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County of Santa Clara Adopts Microsoft Office 365 for 15,000 Employees

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August 23, 2012

County of Santa Clara Adopts Microsoft Office 365 for 15,000 Employees

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

Citing the need to standardize its technology approach for approximately 15,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara, Calif. is planning to upgrade and consolidate its countywide e-mail systems as part of an effort to overhaul IT operations and streamline IT management costs. The cost to the county will be $3.6 million annually for the entire workforce. Previously, only half the county staff was covered, at a cost of $3.3 million.

The County of Santa Clara will transition to Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365 with the goal of consolidating IT assets and helping the county achieve significant costs savings. The cost for the expansion is slightly under 10 percent more than previously spent, according to Jeffrey Smith, county executive, who established the Center for Leadership and Transformation (CLT), a strategic in-house program to transform the way the county does business.

“Our mid-managers and frontline employees are in a unique position to help the county find workable solutions to challenges,” Smith said. “By standardizing the way we approach technology and procurement, we will be able to enhance efficiencies throughout the organization and finance them within existing resources.”

The County of Santa Clara’s provides public services and employs more than 15,000 people across 26 agencies and departments. Among the services are the operation of a public hospital and health system; a 45,000-acre system of urban and mountain parks, trails, lakes, streams and open spaces; tax collection; social services; law and justice operations; roads and airports; and conducting elections.

Previously, county departments made technology decisions disparately, which led to fragmentation, redundancies and unnecessary costs, according to CLT officials. The county selected Office 365 for better visibility into its IT assets; improved mission performance through productivity, unified communications and collaboration tools (Office 365, Microsoft Lync and UC/Collaboration); better governance and control over IT spending; and the ability to leverage buying power as a large organization, according to Joyce Wing, chief information officer.

“We selected Office 365 because it addressed a wide spectrum of county needs,” Wing said. “The selection of this solution and our IT consolidation efforts have enabled us to nearly double the number of employees covered and will provide our staff with new tools and collaboration technologies to help better serve our residents. Now our staff will be able to move forward collaboratively and take advantage of many new capabilities.”

Since the county has a large contingent of remote field staff, Office 365 will help increase the mobility of workers by providing access virtually anywhere, any time and with any device and will provide the ability to share documents across the organization electronically, which is mostly completed manually today.

“The County of Santa Clara has a long track record as a progressive leader in utilizing new technologies to improve the resident services it provides,” said Stuart McKee, chief technology officer for U.S. State and Local Government at Microsoft Corp. “We look forward to a strong continued partnership with Santa Clara to equip and support all its workers with the tools they need to transform their operations, collaborate from virtually anywhere using any device and, ultimately, better serve the public.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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