The City of Boston, located in Massachusetts, has decided to choose Google's cloud offering over Microsoft's offering and move over 27,000 city employees, police, teachers and students to the cloud with Google Apps. Prior to this, Boston was using Microsoft Exchange to manage city email accounts.
As Business Insider reports, this is actually one of the biggest "customers" that Google has managed to swipe away from Microsoft. The city of Boston was named the #1 Digital City in America by the Center for Digital Government back in November of 2013, mainly due to the city’s efforts to engage and connect with constituents using mobile technology and social media.
Boston's Chief Information Officer, Bill Oates, wrote a guest blog post over at Google's Enterprise Blog and revealed the rigorous process in which the city underwent to determine if they were going to choose Office 365 or Google Apps. Oates made it seem that Google Apps was the better option. Here is what Bill Oates had to say.
"As the city evaluated an upgrade to communication and collaboration infrastructure, we clearly saw cloud services as the most cost effective, supportable platform to address our future needs. In 2013, following an extensive review of the market, the city initiated a rigorous RFP process that attracted an wide array of bids, including multiple Microsoft and Google cloud offerings. A selection committee composed of members from our City IT organization, Boston Police, and Boston Public Schools evaluated 10 proposals based on both cost and technical capabilities. The committee unanimously chose Google Apps based on its ability to meet the needs of a fast moving city while providing a secure cloud environment."
Now, this doesn't mean Microsoft was beaten in the cloud market. Not at all. This was a punch to the face but the fight is still going. In fact, Microsoft struck a 100,000-seat deal with the State of Texas back in 2013. Microsoft's very own Kevin Turner even bragged about stealing 430 customers from Google. This small victory for Google simply means Microsoft needs to fight a little bit harder to win.
We await to see what city or state Microsoft woos this year with the company's Office 365 cloud offering.