Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome!

We realize that you have A LOT of questions about this decision and migration!  It is our goal to provide as much information as possible as we work through our migration strategy and plans.  

Your feedback will be a valuable resource and enable us to make adjustments along the way so your comments and concerns are encouraged. OIT staff will review all questions and some will be added to this dynamic Frequently Asked Questions document.  
General   Email   Calendar   Contacts   Drive/Docs   Mobile   Other

Contents

  1. 1 ABOUT THE DECISION
    1. 1.1 Why are we consolidating to Google Apps for Government?
    2. 1.2 What if we don't consolidate?
    3. 1.3 Why did we choose Google?
    4. 1.4 What is Google Apps for Government?
    5. 1.5 How mature is this technology?
    6. 1.6 Google's privacy policy allows them to collect data. Does this create an issue for the state?
  2. 2 DEPARTMENTS/AGENCIES IMPACTED
    1. 2.1 What departments and agencies are included in the move to Google?
    2. 2.2 What departments are not included in the project?
  3. 3 PREPARING FOR THE MOVE TO GOOGLE
    1. 3.1 How can I prepare for the move?
    2. 3.2 Is there a test environment that applications can access to test the changes to email connection parameters?
    3. 3.3 If we have a number of work flow intensive applications like timesheets, purchase orders, help desk systems etc., how would they seamlessly hook into this solution?
    4. 3.4 How was the transition of Microsoft applications to Google Apps received by the end users during other migrations?
    5. 3.5 What change or cultural management has been successful in the past?
    6. 3.6 What amount of productivity loss has been experienced with switching to Google Apps?
    7. 3.7 What will be the ongoing costs after we migrate?
  4. 4 DATA MIGRATION
    1. 4.1 Will all of my mail in Groupwise move over to Google?
    2. 4.2 Will all of my calendar events in Groupwise move over to Google?
    3. 4.3 Will all of my Microsoft Exchange email move over to Google?
    4. 4.4 Will all of my calendar events in Exchange move over to Google?
    5. 4.5 Will my archived personal folders (.PST) move to Google?
  5. 5 ACCESSING GOOGLE APPS
    1. 5.1 Will I be able to access Google Apps remotely?
    2. 5.2 How and when will I get my log in and password?
    3. 5.3 How do I log on to Google Apps for Government?
    4. 5.4 How will I access my email and calendar?
    5. 5.5 Do I have to use Google Chrome as my browser?
    6. 5.6 If I already have a personal Gmail account, will I be able to log in to both my personal and my work email accounts?
    7. 5.7 What if I have a conflicting account because I used my "Colorado Address" address for a Google consumer service like Picassa?
    8. 5.8 Will I be able to use all of the applications in the Google Apps For Government suite?
    9. 5.9 Can I access my Google Apps account from another email program?
    10. 5.10 Can I access Google Apps for Government offline?
    11. 5.11 Can I access Google Mail and Calendar on my mobile device?
    12. 5.12 I have an older computer. What are the system requirements for Google Apps for Government?
    13. 5.13 How long will it take me to get up to speed with Google Apps?
    14. 5.14 Can I open my email or calendar in new tab (not a new window)?
    15. 5.15 Do I need to use the VPN to access Google Apps when I'm offsite?
  6. 6  REQUIREMENTS AND LANGUAGE SUPPORT
    1. 6.1 Which web browsers can I use with Google Apps?
    2. 6.2 Are there any other system requirements?
    3. 6.3 Is Google Apps For Government ADA compliant and what features does is have for screen reader users?
    4. 6.4 What languages does Google Apps support?
  7. 7 ACCESSING GROUPWISE
    1. 7.1 Can I access Google Apps before my GroupWise account is migrated?
    2. 7.2 Can I still work with my colleagues who use GroupWise?
  8. 8 eDISCOVERY, LEGAL HOLDS AND RETENTION
    1. 8.1 How does eDiscovery work?
    2. 8.2 What is a typical scenario for legal holds on email when using Google Apps?
    3. 8.3 What is a typical scenario for legal holds on email when using Google Apps?
    4. 8.4 Can I set specific data retention limits for my department or a division within my department?
    5. 8.5 How long are emails and documents retained in the cloud once they are deleted from an end user's email? This question is asked in the context of ensuring that documents are no longer available on servers pursuant to legal document retention requirements, audit recommendations or other requirements. In other words, will agencies be able to "manage" data retention through policy or some other manner so it would not be retained any longer than it would if stored on-premise.

