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Focus of National Study: Alabama gets Unified E-mail System

November 26, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Nov 26, 2007Alabama recently completed a three-year project to unify 20,000 users on 45 separate e-mail systems into one, consolidated infrastructure—and the nation is taking note.  This project was the focus of a case study conducted by Gartner, Inc, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company.  The recently released study highlighted the State’s efforts to more efficiently handle electronic messaging of 250 state agencies.

“Government and citizen communication using email has become just as important as telephone calls,” said Jim Burns, the State’s chief information officer.  “Employees and citizens expect its state government to be able to effectively and efficiently share information electronically in a textual or pictorial format; but before we unified email for the executive branch of state government, this was not happening in Alabama.”

Prior to the consolidation, led by the State Finance Department’s Information Services Division (ISD), agencies had their own systems—many of which were out of date, not secure and not interoperable.  Even the Governor could not communicate with all state employees via email.   Now agencies have the ability to share email addresses and calendars, as well as share in the cost of a robust, reliable system that is free from viruses and mass “spam.”   

“This did not require Huntsville rocket scientists to achieve—just commitment from state government leadership and hard work by ISD and agency technology staff,” continued Burns.

The case study, entitled “State of Alabama Consolidates 45 E-mail Systems,” was conducted by Gartner researcher Matthew W. Cain, dated October 25, 2007.  The study reports “The state of Alabama undertook a two-and-a-half year effort to consolidate 45 disparate e-mail systems into one centralized e-mail system. Costs dropped, stability increased and functionality expanded dramatically as a result.”

Alabama’s state agencies realize the significance of this multiyear project, but taxpayers will also be interested to learn that our state government continues to seek ways to work more efficiently and more effectively for citizens of Alabama.


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