Yet another government agency has made the move to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud productivity system instead of Google Apps. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, located in California, has selected Office 365 to meet the privacy and security requirements of the FBI, and enable mobile workers along with streamlining communications.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize that if we can get information to a deputy on the streets faster, we can be safer and take care of the communities much better,” said Shannon Dicus, commander of the information services division, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “That’s really where the return on investment lies.”
Due to budget constraints and a three-year distributed upgrade cycle, the Sheriff’s department had multiple locations running different software. Now, with Office 365, the department has a solution that meets privacy and security requirements of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS) for data access and management.
“I think the ‘aha’ moment for me was when I actually reviewed the documentation that Microsoft had put together for regulatory compliance,” said Ted Byerly, systems development team leader, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “It went over and above what we expected. They understand what those compliance and regulatory bodies are saying and doing, and they’ve met those requirements.”
“As a result of using this technology, we’re able to free up some of our employees who have historically been tasked with maintaining our servers”
In the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, the Sheriff’s department is typically one of the first to be on the front lines of the emergency. They need to have access to information as quickly as possible. With Office 365, department employees can connect to systems and access data even when the power is out. This means officers can better and more efficiently serve the community in adverse conditions or scenarios.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s adoption of Office 365 will begin with a rollout of 200 seats in April 2014, completed in partnership with Planet Technologies, followed by a phased implementation of an additional 2,800 seats. The department will also utilize Lync video conferencing to hold face-to-face meetings virtually. The department also plans to deploy 100 Dell devices running Windows 8.1, which meet CJIS and CLETS standards and allow secured, mobile access to data.
“As a result of using this technology, we’re able to free up some of our employees who have historically been tasked with maintaining our servers,” said John McMahon, sheriff, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “Those employees will now be able to work on things that will make our deputy sheriffs’ jobs easier. As we continue moving forward, our goal is to provide the best service to the citizens we serve and make access to critical information more available.”
Another victory for Office 365 and Microsoft!Further reading: Google Apps, Office 365, Windows 8.1