The city of Orlando loves Google, and it's not hard to understand why - according to the city's own estimates, switching to Google Apps cut its IT costs by a massive amount. So now Orlando's CIO, Conrad Cross, is returning the favor (and maybe helping Orlando secure a special prize) by spreading the Google gospel.
Cross wrote a post that went up on the Official Google Enterprise Blog this afternoon, and in it, he stated, "If we were to keep our current system, we estimated it would cost $133 a year for each of its 3,000 employees - or $399,000 including annual software licenses. Google charges $50 per user, or $150,000 delivering more than 60% in savings."
Cross then encouraged other cities to perform their own analyses, and added, "[i]f the savings are compelling . . . move quickly - you'll see the move into the cloud is relatively fast and painless - and ultimately very cost-effective."
This isn't the last you'll hear of Orlando's CIO, either. He's actually due to take part in a webinar on March 31st, and will discuss this development with a product marketing manager from Google.
If Cross's willingness to speak is due to gratitude, it's completely understandable. Some sort of contractual obligation wouldn't reflect poorly on him, Orlando, or Google, either. But here's one other possibility: Orlando officials, who have already expressed an interest in Google's experimental fiber networks, have found a good way to earn the search giant's favor.