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L.A. Stumbles In Deployment Of Google Apps

Confusion may cost city a significant amount of money

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The deployment of Google Apps in Los Angeles – the same deployment that’s supposed to save L.A. $5.5 million over the next five years and inspire many other cities to follow its example – isn’t going according to plan.  Although it appears that neither side is entirely to blame, several problems have cropped up.

GoogleA group of city employees has been testing Google Apps, and they recently held a meeting to discuss their findings.  City Administrative Officer Miguel A. Santana then wrote in a letter to the chair of the Information Technology and Government Affairs Committee, "At the meeting many of the departments expressed concerns about both the performance and the functionality of the new system."

Santana explained, "Performance concerns focused on the slowness with which e-mails were sent, received, and accessed in the new system.  Functionality concerns focused on features currently available in GroupWise that are unavailable, or significantly different, in Google’s system.  Further, the Los Angeles Police Department indicated that several security issues have yet to be resolved, and that a pilot of its technical support staff must be successfully completed before it can be expanded to the rest of the LAPD."

Of course, Santana also noted that city’s data networks may not be configured correctly, that city employees are using Firefox and Internet Explorer when they’re supposed to use Chrome, and that running Google Apps and the old GroupWise system at the same time isn’t helping anything.  Plus, some of purportedly unavailable features do in fact exist.

Google Apps doesn’t offer other features, however, and the LAPD’s concerns are significant.

So a full implementation of Google Apps has been delayed, and if the situation isn’t resolved soon, it looks like L.A. will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars (again) for GroupWise licenses.

Big hat tip goes to Leena Rao.

UPDATE: Another city official has written a post on the Los Angeles Google Enterprise E-mail and Collaboration System Blog to say that these rough spots "are part of a normal Pilot and review process and is a normal part of a well-thought out project schedule — most large rollouts (with any technology) are built with flexible timeframes so issues can be addressed. The Pilot and reviews it contains are to ensure that the product meets SOW. It also tests ancillary products to ensure integration. This is all NORMAL stuff happening here and the project is still on track to deliver per the schedule!"

L.A. Stumbles In Deployment Of Google Apps
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  • Guest

    The blogpost below was posted by Kevin Crawford, Director at the LA IT Authority, updating folks on the project and addressing the letter cited in this article. Speaks for itself — this is all normal part of a large scale rollout, and most of LA’s issues are internal network problems that have been addressed.

    https://sites.google.com/a/lageecs.lacity.org/la-geecs-blog/home/project-blog/pilotextention

    I have read in other forums about my last blog post stating that the Pilot had been extended and wanted to ensure that the correct information is public.
    The following issues were discussed in the meeting assessing the pilot earlier this month.
    Network Issue — LA discovered network speed problems in rolling out Apps — these internal legacy (non-LA GEECS) issues have been addressed.
    Functionality Missing — Most concerns around functionality have been addressed with additional training — getting great feedback internally on that — new features were requested of Google and the City continues to work with the vendor on those.
    LAPD is not on board — LAPD is on board, and scheduled to deploy per plan. The LAPD is performing a critical function of review, required of the contract and of their governing laws, guidelines and agencies. I would expect them to do no less!
    The above issues are part of a normal Pilot and review process and is a normal part of a well-thought out project schedule — most large rollouts (with any technology) are built with flexible timeframes so issues can be addressed. The Pilot and reviews it contains are to ensure that the product meets SOW. It also tests ancillary products to ensure integration. This is all NORMAL stuff happening here and the project is still on track to deliver per the schedule!
    The City will enjoy the benefits of this system and the myriad of additional capabilities it provides, per the justification of this project.

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    Very interesting apps in stumbles. Thanks for much doug for sharing us.3

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