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Chicago moving 30,000 employees to Office 365 on the Cloud

30,000 City of Chicago employees to convert to Office 365 on The Cloud
Brett Goldstein, Chief Information Officer, City of ChicagoBrett Goldstein, Chief Information Officer, City of Chicago

Aquilium Group – The City of Chicago will be installing Microsoft Office 365 on the cloud for its 30,000 employees with an expected savings of $400,000 per year.

Brett Goldstein was hired in 2011 by newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make the City of Chicago more transparent and open.

In 2013, Goldstein is moving Chicago’s three mail systems to The Cloud with Microsoft Office 365.

30,000 employee email accounts and office applications will standardize on Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud based release of Office.

Score a big hit for Microsoft in the government market, against Google. Google has worked hard to replace desktop licenses of Microsoft Office with their cloud solutions like Google Mail. Microsoft’s strength is Outlook with its integrated calendar and mail and the Word and Excel applications.

With employees scattered across the City, it makes sense to put their applications on the cloud. Microsoft’s recent release of cloud-based Office 365 makes that a sensible solution. Office 365 changes the license from a per-seat perpetual license with high capital costs to a monthly per user subscription with communication, data storage and maintenance Microsoft responsibilities.

“I’m actually going to be getting better service, better functionality, at a lower cost, and that’s particularly important when you are in municipal government,” said Goldstein. The City of Chicago projects savings of $400,000 per year over its 4-year agreement with Microsoft. (ComputerWorld)

Great pricing on mobile phones!Great pricing on mobile phones!

“Data is at the core of how we are doing and going to continue to do government better,” said Goldstein. “I don’t believe in five-year ROIs And any project has to have a relatively quick payback.”

Cities, like many large organizations, tend to run as divisions or silos. In a City, police may talk to fire but not to water and sewer, taxation or administration.

Goldstein sees data integration as the key. He told Government Technology, “One is the open data piece. Open data — transparency — that’s part of my portfolio.

City of ChicagoCity of Chicago“We have CityofChicago.org along with the federated MetroChicago site, where we are piping that data.”

“The other two areas are a little more subtle. The second piece is bringing data in a quantitative and empirical approach to government. My job is to make sure we’re incorporating an empirical methodology as to how we’re looking at that issue.”

“I think we all know that many of the issues facing government are cross-departmental, and historically, we might not have been very good at doing that. Things would have stayed within siloes rather than a collaboration — that’s one of the pieces we’re working through.”

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