Hillingdon Council goes to Google Apps

Jennifer Scott News
19 Dec, 2011

The local council will be the first to use all of Google’s applications, with savings of almost £3 million thanks to cloud computing.

Hillingdon Council today announced it would be moving over to a cloud model, using Google’s Apps for Business.

The local authority first announced plans to pioneer the Government move to the cloud in the summer, following a successful server virtualisation implementation and talk of desktop virtualisation project as well.

However, it only released a statement today confirming the Software as a Service (SaaS) model from Google for productivity apps was its next step on the cloud journey, with claims of almost £3 million in savings over the next four years as a result.

"Going with Google makes the most sense for Hillingdon economically and it will enable us to realise the tremendous opportunities afforded by cloud computing,” said Councillor Jonathan Bianco, the cabinet member for finance, property and business services at Hillingdon.

"Doing this means we're ahead of the curve in anticipating the changes in technology over the coming years.”

The migration process will be carried out by Google App reseller Cloudreach. Unfortunately this is where the pay as you go model falls down, as the company won a tender for a four year contract with the council. There is also the option to extend by two one year periods.

But all 3,500 employees at the council should me moved to the new web-based system early next year, which Hillingdon hopes will help with better collaboration in-house, as well as giving more opportunities for remote working.

"Simply, it makes both financial and business transformational sense to make the change," added Bianco.

Other local councils have run pilots of cloud schemes, such as Warwickshire County Council, which won Virtual Clouds’s Cloud Initiative of the Year award for its implementation of Gmail.

However, Hillingdon claims to be the first council to sign up to a full on contract and throw themselves fully into cloud SaaS.

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