Read up on how SADA Systems has helped small businesses, enterprises, government agencies, educational institutions and non-profits all "go Google"!
Franklin County is a county located in South Central Pennsylvania and is comprised of 15 townships and 7 boroughs. It encompasses 771.9 square miles and had a 2010 U.S. Census population of 149,618. This represents a continued trend of increase since 1970 (100,833) and continuing with the 1980 (113,629), 1990 (121,082), and 2000 (129,313) census figures. This is a 48% increase in population in 40 years and a 16% increase since 2000.
Prior to moving to Google Apps, Franklin County had approximately 650 users on Novell GroupWise and decided to take a closer look at their technology workflows and processes. Sean Crager, CIO of Franklin County, was brought onboard to evaluate and modernize Franklin County’s aging technology environment, which at the time, could not effectively support the growth the County was experiencing. As the 4th fastest growing county in Pennsylvania, Franklin County had to increase the volume of services delivered to an increasing number of citizens, while keeping internal operations as budget neutral as possible. Crager focused first on email, noting that email is the County’s primary driver of productivity. He noted various pain points including the costs associated with hosting all their data on-premise. Due to the structure of their previous IT systems, Franklin County had to maintain 1 server for each of their buildings, totaling about 10 different servers for each of their offices. The County also had a slower network, and struggled with very slow backups and limited storage space, with email alone consuming ½ terabyte of storage. Additionally, Franklin County’s email retention and archiving solution did not fully suit the County’s needs, and was not considered user-friendly by the majority of the staff. Crager knew that the staff of Franklin County needed a solution that was more agile. and engaged SADA Systems to assist the County with getting out of hosted email and into the cloud.
After considering different options, Crager knew that moving to the cloud was the most optimal choice to realize the benefits the County needed, and wanted a cloud solution that would increase user productivity while being intuitive and easy to manage. Google Apps stood out to Crager due to the high adoption rate of Gmail: Crager’s team surveyed all county employees and found 35% of employees were already using Gmail as their personal email solution. Crager chose SADA Systems as their deployment partner due to their unique expertise migrating users from Novell GroupWise to Google Apps.
SADA migrated approximately 650 users to Google Apps for Government, and assisted Franklin County with the adoption of Google Vault as their email retention and compliance solution. In addition to Gmail, Franklin County also adopted Google Drive and Google Docs as a robust document management and collaboration solution, with the added benefit of increased mobility. Franklin County also uses Google Forms and Google Sheets to collect information from various departments, without engaging the assistance of IT. Crager also notes that Franklin County is looking to more fully rolling out Google Sites in order to re-do their internal intranet and further improve departmental communications.
Franklin County also worked with SADA’s Training Department to assist with change management and training as the County switched platforms. This included campaigns to create excitment regarding the move to Google Apps, customized for Franklin County. “We used 70s TV shows and took goofy picture of the staff,” said Crager. “We got end-users engaged in the process and had them looking forward to seeing what picture would come next. The people skills were what I appreciated from the SADA team - moving email platforms is one of the last things people want to do, at the end of the day, and it helped us soften the blow and make it fun.”
By moving to Google Apps, Franklin County no longer has to deal with the cost and resource expenditures of maintaining 10 servers, resulting in huge savings for the County. Additionally, with Gmail’s large inbox size of 25 gigabytes, staff members no longer have to be concerned or feel limited in their communication efforts. Expenditures on licensing and electricity usage have reduced significantly, and with Google Vault, Franklin County no longer needs to deal with the costs associated with maintaining their former email retention solution. Google mobile device management on Androids also helps Franklin County cut spending associated with mobile device management, and built-in spam/virus protection and disaster recovery with Google Apps provides the County a much appreciated cost-avoidance. Franklin County’s total savings for the year, in staff time as well as IT expenditure comes out to over $47,000 annually. By moving to Google Apps, Franklin County is able to reduce their usual IT expenditure by over 50 percent as well as increase productivity and service to its citizens.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) oversees 26 state parks and a variety of wildlife areas, nature centers, and state fishing lakes. The agency employs roughly 420 employees in six divisions: Executive Services, Administrative Services, Information Services, Fisheries and Wildlife, Law Enforcement, and Parks. The department supports multiple offices and remote employees such as natural resource officers, field biologists, various biological technicians and more who utilize mobile devices quite frequently.
