Google Hooray for the GSA

December 2, 2010

Short honk: Pay dirt. After a decade of effort, the Google hits pay dirt. You can read the good news in “US General Services Administration Is Going Google.” Google has officially put the head clamp on such suppliers as IBM and Microsoft in this “unit” of the Executive Branch. What’s next for the company that delivers these benefits:

Modern email and collaboration tools will help make employees more efficient and effective. Google Apps will bring GSA a continual stream of new and innovative features, helping the agency keep pace with advances in technology in the years ahead. And taxpayers will benefit too—by reducing the burden of in-house maintenance and eliminating the need to replace hardware to host its email systems, GSA expects to lower costs by 50 percent over the next five years.

Three for-sures:

  1. More marketing excitement, particularly for the big losers in this deal. Anyone remember the IBM contract to make over the GSA’s computer systems or the wide spread use of Microsoft Word and the presenters’ best friend PowerPoint. The champ of spreadsheet fever will be juiced up as well.
  2. The non Google agencies are likely to watch both the Department of Interior squabble with Google and the acceptance of Google goodness in the GSA very closely. The GSA may be the agency to watch in the next 24 months.
  3. The users in the GSA will be where the rubber meets the road. I expect finding documents to be a key indicator and, of course, the sizzle of the presentations generated with the Google tools.

A pat on the back for the Google DC team. Now for the other two dozen executive branch agencies, the House, the Senate, the legal eagles, and, yes, the Department of Defense. The DOD does like its PowerPoint, a program that may have suppressed more action than any other military software.

Stephen E Arnold, December 1, 2010



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