Google Apps Integration

Case Study

Grand Traverse County and Traverse City Have Gone Google

Editor's Note: G Suite is FedRAMP compliant. FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

On March 19, 2012, Grand Traverse County in collaboration with the City of Traverse City migrated from the Lotus Notes email platform to G Suite. G Suite, which supports over 525 employees, is the first major cloud application that has been embraced by the County and City.

There were many reasons that Google was chosen, but chief among them were:
  • Easy and secure access from anywhere
  • Innovative platform for sharing documents with new features constantly added
  • Simplicity in synchronizing email, calendars, and contacts with smart phones
  • No desktop software to install or servers to maintain
  • Average mailbox quotas were expanded from 400MB to 25GB (an increase of 62 times)
  • Integrated anti-spam, antivirus, and archiving.

Board approval was given at the end of 2011 with a three month time table to implement. For the implementation the County selected Onix as the system integrator. Onix fully utilized the resources of G Suite for the project by providing shared project plan documents, communication templates, and a custom learning site with documentation and videos for employees. Training was offered to all employees through online webinars.

The IT Staff managed the setup and conversion from Lotus Notes. Using a free tool provided by Google, emails, calendars, and contacts were migrated into G Suite. The IT Department also had a group of 45 volunteers in the County and City that agreed to be “Google Guides” to assist their fellow employees during the transition. The Google Guides were trained in G Suite and migrated a month earlier than their peers. They served as the first point of contact within their department when the final switchover was done. With help from the Google Guides, the IT Department was able to provide a smooth transition to the new environment.

County and City employees have told the IT Department they are excited about the new platform and can’t wait to try many of the new collaborative tools offered by G Suite. The IT Department also likes G Suite since it simplifies user setups and server support shifts to Google. This is a win-win for everyone.

Don Sheehan, Grand Traverse County IT Director

Traverse County

U.S. State & Local Government




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