KDWP had already been running a Google Apps test program for a few months and appreciated the collaboration and communication capabilities. The initial 45 test users were especially pleased with the availability of the cloud tool suite. Being able to access files from any web browser and the additional calendaring and global directory functionalities played a big part in the department's ultimate decision to go Google. While preparing to migrate all of its email users to Google Apps, the department ran into a slight hiccup--due to government regulations, KDWP is required to maintain its email storage strictly on U.S. premises. Gmail is stored in hyper secure databases all over the world so the goal was to find a way to limit the organization's email storage to only route to U.S. data centers.
SADA Systems was engaged to assist the department with its unique migration requirements. After identifying the organization's specific needs and comprehensively evaluating government regulations for email storage, SADA developed a viable workaround that ensured complete compliance with aforementioned security policies.
But what happened to emails sent to users during the migration when Gmail was essentially turned off? SADA modified Google Message Security, powered by Postini, to quarantine and hold all messages sent to Kansas State Wildlife during the migration period. Once the email migration was complete, SADA released all quarantined emails. Because the timestamp was retained, users were able to see each message in the order they were received.
While the migration was mostly handled by the IT department itself, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Network Administrator, Dan Gasswint, was relieved to have SADA knowledge and expertise with the Google Apps suite at hand. "SADA was really helpful; they answered all of my questions and were pretty well available every time we encountered an issue. We are happy to have had them address problems during the migration and deployment process."
KDWP was able to complete the migration and put Google Apps into production for over 400 employees after 2 months. While employees are still learning about the collaboration opportunities available with Google Apps, the department's interest in going to the cloud is helping drive staff adoption and satisfaction.
Named after Civil War General Nathaniel Lyon, Lyon County is one of the nine original counties in Nevada founded in 1861. Complete with a rich history and beautiful landscape, Lyon County has always been at the forefront for new technologies.
The good people at Lyon County, Nevada had been curious about the collaborative powers of Google Apps for a while. Their current system at the time could not keep up with the county's growing calendaring needs. While Lyon County had considered upgrading its outdated email system, the staff was bound to its legacy email system due to heavy calendar usage and fear of potential IT and end-user downtime.
Although staff was acutely aware of the limited nature of the current email system, many members of the staff were quite accustomed to the UI and experience. The IT department needed to ensure that the Google Apps learning curve was as low as possible to ensure efficiency throughout the bustling county office. SADA's goal was to implement a seamless transition from legacy email system with trained Google Apps Champions leading the way.
Lyon County engaged experienced Google Apps Partner SADA Systems to migrate, deploy and train over 300 users. SADA completed the calendar sync, global address book and email migration over a weekend which resulted in a seamless user experience for staff the following work week.
With Google Apps successfully deployed, SADA set off to train Google Champions. Driven by the old proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," SADA provided in-depth webinar training for over 50 staff members from various departments within Lyon County to curtail dependency on the already overwhelmed IT department. End-users and was also given training material, webinar templates and a Google Site customized to Lyon County's training needs and requirements. Within hours, Lyon County had fully trained Google Champions ready to go on Google Docs, Gmail, Calendar usage and more.
Hazen Adams, IT Director at Lyon County, comments that the "training was awesome." He also adds that "We moved to Google Apps this summer and were anticipating big problems with the migration. But everything went really well, SADA really came through... I think the thing i am most impressed with was the support always available and willing to help."
SADA's migration expertise and savvy Google Apps training enabled Lyon County to achieve a sense of IT autonomy and provided staff with the means to hit the ground running after deployment. As a Google Referred Partner for Google Apps Training, SADA
While Lyon County was SADA's first small government customer, they were certainly not the only. SADA's experience in migrating various government agencies and deep understanding of the needs of the public sector helped to streamline Lyon County's transition to Google Apps.
"We moved to Google Apps this summer and were anticipating big problems with the migration. But everything went really well, SADA really came through." - Hazen Adams, IT Director, Lyon County, NV