County purchases new software for 15,000 employees

County adopts Microsoft Cloud Solution

The County of Santa Clara recently announced its decision to adopt Microsoft Cloud Solution for 15,000 of its employees.

The move is aimed at upgrading and consolidating multiple countywide email systems as part of the county’s ongoing efforts to transform its operations, improve the quality and efficiency of its services to county residents and streamline IT management costs, according to a county press release.

The cost for the Cloud services is $2.3 million, which is a subset of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that costs $3.6 million annually, according to Public Affairs Director Gwendolyn Mitchell with the county. She says the implementation costs are being negotiated and “existing internal resources are being identified to keep implementation costs down.”

Approximately $3.3 million used for the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement consisted of “existing funds,” according to Mitchell. The balance was secured during the budget planning process for fiscal year 2012.

Mitchell says the new equipment “moves the county in a direction to keep this software current for the entire county, as well as provide consistent coverage for all the products negotiated.”

Enhancing efficiency

*Taken directly from the county’s press release.

The County of Santa Clara’s principal product is public services, which are provided by more than 15,000 employees spread across 26 diverse agencies and departments. Among the services are the operation of a public hospital and health system, a 45,000 acre system of urban and mountain parks, trails, lakes, streams and open space, tax collection, social services, law and justice operations, roads and airports, and conducting elections. In short, the County could be described as a conglomerate.

According to the CLT, until recently, various County departments made technology decisions in isolation, which led to fragmentation, redundancies and unnecessary costs. The CLT provides opportunities for employee teams to tackle some of the County’s toughest and most immediate issues, and transform operations. The team of managers assigned to technology determined that by consolidating and leveraging technology dollars the County could achieve considerable savings and efficiencies, and create a foundation for broader integration of IT business solutions.

The County has numerous remote field staff, which creates the need to share information electronically in a secure, confidential manner, consistent with regulations that govern privacy and other sensitive information. This new approach will increase the mobility of workers by providing access virtually anywhere, any time and with any device, and will provide the ability to share documents across the organization electronically, which is mostly completed manually today. The cost to the County will be $3.6 million annually for the entire workforce. Prior to this agreement, only half of the County staff was covered at a cost of $3.3 million.