City of Columbia Transitioning to Google Applications

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COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia told KOMU 8 Wednesday the city will make a transition to Google Applications. The city's current e-mail and web-based communication contract will expire in April.

The city is most concerned with revamping the calendar and e-mail applications.

"We needed a more modern program, especially for e-mail and calendar," communications officer Renee Graham said. "Our current e-mail system has been in effect for 15 years."

The city spent $71,618.50 for the Google application service. The city chose Google because it has more capabilities, such as Google documents, video chat and calendar.

The change will also allow locals and the city to better communicate with each other. Currently, the city has to e-mail or mail a document request to someone, but under the new Google application, they can be shared instantly to a Google document.

The project will happen in four phases. The first pilot phase begins this month, where a small group of city employees will utilize the switch. The second is a mock phase beginning in early-March through early-April, where 10 percent will use the system and provide feedback. The third is the live phase and will begin in mid-April, where all staff will transition. The final transition will take place in June where everything will be fully migrated over to the new system.