Maryland transitions to Google Apps


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Maryland has gone Google.

Gregory Urban, Maryland deputy chief information officer, said the state is busy transitioning its 54,000 employees from disparate email systems to the Google Apps for Government offering.

“State employees now have a stronger sense they are a part of One Maryland, a team representing the state government serving Maryland’s 5.9 million residents,” Urban wrote on the Google Enterprise blog.

Previously, each of Maryland’s 60 agencies ran its own email system using everything from Microsoft Exchange and Novell to in-house platforms. By going to Google, Maryland was able to consolidate its email offerings and create a better security posture that could be defended from one central point.

“Instead of each agency buying and running its own security systems, now Google lets us secure data on a global, enterprisewide scale,” Urban said. “From a central IT point of view, Google Apps lets us execute mobile device management and data leak prevention across all agencies, as well as track every email and document. Previously, each individual IT department had to install appliances to manage these issues on their own.”

Maryland’s State Police has already adopted Gmail for all 2,000 employees, including all 1,400 sworn officers. They also use Google Drive to streamline daily workflow, access laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

The police also use Docs, Forms and Spreadsheets to regularly report incidents, arrests and investigations, cutting a sergeant’s weekly reporting job that used to take six to seven hours now to less than one hour.

One employee built a system in Spreadsheets to manage the schedule of the troopers across all shifts, making it easy to track hours worked, leave hours, and that schedules adhere to agency policy. Previously, this was done using printouts and pencils, creating complications across 1,400 troopers in 22 barracks throughout the state.

“We’re impressed at how effectively Google Apps has brought disparate agencies closer together, making us into a stronger team,” Urban said.

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