Google Apps for Gov? I did that.

I guess now is as good a time as any to jump in and introduce myself to govloop. Don’t expect me to be a brilliant writer or even marginal but you will get some real truth that eludes far to many trying to develop a certain image. I am to the point, go with my gut and always hustle.

Today I want to tell you about how I took the New Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office off the beaten MS Exchange path and went Google. Right now I am pumped, seriously jazzed, if that word has any meaning today at all, because I’m sitting in a Ft. Lauderdale hotel room after having given a presentation on cloud computing to all the other state’s AG CIOs. Like any of you sure I was nervous about speaking in front of peers that are likely way smarter than me, but after hearing a sobering report from Doug Robinson the Executive Director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCI) I got to tell you I wanted to interrupt him half way through and say, no, stop! We don’t have to do less with less, we are doing more, much, much more with nothing. It’s hard to understand but while everyone is looking sad and searching for places to cut we are excited and growing our IT power like crazy.

You see a few years ago I had to make a hard choice, fall in line and cow down to the powers that be and buy the package like a good little soldier or draw a line and say NO! They said, “You got to buy from the state.” I said I’ll buy from whoever offers the service my staff needs at the best price I can get. That meant splitting off from the state network. Honestly, it didn’t bother me a bit, I’m not hung up on the politics of the day this is business people and government better be the most competitive bidder out there or b-bye. Truth is state IT is raping the agencies and you tax payer. Yeah I did just say that. Don’t think the wall of BS is going to stand much longer boys, there’s a tsunami coming your way. How is it a state can own the lines, the equipment, be the ISP and still charge 10 times what a business pays? I called the bluff and we saved huge money and got stellar service.

$30 a month for a puny 100mb Inbox, what are you from the past? I got 26GB as in Giga, for $50 a YEAR plus document editing and storage, chat, video, web sites, a platform to build on and 3 years now with a perfect 100% up time. No it does not go down for maintenance every Sunday or when the latest patch frags the jet db. No we don’t have email jail you have to dig out of every Monday. What we put in works Period.

Don’t get me wrong I am not bitter about government’s insanely high technology spending, I’m just saying that there is a way out, just follow me I’ll get you there. I surely hope they heard me today and could feel the energy because I do get excited over this stuff. Tom Cruse screaming “show me the money” kind of excited when I find a way to put the cash back in the tax payer’s pocket.

If you got this far in my post, THANK YOU! I mean it. This trip has shown me that I do have a message and count on hearing more details about our incredible journey and everything else we’re doing.

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Great story and love your writing style….My sense is that email has to go to the cloud for most agencies soon as it’s just too good of a deal. I’m sure there are more but MS and Google both have pretty similar offerings like this hosted in cloud (vs on-site). In the university systems, most have made those changes in the last two years (so students with a or – is never hosted anymore).

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

Heard this at a conference a long time ago: There are only two industries that call their customers “users.” One is the computer industry and the other is the illegal narcotics industry. They also have similar marketing tactics and customer care practices.

Congratulations on taking the right path and breaking free from the clutches of the state IT shop.