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The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously earlier this week to outsource its e-mail system to Google Inc., according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. The contract is worth $7.25 million and covers 30,000 employees.

In June, Washington, D.C. made a similar decision, signing a contract worth almost $500,000 for its 38,000 municipal employees to use Google's e-mail, spreadsheet and word- processing programs, giving them an Internet-based alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Office software, installed on computers, according to Bloomberg.

Interestingly, the chief technical officer responsible for the decision was Vivek Kundra, now Chief Information Officer of the United States. The White House recently decided to migrate its website from proprietary software to Drupal.

Los Angeles plans to complete implementation of the Google system by June and will begin with a pilot period during which a limited number of employees will test the system, the Times said. City law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department will migrate to the new system once they are satisfied with the security and functioning of the system.

Los Angeles worked on the decision for nearly a year, where Google competed with other software vendors, including Microsoft. "Parties on all sides believe that if smaller cities see Los Angeles successfully transition to Google's cloud system, they may be more likely to follow suit," the Times said.

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