Google Apps Misses Los Angeles Migration Deadline

This is a case where the headline says it all. A Google Apps rollout at the City of Los Angeles has missed its migration deadline, the Los Angeles Times reports. The roadblock? The Los Angeles Police Department, which is refusing to move off the old system to Google's SaaS-based approach. Here's why.

Let’s take a step back. When Google and Los Angeles finalized the high-profile deal back in December 2009, both sides said the deal aimed at helping the municipal government save on infrastructure costs. But MSPmentor noted that privacy concerns could hold the project back.

That turned out to be prophetic. May 2010 brought rumors that the LAPD had security and compliance concerns that were holding up the project. Google itself dispelled those rumors for us the next day, and migration appeared to be proceeding apace.

Fast forward to July 2010: The LA Times story says Google missed the June 30th deadline, leaving almost 20,000 city workers on an aging Novell legacy platform and forcing the city to pay licenses for both systems -- at a cost that could reach as much as $400,000 over the next year. The cause? The Los Angeles Police Department and their dissatisfaction with the SaaS platform’s security.

“Google executive Jocelyn Ding said the company was committed to fulfilling its contract but admitted that it had missed ‘some details’ in the original requirements,” writes the LA Times.

Naturally, no one’s happy: the City of Los Angeles is left scratching its head as to how their great bargain didn't encompass LAPD requirements, and Google’s committed themselves to picking up the tab on the legacy system until at least November, according to the report.

The City of Los Angeles engagement was supposed to be Google's poster child for SaaS email replacing more traditional on-premises email systems from Microsoft, IBM Lotus and Novell. Google seems serious about the enterprise space,  but we're curious to see how other potential Google Apps customers react to the City of Los Angeles situation.

Google doesn’t appear to have commented on the matter publicly beyond the above quote, and the official Los Angeles migration project blog has been silent since June 23rd, 2010. Needless to say, MSPmentor is keeping its ears open for further developments.

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