Free Email To Cost City $1.5 Million Extra

That city deal to take on Google's free email services as a cost-cutting measure will actually cost the taxpayers $1.5 million more next year than if City Hall would have stayed with its old email system.

In what seems like bizarre math, Google competitor Novell points out that the cost of training employees and migrating the city's thousands of workers to gmail will cost an additonal $1.5 mil. Indeed, the city is actually paying out $.7.2 million as part of a deal with Computer Sciences Corp. to help employees migrate to the Google services. It's apparently more than the cost of maintaining its old email system.

Novell, which was bidding to take of city email services, is mad: "With the City facing a massive budget deficit, the speculated budget

benefits of switching to this untested application are enticing, but as

a recent independent Los Angeles City Administrative Officer report has

stated, the proposed system under consideration will actually cost

taxpayers an additional $1.5 million in the first year. There are

significant costs to migrating, training and securing Google Apps."

The question is, who needs to be trained how to use gmail? The city can probably save money on the Google service in the long run after its employees have been "trained," but still, it seems strange that, at a time when the city faces $100 million budget shortfall and possible future deficits that could be higher, we're paying an extra $1.5 million to use free email.

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