In one of the biggest Microsoft Office 365 implementations in state and local government for the year, En Pointe Technologies has been selected by Los Angeles County to implement more than 100,000 seats of the software, the company said Wednesday.
En Pointe, No. 42 on CRN's 2014 Solution Provider 500 list, will implement the 100,000 seats across more than 30 county departments at a price tag of $72 million in licensing revenue alone. At that price, it makes the implementation one of the biggest state and local government projects for Microsoft this year.
"This is a major step for an entity as big as LA County to move into a cloud environment," LA County CIO Richard Sanchez said of the migration.
Shedding its current Microsoft Enterprise Agreements and operating costs, the migration will save LA County an expected $2.5 million after the first year.
Cutting costs and consolidating operations was a big driving factor for the migration, Sanchez said. Consistency was also a factor, he said, as some larger departments had up-to-date systems, but smaller and midsize departments might not have that capability due to budget constraints. Office 365 addresses the needs of all of the departments through the subscription service, he said, and will help all departments stay up to date.
In addition, the county developers have a stronger mobile work force, having access to Office 365 on tablets.
"We're looking to leverage as much of those tools and products as possible to meet the needs of our departments and, hopefully, our residents," Sanchez said. "It started from a process of consolidation and cost-cutting, and now we're looking for productivity and improvements for all of our county agencies," he said.
After discussions with Microsoft, the solution provider was chosen though a contract bid process. En Pointe was one of five contenders for the contract and was offered the lowest price, Sanchez said. The contract with En Pointe will last for the next five years.
This is not the first project that En Pointe has done for LA County. It has had several projects, ranging from hardware procurement, software licensing, managed services, and more over the past 18 years. The Gardena, Calif.-based solution provider is also one of the fastest-growing Office 365 partners, already managing more than five million seats.
Those factors are the main reasons driving the decision to hire the solution provider, according to Michael Rapp, president of En Pointe Technologies.
"From start to finish, all those involved were extremely committed to a positive outcome. This win further validates En Pointe's mission: to simplify and guide adoption of the right technology," Rapp said in a written statement.
The contract was signed in May and the county is currently in a design and planning stage with Microsoft. Sanchez said that he anticipates the 42-week migration process to begin in August, and that he anticipates some of the challenges to be working on an Active Directory and establishing governance.
"Every single one of our county departments are very excited about it. They are all very eager to go first. That’s a rarity ... that bodes well for the deal and the technology that we're looking at getting," Sanchez said.
As for the county's larger cloud strategy, Sanchez said that they are taking it one step at a time.
"We have not seriously looked at infrastructure service, but we know that that it's out there, and it's available and it could be something to consider down the future," Sanchez said. "It's always an option."
PUBLISHED JUNE 23, 2014