The long awaited State of California enterprise email contract was officially signed last week ending more than a year of state planning and procurement activity to consolidate over 100 email systems for its over 200,000 state users. The somewhat tortuous path finally led to a reported $50 million contract agreement between the state and (until 2008 El Segundo, CA-based) Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), now headquartered in Falls Church, VA. (Editor’s note: Please don’t fall into that trap of thinking another major business exodus from the Golden State in any way reflects the onerous regulatory, tax or overall business environment California; but I digress).
CSC’s Microsoft based solution was chosen after initial intent to award notification to Compucom, also proposing a hosted Outlook solution, was abandoned by the state during subsequent contract negotiations.
This competition was originally billed by the IT community and throughout the technology trade magazines as a showdown in the escalating enterprise email wars between Microsoft and insurgent Google G-mail.
Interestingly, Google chose this past summer to abandon its bid effort on this heavyweight showdown crying foul over the state’s bidding process which Google claimed was designed for Microsoft to win. At that time, Google, fresh after its much ballyhooed victory over Microsoft in a similar enterprise email competition in LA, primed intriguingly also by CSC, was expected to offer the Redmond-based Microsoft a real battle in Sacramento.
While CSC’s signature on the state contract now takes some of the air out of Google’s government enterprise email balloon, it also sets the stage for some interesting, good ol’ fashion competitive government action carefully crafted by State CIO Teri Takai and Office of Technology Services (OTech) CTO Adrian Farley. They may not want to officially portray it this way, but the award formally throws down the gauntlet between the CSC hosted email cloud and OTech’s more traditional state data center hosted Outlook model, as they now will essentially compete to provide for 130 state agencies’ email requirements.
First stage department migrations to the new CSC hosted cloud are expected beginning in the spring of 2011.
Let the competitive government games begin, and hopefully we’ll begin to see more of this… Competition is a good thing – in business, in elections, in schools, and in providing government services.
Posted by John Thomas Flynn