Wyoming Moves to Cloud Via Google Apps

Last week, Wyoming became the first state to "go Google," as all 10,000 of its employees moved to Google Apps for Government.

Before moving to Google, Wyoming state employees used 13 or more different platforms, including Microsoft Outlook, according to Rennie MacKay, communications director for the Wyoming governor. The multiple platforms sometimes made it difficult to locate people in the state directory.

Governor Matt Mead indicated in a released statement that the move will save Wyoming "over a million dollars per year," while also adding better storage and security capabilities.

The state will save money based on the costs it previously paid for servers, licensing and staff associated with earlier systems, Mead explained in an announcement, as transcribed at this Google blog post. The post includes this ad-like video showing how some Wyoming state employees are using Google.

David Girouard, Google's president of enterprise, noted at the cord-cutting ceremony that "This is the first state-wide implementation of Google Apps, so it's something we're very excited to partner with Wyoming on," according to the released statement.

The agreement to add Google Apps for Government was finalized last October, and the state moved to the new system after less than nine months. MacKay said that the Wyoming government had conducted an RFP process, but that it was initiated by Mead's predecessor, former Governor Dave Freudenthal.

It took a little while to get organized using the new system on the day of its launch, MacKay said, but government workers have already begun collaborating on documents in real time using Google Apps for Government. However, not all of the documents were moved over to Google Docs as Microsoft Word is still being used, MacKay clarified.

The governor's office is looking to make the state high-tech friendly and is currently looking at bids for a new wind-powered supercomputer for a center that's already built. The effort is a collaboration between the state, university and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, MacKay said.

Wyoming is the 10th largest state in the United States, but it's also the least populous, with 563,626 people recorded in the 2010 U.S. census, according to Wikipedia.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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