ABOUT THE DECISION

Why are we consolidating to Google Apps for Government?

The State of Colorado has historically operated on-premise email solutions for approximately 20 years. These solutions are currently deployed across 17 Executive Branch agencies with about 29,000 licensed mailboxes. These existing systems are disparate, inefficient and costly to manage. Email is a mission-critical service that has potential for increased efficiency and cost savings for the State. OIT identified email consolidation as a key initiative in our FY12 Playbook.

What if we don't consolidate?

The implications to the State of not consolidating email for the Executive Branch are threefold: 1) there is a high probability that we will continue to be at risk for security breaches; 2) email services availability will continue to degrade; and 3) costs will continue to rise. Furthermore, OIT will not be in a position to meet the current or future business needs of our customers. 

Why did we choose Google?

Access on the go - Google offers a true web-based solution that allows access to email, calendar and other features through any device that has access to the Internet.

Speed to deployment - Given the procurement flexibility, the State can establish a contract with the Google integrator within eight (8) weeks.  This will enable the State to initiate migration planning sooner to support the goal of migrating all agencies no later than end of the calendar year 2012 to start realizing the potential cost savings.

Simplified cost model - Google offers one type of user license and this license includes all features/functionality offered at the same low cost.  Microsoft offers tiered user types, each of which includes different features/functionality at different costs.

Integrated messaging, documents and collaboration applications - Email, calendar, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, business class instant messaging, web site and collaboration development tools, video sharing and more, are all integrated into one solution.  They are not “add-ons” to the base product.


Data in the US - All government data resides in the government cloud, not the public or consumer Google cloud.  Government data is segregated, caged, and resides in a US data center.

Training and end user ease - Google offers formal classroom training on site and a comprehensive online Training Center which includes web based training, online training targeted to specific features/functionality, and tips & tricks for using Google.

What is Google Apps for Government?

Google Apps for Government is a suite of web-based messaging and collaboration applications hosted externally over the Internet at Google facilities. The benefits of Google Apps for Government include robust collaboration features and enhance functionality for end users. To access these applications, you simply use a web browser on a device that's connected to the Internet. 


How mature is this technology?

Google Apps For Government is the most mature, reliable, secure cloud technology available today. The solution offers technology upgrade without the price tag of investing in a new platform because it is a hosted solution that requires no hardware to be bought, installed, configured or maintained.

Google's privacy policy allows them to collect data. Does this create an issue for the state?

The State of Colorado is using Google Apps for Government, which includes Gmail, Calendar, Groups, Talk, Docs, Sites and Video. These core services are governed by the Apps for Government contract, which defines specific confidentiality and security obligations for how Google will handle and store our data. Colorado's contract supersedes Google's Privacy Policy for these core services. Your own personal Google accounts are still subject to Google's Privacy Policy, but Google will in no way connect your Google Apps for Government (work) account to your own (personal) Google account.

This blog post from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, another Google Apps for Government customer, provides helpful information in better understanding the privacy policy.

DEPARTMENTS/AGENCIES IMPACTED

What departments and agencies are included in the move to Google?


Agriculture

Corrections

Governor’s Office (GEO, OEDIT, OIT, Governors Office)

Health Care Policy & Financing

History Colorado

Human Services

Labor & Employment

Local Affairs

Military & Veterans Affairs

Natural Resources

Personnel & Administration

Public Health & Environment

Public Safety

Regulatory Agencies

Revenue

Transportation

     • Treasury


What departments are not included in the project?


Department of Education

Department of Law

Higher Education Institutions

Secretary of State

Legislative  Branch

     • Judicial Branch


PREPARING FOR THE MOVE TO GOOGLE

How can I prepare for the move?

We will be providing several training opportunities to all state employees. Training is a great opportunity for you to gain an overview of the applications and learn important tips and tricks to improve your Google knowledge and productivity. All employees are strongly encouraged to participate in training.

Is there a test environment that applications can access to test the changes to email connection parameters?

We do have a test environment and we will be creating a standardized electronic form to allow us to set up accounts most effectively within the test environment for the departments to test as they wish to confirm integration.
If these tests involve a distribution to multiple persons within your department, this is one form of testing that is welcome. However, if this is a test of the application sending email message to a diverse group of internal and external users, we will need to discuss our options.

