One of the major battles between Microsoft and Google is taking place at a government level, and no, I don’t mean the Olympic-class lobbyists both companies employ. Rather, I’m referring to securing contracts with local, state, and federal government organizations. While Microsoft continues to develop a cloud-based system with its online productivity software (especially in the upcoming Office 365), Google has fought hard to convert agencies that were once devoted to Microsoft. Over the last two years, Google has secured several territories, and has now almost entirely won Virginia.
The two primary sectors of Virginia to fall under Google’s grasp (and/or loving hands) were the Virginia State Senate and the Division of Legislative Automated Systems (more commonly known as DLAS). DLAS, which makes IT decisions for several government groups, explored several options and settled on Google Apps in 2009. The Senate followed the next year. Since the original migration DLAS has moved 11 different agencies to a Google Apps system.
According to Wendy Wu of the Google Enterprise Team, this change has “enabled DLAS and the Senate to reduce IT maintenance time and dramatically increase document and email storage space – all while saving significantly on licensing costs.” At the end of the day, Google is claiming that they’re the cheapest program available and that they make the biggest positive impact on employee productivity. Virginia, however, seems to agree – at least enough to participate in a live webcast to discuss the advantages of the Google productivity options.
[via the Google Enterprise Blog]