Jun 02 2016

Office 365 Helps States Get Comfortable with the Cloud

Several state agencies have migrated to Microsoft’s cloud-based version of its productivity suite, reaping meaningful rewards.

When state and local agencies evaluate how to dip their toe into cloud waters, Microsoft Office 365, more often than not, emerges as a great starting point. To date, there are 30 state governments utilizing Office 365, and 3.8 million users in state and local governments, said Dave Reilly, Microsoft account executive for state and local government in a recent StateScoop article.

There a few reasons why Office 365 makes sense for state and local governments looking for the right piece of their IT to move to the cloud:

  • It’s widely used across the board, so its impact will be seen and felt by many people across the agency.

  • It’s isolated to one suite of applications and not all applications.

  • It’s designed and built for cloud environments and not awkwardly retrofitted.

If your state and local government has yet to shift to Office 365, some perspective from other state and local leaders might help sway you.

East Coast State IT Leaders Share Office 365 Migration Experiences

At a recent National Association of State Technology Directors’ Eastern Regional conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., several state IT leaders provided unique insights into how the migration to Office 365 has impacted their agencies and states, or how they plan to embrace the suite, according to the StateScoop report.

New York: For the Empire state, an initial project to move email to the cloud evolved into a larger migration of the entire Microsoft Office suite to the cloud. And now, the state is starting to grasp the benefits of consolidating in a cloud environment. “We used to have 50 different flavors of everything,” said Steven Spalten, director of end services for New York’s Office of Information Technology Services.

Rhode Island: With an 8,000-user base, Rhode Island Chief Technology Officer Tony Lupinacci has leveraged the successful rollout of Office 365 to push other cloud initiatives. “Now we have cloud language, modeled after the terms and conditions laid out in the Office 365 contract, and we’ve given that language to agencies to include in [requests for proposals] they’re writing to help them consider the cloud,” he said.

Maine: With a slated launch date of July 2017, the Pine Tree state is still in the proof-of-concept stage of its migration, but Dawnna Pease, director of the enterprise Windows application hosting server group in Maine’s Office of Information Technology, is particularly eager to get the state started with using Office 365 for email and Skype for Business.

San Francisco Improves Collaboration with Office 365

In the heart of Silicon Valley innovation, the city of San Francisco has migrated to Office 365 and never looked back.

“Office 365 is a much better product today, plus people are more accepting of using office applications in the cloud,” San Francisco CIO Miguel Gamino Jr. said in a StateTech article last year. “We really made a push and went from 2,000 users to 26,000 in the last 15 months.”

In particular, the city found that Office 365 was a catalyst for more improved collaboration among its workers.

“People are looking forward to having an application that lets them collaborate,” he said at the time.


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