If we have a number of work flow intensive applications like timesheets, purchase orders, help desk systems etc., how would they seamlessly hook into this solution?

OIT and our integrator will work with each department/agency to identify which applications need to be integrated to the Google solution on a case-by-case basis and provide an integration plan as well as level of effort and potential associated cost. Our integrator has integrated Google Apps with other applications for a number of clients.

How was the transition of Microsoft applications to Google Apps received by the end users during other migrations?

(Response courtesy of SIPA) Customers have reported increases in productivity gains by adopting Google Docs. The majority of users only leverage 50%-60% of features in MS Office. Most organizations decommission up to 80% of their Office licenses and retain 20% for their Power Users who need the more advanced features.

What change or cultural management has been successful in the past?

(Response courtesy SIPA) Organizational Change Management (OCM) is a key component to a successful Google Apps for Government deployment. OIT will work closely with our integrator to develop a successful OCM Plan as part of this project. The integrator will be responsible for providing a Change Management Plan and a step-by-step process to move us from one email platform to Google.

What amount of productivity loss has been experienced with switching to Google Apps?

(Response courtesy of SIPA) None. If anything, we have seen productivity gains immediately realized throughout an organization with the use of Docs, Sites and Chat. Workflow is often streamlined and shortened considerably. OIT will work with our integrator to identify specific productivity gains that may be realized as part of the migration to Google Apps for Government solution.

What will be the ongoing costs after we migrate?

Check back for more detail.


DATA MIGRATION

Will all of my mail in Groupwise move over to Google?

If you are a Groupwise user all of your email on the email server will be migrated over to Google. However, your Groupwise archives will not be included as part of the Google e-mail migration. As we get closer to the move over to Google, you will receive instructions on how to forward those archives to Google. 

Will all of my calendar events in Groupwise move over to Google?

Your calendar events and meetings in Google dating back 90 days as well as forward 90 days will be migrated over to Google calendar. All recurring meeting/events you have in Groupwise will migrate over as individual occurrences. 

Will all of my Microsoft Exchange email move over to Google?

All of your email on the server will be moved over to Google. Any personal folders (.PST) you have saved in Exchange will not be moved over as part of the Google migration. However there is a self-service tool that you will have access to that will assist you in manually moving these files over to Google. You will receive more information on how and when to use this tool as we get closer to the date of the move to Google. 

Will all of my calendar events in Exchange move over to Google?

All future calendar events will be moved to Google.  Calendar events dating back three months will be moved to Google Calendar  as well. 

Will my archived personal folders (.PST) move to Google?

No, you will need to use a tool called GAMMO to move them to your new Google account.  You will receive information on how and when to do that. Outlook via GAMMO uses a MAPI connection and not IMAP or POP. The State will disable IMAP and POP but enable MAPI so users can activate full syncronization with GAMMO. GAMMO will give users a much richer experience with Google Apps, include Free/Busy look ups against Google and other features not supported with IMAP/POP.  

ACCESSING GOOGLE APPS

Will I be able to access Google Apps remotely?

Yes, you can easily access your Google Apps For Government account by going to www.google.com from any computer that has access to the internet and clicking on gmail. You'll be asked to enter your id and password.

How and when will I get my log in and password?

Information will be sent out before the go live date. 

How do I log on to Google Apps for Government?

Click on the Google Chrome icon that has been installed on your desktop. Alternatively, you can go to http://accounts.google.com and sign in with your full email address (Including the @state.co.us) and password.

How will I access my email and calendar?

Google Apps For Government is a web-based service that will be accessible from any device that has access to the Internet. This may be your desktop at work, your smart phone, your iPad or your laptop at home. As long as you have access to the Internet, you will have access to your email, calendar and docs, stored in Google Apps For Government.  It is important to note that after November 15th Google will no longer support Internet Explorer 8 and lower. You can read the story here.

Do I have to use Google Chrome as my browser?

For the State of Colorado Chrome is the browser to use with Google Apps For Government. Internet Explorer will remain the default go-to Internet browser supported by the State of Colorado. It is important to note that after November 15th Google will no longer support Internet Explorer 8 and lower. 

Internet Explorer remains the browser supported by the majority of State of Colorado applications. However, some features in Google Apps For Government are currently only available when using the Chrome browser. 

If I already have a personal Gmail account, will I be able to log in to both my personal and my work email accounts?

Yes, Google allows this dual access.


