The NSW Government will assess the performance of Google App's Gmail against Microsoft 365 in a three month cloud trial underway within shared services provider ServiceFirst.
NSW Finance Minister Greg Pearce today announced that Fronde and Unisys had been selected to roll out a proof of concept of Google and Microsoft-based messaging-as-a-service respectively.
The trials are expected to involve about 100 ServiceFirst staff, but the systems must be scalable to more than 30,000 users.
Fronde's general manager of sales Don McLean told iTnews that the Google pilot has been underway for about a fortnight.
“Our specific remit for this proof-of-concept is around Gmail for Business, but there is also consideration around expanding into other elements of the Google Apps suite such as Hangouts,” he said.
A Department of Finance and Services (DFS) spokesperson said each of the selected cloud pilot vendors would be paid for services delivered over the three months. Specific values have not been released.
The department approached the market in February this year for vendors interested in participating in the ServiceFirst pilots.
The pilots will take place alongside four other NSW Government cloud implementations that are being closely watched by DFS to inform a cloud policy due before the end of the year.
“Cloud is part of the future of ICT service delivery and these pilots will play a key role in helping government make the right decisions about adopting cloud-based solutions,” said Pearce, who has just returned to duties after a period of leave.
They will be used to help NSW navigate issues of efficiency, privacy and the record-keeping obligations of agencies.
Google in government
Fronde is also currently rolling-out Google Apps for the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, the same department that conducted a major ERP consolidation into the cloud last year. The ERP overhaul was reported to be the largest such projected ever conducted by its partner SAP, involving more than 8,500 employees.
Fronde has also delivered Google Apps to Flight Centre and Mortgage Choice.
McLean said he hoped the exposure would grow into bigger opportunities in the future.
“What happens after the pilot is over is not crystal clear, but our hope is that as a result of this the NSW Government will partner with Fronde and Google to implement Google Apps on a much wider scale,” he said.