license fees that the city would have had to purchase, but also includes the cost of software upgrades and savings from retiring old servers, he said.

"But the savings will be much more going forward with the deployment of apps using the Google platform," he said.

CSC outbid a number of e-mail providers to win the Los Angeles contract, including Microsoft, Kneidinger said.

The original contract between CSC and Los Angeles was signed in October.

In a YouTube video posted Sunday by Google, Randi Levin, Los Angeles CTO, said that the city is facing a $400 million deficit, and needs to provide as much efficiency as possible.

It went with Google Apps for the e-mail platform because it worked with all the city's devices and can help improve productivity, Levin said.

"I didn't want something that was going to require hours and hours of training," she said. "I wanted something that would be easy for (the employees) to use, intuitive, and something they could have when they're at their desk, or when they're out in their car or out in the field."

Kevin Crawford, assistant general manager for the Information Technology Agency of Los Angeles, said in that video that Google Apps is expected to provide the city with technology to provide collaboration, disaster recovery, and archiving capabilities it currently does not have.

"We think about 65 to 80 percent of the staff in this city will be able to use Google Apps to meet all of their office productivity needs," Crawford said.