What if I have a conflicting account because I used my "Colorado Address" address for a Google consumer service like Picassa?

You will need to follow the instructions that pop up asking you to move your data to a personal Gmail account. Here are the instructions for you to study in advance.

Will I be able to use all of the applications in the Google Apps For Government suite?

The focus of our deployment will be Mail and Calendar, however all other products/features will be enabled. If approved by your agency you will be able to use Google Docs and Sites.  

Can I access my Google Apps account from another email program?

No, the State of Colorado does not support the use of POP3 or IMAP to access your Google Mail in another email program, such as Outlook or Thunderbird.

Can I access Google Apps for Government offline?

Yes, Google has offline access that enables you to select what data and how much you can access while offline. 

Can I access Google Mail and Calendar on my mobile device?

Yes, Google supports BlackBerry, Palm, iPhone, Android and Palm/Treo Smartphones.

I have an older computer. What are the system requirements for Google Apps for Government?

Because Google Apps runs in a web browser, you only need a supported browser and access to the Internet.

How long will it take me to get up to speed with Google Apps?

You should be able to begin sending and receiving mail, scheduling calendar events, and managing contacts right away, without any trouble. Becoming accustomed to Gmail's unique mail management features such as  conversations and labels can take a bit longer. Within a week, however, many people find they are not only comfortable with Google Apps, but they appreciate the benefits and no longer miss their old application.

Can I open my email or calendar in new tab (not a new window)?

Yes, if you set up your browser to open links in a new window or tab.

If you are working in Chrome, links will always automatically open in a new tab.

Tip: If you want to open Google Mail or Calendar in a new tab instead of a new window, change your settings in Internet Explorer. Go to Tools >Internet Options>Tabs>Settings, and click Let Internet Explorer choose how to open pop-ups

Do I need to use the VPN to access Google Apps when I'm offsite?

No, you can just go to you Google Apps URL to access your email and calendar. You can also go to http://accounts.google.com and sign in with your full email and password.

 REQUIREMENTS AND LANGUAGE SUPPORT

Which web browsers can I use with Google Apps?

Google Apps supports the following other browsers 
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer 9+
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0+
  • Safari 

Are there any other system requirements?

No. Because Google Apps runs in a web browser, you just need to use a supported browser.

Is Google Apps For Government ADA compliant and what features does is have for screen reader users?


What languages does Google Apps support?

The interface for both Google Apps Email and Google Calendar is available in over 50 languages. For a list of the available languages and instructions on how to set a different language, refer to the Gmail Help Center.

ACCESSING GROUPWISE

Can I access Google Apps before my GroupWise account is migrated?

No, you can't access Google Apps until we migrate your account from GroupWise to Google Apps.

Can I still work with my colleagues who use GroupWise?

Yes, you can continue to send and receive email with people using GroupWise. 

eDISCOVERY, LEGAL HOLDS AND RETENTION

How does eDiscovery work?

Check back for more detail.

What is a typical scenario for legal holds on email when using Google Apps?

Each agency within the State of Colorado will set its own retention policy and determine if data needs to have a litigation hold placed on it. 

What is a typical scenario for legal holds on email when using Google Apps?

Each agency within the State of Colorado will set its own retention policy and determine if data needs to have a litigation hold placed on it. 

Can I set specific data retention limits for my department or a division within my department?

Yes, with the release of Google Vault you can set custom data retention limits that are specific and unique to your department.  Vault also has functionality pertaining to eDiscovery.  Your IT Director has additional information.

How long are emails and documents retained in the cloud once they are deleted from an end user's email? This question is asked in the context of ensuring that documents are no longer available on servers pursuant to legal document retention requirements, audit recommendations or other requirements. In other words, will agencies be able to "manage" data retention through policy or some other manner so it would not be retained any longer than it would if stored on-premise.

For Google Email: the price for each license will include archiving. The specific retention period will be maintained depending on whether we purchase the one year or ten year archiving option. The one year option enables you to set a retention period for up to one year. The ten year option enables you to set a retention period of up to ten years or any length in between. If a user deletes an item from their email, Google will continue to have a record of that item based on the selected retention period. If an organization does not select archiving, the item is deleted thirty days after the user deletes it. 
For Google Docs: Docs are removed from the system when a user deletes them in real time. 
You do not have to decide today which level of archiving you would like. OIT will work with your department/agency during the migration planning


Back to Top