Colorado Is Saving $2 Million per Year with Google Apps

Cloud-based email and collaboration software is keeping users productive and IT managers happy.

IT managers: Can you imagine running 15 different email systems? Can you imagine your employees not being able to look up one another's contact info?

That's how it was in Colorado, where the state was spending more than $5 million annually to support legacy systems for 26,000 users. According to Google's Enterprise Blog, the move will save Colorado $2 million per year. In 2010, Colorado adopted Google Apps for Education — which is free for schools — across the entire state, paving the way for the government to implement the paid government edition.

Here's an excerpt from a recent Denver Business Journal article on the move:

Colorado’s government used to maintain 15 different email systems, split between 5 different versions of Microsoft Outlook and another email vendor’s product, inhibiting communication.

State workers couldn’t look up each others’ email addresses, meaning that cross-department meetings within the state government required everyone to swap business cards so they’d know how to reach each other with followup, she said.

Intranet sites weren’t used to share information across departments, neither was instant messaging, she said. Things like video conferencing and website creation used to be handled by the state’s Internet authority or done by vendors hired for the job.

Google now supplies all of that, plus video conferencing, in-document collaboration, the tools to create and host websites, and more than 60 other functions, all included in the annual subscription.

Colorado isn't the only state to go Google. Wyoming, South Carolina, New Mexico and Kansas have moved at least some employees to Google Apps, and a number of cities and counties have followed suit.

Whether or not states choose Google, there are great options for cloud collaboration these days. Has your state moved to the cloud? Let us know in the Comments.

<p>Robert Fullerton/iStock/Thinkstock</p>
Dec 11 2013