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Wyoming switches to Google's email, calendar systems

5:37 PM, Jun 23, 2011   |    comments
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Wyoming is the first state to undertake a switch to Google's servers.

"It really means that the state is kind of going a new direction in terms of adopting cloud computing," Wyoming Chief Information Officer Flint Waters said. "It's having the latest software available to you through a web interface."

Wyoming is hedging its bets on the cloud computing technology, eliminating costly server repairs, and licensing fees for new software purchases.

"Already I've seen efficiencies," Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails Administrator Domenic Bravo said. "It's one of our hopes that we utilize it as a tool that improves government."

Bravo says he can use his Gmail platform to instant message employees in his office, and also use a webcam to chat with his workers in other parts of the state.

"It just makes it fast and furious, I guess, is the best way to say it," he said.

As for security, state officials say information is more secure than before.

"The security package that we purchased for the state," Waters said, "far exceeds what we had prior."

Waters says enhanced firewalls, encryption, and password protection are included in the new system. In addition, data stored on employees laptops, mobile phones, and tablets can be wiped remotely to protect sensitive data if one is lost, he said.

The move became official Monday. While Wyoming became the first state to utilize the Google Apps for Government system, Larimer County in Colorado, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of Orlando have similar setups.

Wyoming state employees even made a YouTube video to announce the move to Google's servers:

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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