Irish council switches to Google Apps

Fermanagh District Council has decided to switch to using Google Apps for its email services.  The decision was made because the council felt that by moving to Google it would reduce the costs of maintaining an in-house email system.

The council was previously using Lotus Notes, and was searching for an alternative when approached by a Google app reseller, Baker Security Networks.

Robert Baker who is chief executive of the company told irishtimes.com: “The solution they’ve gone for has the potential to be their entire office environment but initially they’re just using it to replace Lotus Notes for email.”

Mr. Baker added: “County councils seem to be particularly up to speed on this because they’re under a lot of financial pressures…”

In general local authorities don’t have the automatic right to make a switch to the likes of Google Apps.  However, according to Mr. Baker the British Government recently said that councils could use cloud-based systems provided the risk of doing so is low.  The Prime Minister’s Office is also trialling Google’s system at the moment.

Fermanagh Council, however, has also managed to work out a tiered system for sensitive information.  So, the security issue is solved.

Signing up Fermanagh District Council will, I think, be a tremendous coup for a relatively small company like Baker Security Networks.  However, the latter appears to be having great success as it recently signed up its 100th business apps customer.  Robert Baker also said that his business now supports over 90,000 Google users.

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