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In San Francisco, Walton said the city paid close attention to the Microsoft system's security and access controls and said the system could prevent a similar incident to the 2008 San Francisco network hijacking by then network administrator Terry Childs, who locked the city's network, preventing access to data and information.
And Walton noted that last week's BPOS cloud outages, which sparked lengthy delays in Microsoft Exchange Online e-mail delivery, helped influence San Francisco's move to the cloud-based e-mail service. He said that the city's ability to call Microsoft during the outage, which occurred during the pilot program, cemented that Microsoft was its top choice. He said when the city has had e-mail outages in the past it was often left hanging in the wind waiting for a response or an update.
"E-mail outages, unfortunately, are something that's happened to us before," Walton said, noting that e-mail outages aren't just a cloud issue. He said last week's BPOS outage only affected San Francisco's Exchange Online pilot users for about four hours.
Microsoft Vice President of State and Local Government at Microsoft, Gail Thomas-Flynn, added that not having to fret during an outage or other hiccup helps government agencies remain focused on serving their constituents and customers, instead of having to put out IT fires.
The San Francisco win is another feather in the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's cloud cap as Microsoft continues to compete with chief cloud foe Google for cloud computing contracts, many of which are state and local government deals.
Microsoft and Google have also squared off over the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), a certification that shows a company's solutions have meet the security requirements necessary to be leveraged by government agencies. Microsoft last month accused Google Apps of lacking FISMA certification. Google quickly responded and pointed out that it was indeed certified under FISMA, and it was eventually revealed that Microsoft itself had not received full FISMA certification for its BPOS-Federal play, which Microsoft later obtained.
The question over FISMA came to light as part of a recent lawsuit in which Google accused the DOI of not opening the bidding processes for its cloud e-mail to competition and wording its proposal to heavily favor Microsoft. A judge has placed an injunction on Microsoft's DOI cloud deployment until the matter is sorted out further.