The City of San Jose, California said this week that it has selected a cloud-based strategy, based on Office 365, Windows Azure and StorSimple. Decision makers' expectations for this investment include expanding productivity, reducing operational costs and delivering improved services to over 984,000 residents. The investment in these new cloud-based platforms was approved in the recent adoption of the annual city budget in June by the San Jose City Council.
Being the fourth largest employer in San Jose, and at the heart of California's Silicon Valley, more than 5,000 city employees need universal access to data across multiple platforms, enable mobile communications and remote collaboration, including videoconferencing, benefits that cloud services like Office 365 offer.
"San Jose employees will have constant and consistent access to documents, email and information through the cloud, enabling them to do their job in a secured environment not restricted by their location," said Vijay Sammeta, San Jose chief information officer. "In addition, employees also will be able to collaborate with each other in real time, improving efficiency and productivity, which will ultimately benefit the community at large."
The city also realized that the best way to streamline its backend IT operations and maximize its investment and expected return would be to use a solution that supports its unique compliance, backup and disaster recovery requirements. To do that, San Jose will chose to invest in Windows Azure and StorSimple, completing a one enterprise solution across the city's storage needs. Through Microsoft’s cloud offerings, according to Sammeta, the city of San Jose expects a major reduction in total costs for more than 70 TB of data.
"Because of the cloud, we now have the opportunity to transform our IT business model so that we no longer have to deal with servers and storage, and instead our employees can take advantage of new tools and efficiency to benefit our broader community," Sammeta said.
The city’s transition to an enterprise cloud platform will begin this summer, and implementation throughout the organization is expected to take approximately six months. The city is just one of many entities that have jumped on cloud-based productivity bandwagon including the City of San Francisco, the State of California, the City of Chicago, the State of Texas, the State of Washington and numerous others.
"We know we are only starting to scratch the surface of the benefits to come, which likely will be more than just cost savings for IT," Sammeta said. "I’m looking forward to opening the door to greater collaboration and removing technology obstacles to our ability to innovate."
Kevin Parrish is a contributing editor and writer for Tom's IT Pro, Tom's Hardware, Tom's Games and Tom's Guide. He's also a graphic artist, CAD operator and network administrator.
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