The Raleigh City Council voted 7 to 1 to allow City Manager Russell Allen to negotiate a contract with SADA Systems to implement Google Apps for Government as the city’s email provider. Councilor John Odom voted against the measure.
There were some remaining questions about the security of cloud-based computing and the safety of confidential material in the city attorney’s office and police department.
“I don’t know enough about the cloud to say whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.” said City Attorney Thomas McCormick. “Whatever the city council decides is best.”
The contract with SADA Systems is contingent on approval by McCormick, who will determine if it meets all the necessary confidentiality requirements of his office.
City Manager Russell Allen has said that making the switch to Google Apps for Government would save the city $480,000 during the next three years.
The Microsoft Exchange e-mail system would cost the city $1.4 million during the next three years. It would cost $980,320 to implement Google’s system during the same period.
While gmail will be the provider for the city’s email system, all email addresses will still have the same ending. Employees who are unfamiliar with gmail will still be able to use Microsoft Outlook to maintain their email, contacts and calendars.
With many people using gmail as their personal email provider, Allen has said that he expects the transition to be fairly easy.
Read more about the Google switch.