State moves to Office 365’s next-generation communication and collaboration capabilities for 35,000 workers.



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REDMOND, Wash. — March 20, 2012 — With an eye toward increasing worker productivity and delivering enhanced constituent services, the State of Minnesota moved to Microsoft Office 365 to upgrade its communication and collaboration systems for markedly increased capacity and capability with no reported downtime or disruption during the migration.

“One of our requirements for adopting Office 365 cloud services was seamless end-user adoption,” said Tarek Tomes, assistant commissioner, Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET). “Microsoft migration methodology allowed us to achieve that.” In two months, the Microsoft Outlook mailboxes for 35,000 state workers were moved, resulting in 50 times more storage capacity.

OET provides IT services to Minnesota’s executive branch, which is composed of more than 70 agencies, and to other public-sector customers (including local governments, cities, counties and educational organizations). With this move, Minnesota is the first U.S. state to adopt a large collaboration and communication suite in a cloud environment. The deployment encompasses all executive branch agencies, and other OET customers also can choose to participate in the use of Office 365.

With Microsoft Corp.’s cloud productivity services, the State of Minnesota can expand its IT capabilities, increase security and markedly reduce costs by taking advantage of the combined demand of all state agencies. “We anticipate many long-term benefits,” Tomes said, mentioning specifically the ability to reduce support-service infrastructure and capital investments.

Office 365 provides a reliable platform with robust security features, reduced administration costs and increased opportunities for cross-agency communication and collaboration to improve delivery of services to Minnesotans.

“The collaborative tools within this suite are excellent, and we have already started using Microsoft SharePoint Online for capturing what’s going on in agencies,” said Carolyn Parnell, State of Minnesota chief information officer. She noted that the change frees employees to perform more innovative technology tasks that the organization values.

“Minnesota’s decision to adopt the Office 365 cloud offering, and successful migration indicates its confidence and trust in a long-term, committed company such as Microsoft,” said Gail Thomas, vice president of State and Local Government at Microsoft. “Governments small and large are looking to Microsoft for security, privacy, scalability and trust in the long-term road map in their IT consolidation choices, and it is our goal to deliver the best possible service to those governments and their citizens as a committed government partner.”

Minnesota is joined by thousands of government agencies that have made a decision to move to Office 365 — New York, the states of California and Nebraska, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and more than 1,000 other local government customers, including Colorado Springs Utilities.

More information on Office 365 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/online-software.aspx. More information on the State of Minnesota’s move to Office 365 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000011770. More information about Microsoft Customer Spotlight is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/customerspotlight.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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