Canada is known for a lot of things - hockey, moose and the ever so delicious Poutine. One thing it was not known for, however, was using Google Apps in its cities to connect government workers. Edmonton, Alberta is changing that.
Michael Lock, VP of Google Enterprise, announced today that Edmonton, Alberta is the first Canadian city to iGoogle+Enterprise+Blog%29">mplement Google Apps as the go to resource for city workers. The city says that this will allow its employees to "access their online resources from any place, location and with any device."
Lock says that Google Apps will "provide a unified communications platform for all municipal employees, bringing email to roughly 3,000 "deskless" city employees for the first time time while providing additional tools to help all employees work together."
The decision was made so that city employees "will have access and be able to share and collaborate in real time on the same document whenever they want" according to city manager Simon Farbrother.
The Google Apps takeover will be a gradual process with email and calendar being put into place in late 2012. The other apps will be made available in 2013 throughout the year.
Lock points out that while this is the first Canadian city to implement Google Apps, some cities in the U.S. and Mexico have already made the switch to the service. Pittsburgh and Orlando made the move a few years ago. Orlando specifically saw their operating costs reduced by 62 percent when they made the move to Google Apps.
Edmonton is just the latest city to take advantage of Google Apps which was approved by the United States government in 2010. It was created with the express purpose of providing the full Google Apps experience to government workers while putting an emphasis on policy and security features.