As new technologies continue to transform our communities, local government organizations have no choice but to meet the demands of change. This is why the City of Littleton undertook the mammoth task of a city-wide transition from Microsoft Outlook to Google in 2014.
“For the most part, Cities and Counties have a done a good job of keeping up to date,” said City of Littleton Information Services Director Ken Price (pictured left), invited by Colorado Municipal League (CML) and Alliance for Innovation (AFI) to share his city’s story with others.
As productivity software and platforms are behind-the-scenes of everyday work-flow, the City of Littleton’s changeover “impacted every single user,” said Price. The transition required the City to focus on change management alongside project management.
The switch to Google was doled out in three phases over three months. The City used multiple mass email campaigns to spread the word and placed considerable effort into training staff. Littleton used live video and prepared volunteers from every department to teach their peers how to use the Google Apps for Government system. “We learned the better way to do the training is hands-on,” Price commented. Nearly a year after launch, a survey showed a 60 percent approval rate for the new system. Now two years later, Price said he hasn’t heard any complaints.
Google Sales Manager Jeff Brown (pictured right) explained that the tech giant has developed a system specifically for governments and that benefits of Google Apps include access to email, calendar and shared work documents from any device, at any time and from anywhere. It also includes unlimited user-built websites, largely increased storage space and improved email record keeping capabilities.
Other Colorado cities, towns and villages are preparing to make similar changes in technology. Not all of them are using Google for their system upgrade, but those attending CML’s Tech Talk agreed that the most daunting part of the change is the transition itself.
“We want employees to feel excited for the change, not scared by it,” said Julie Pasillas, Resources and Sustainability Coord. for the Town of Firestone, which is currently working to implement a whole new system.
(Pictured above: Pascale Pring and Julie Pasillas of the Town of Firestone)
(Pictured: Denver capitol as seen from CML)
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