Warwickshire Council adopts Gmail

Warwickshire County Council is to complete a full roll-out of Google Gmail across its 4,500 users next month, in a move that will deliver £250,000 in savings. The services also include Google Docs and instant messenger, spam filtering, video conferencing and more archiving space than the council was previously able to offer, said Tonino Ciuffini, CIO at Warwickshire County Council.

Warwickshire has spent over a year getting from pilot to a full-roll out and had been holding out for the services being available through the G-cloud, its preferred route. However, the services were not available on the second version of the framework, said Ciuffini.

The council looked at three private and public cloud options, including Microsoft Office 365, Google and IBM, Cable and Wireless with Exchange, SCC with Exchange, and open source offering Zimbra via supplier Savvis. But the council chose Google because it was the most cost-effective option.

The services have been accredited up to impact level two (IL2), which Cuiffini said was an appropriate classification for protecting the vast majority of information used within local government. Sensitive information such as social care records wouldn’t be communicated via email, anyway, he said. He added that cloud providers actually have better security expertise than providing the services in-house.

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