Governments in 38 states have adopted Google Apps for Government. Today we’ll hear from Kevin Krajewski, Deputy Director of MIS, and Rochelle Lyon, Systems Administrator for the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Located in Oakland County, Michigan, Rochester Hills features a quality of life and a thriving commerce that few communities its size can match. The city features quality housing; award winning school districts; over 80 miles of linked pathways and a regional interlinking rails-to-trails system; and an abundance of cultural, historical, educational, medical and entertainment venues. Rochester Hills is situated in Automation Alley, Michigan's premier technology cluster, and one of ten SmartZones in Michigan.

Even with all of this going for us, we’re no stranger to the budget issues facing governments everywhere. All city staff have been challenged by our Mayor and City Council to find ways to be more efficient and reduce operational costs. That’s one of the reasons why we’re so excited to go Google: Google Apps for Government will save us an estimated $50,000 over the next six years compared to upgrading and maintaining our Microsoft Exchange email system.

Google Apps also simplifies our IT infrastructure and reduces the support costs. We eliminated two servers and the associated operating system and application software. That translates into less equipment and software to patch and replace in the future, which makes our day-to-day maintenance less time consuming and our next network upgrade less complicated.

City employees benefit from easy access to the applications from anywhere they have an Internet connection. With a training portal built in Google Sites, staff can learn whenever and wherever they have the time. We expect to use Google Video in the near future to provide training and informational videos to staff allowing them to learn at their own pace.

Rochester Hills selected Onix Networking as our implementation partner. In order to keep the costs low, we did most of the implementation in-house, with Onix providing support during the process as needed. It took about three weeks last September to move all 200 employees to Google Apps and Postini for email filtering & archiving. We also trained our staff on the features of Google Apps and answered questions. Overall the transition went as smoothly as we had hoped it would.

After almost three months since going live on Google Apps for Government I can say that we are very happy with our decision move to the world of 100% web.

By Kevin Krajewski, Deputy Director of MIS, City of Rochester Hills, and Rochelle Lyon, Systems Administrator for the City of Rochester Hills