2010-10-22 / Top Stories

City Sets New Technology Agreement

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Carole Post and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have announced a wide-ranging information technology agreement that will consolidate the City’s dozens of individual license agreements into a single one and will provide more than 100,000 City employees with state-of-the-art computing power. Microsoft will provide access to its Internet-based computing services – a growing trend called cloud computing – which will foster collaboration among City employees and allow agencies to share their technology developments. The agreement will also enable the City to maximize cost savings by transitioning from a one-sizefits all approach to more tailored offerings to meet the needs of different types of users. In total, the agreement will save New York City $50 million over the next five years. The announcement took place in the Blue Room of City Hall.

“To deliver services efficiently and function at the highest level, City employees need the same technological resources that top private sector busi nesses provide to their employees,” said Bloomberg. “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we’ve found ways to offer our employees Microsoft’s newest, state-of-the-art computing tools while reducing costs to taxpayers. By capitalizing on the City’s buying power, consolidating dozens of separate City agency license agreements into a single one, and paying for software based on use, we’ll save $50 million over the next five years.”

“Microsoft is excited to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York to deliver the best experience and satisfaction to the City’s citizens and workers,” said Ballmer. “With Microsoft’s latest cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, New York City employees will benefit from having better access to information, improved collaboration and information sharing among city agencies. Additionally, this comprehensive partnership provides the latest in operating system, server and development tools laying a foundation for greater innovation and infrastructure modernization.”

The consolidated partnership with Microsoft is part of a broader effort – called SimpliCity – to make City government more efficient, more electronic, and more effective. Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Goldsmith, the SimpliCity initiative is designed to use technology and data to more efficiently manage operations, reduce costs and streamline interactions between businesses and City government.

“This innovative agreement with Microsoft showcases how technology is transforming – and improving – how we deliver services to New Yorkers. As part of our broader efforts around SimpliCity, it represents a big step towards more efficient, effective City government,” said Goldsmith.

Prior to the agreement, New York City’s various agencies purchased software individually, yielding more than 40 separate license agreements and many more individual maintenance and support packages. This partnership will give the City the ability to manage different employee profiles and maximize efficiencies. The agreement establishes three levels of City software users: those who need only occasional access to specific tools, those who regularly use Microsoft’s basic programs, and “power users,” who require the full complement of Microsoft’s programs and services. The move to Internet-based computing – or cloud computing – will mean increased productivity for and collaboration among City software programmers and other employees. The services will allow programmers to create new software applications their agencies need while reducing the need to buy new hardware. Once applications are created, other agencies that have similar needs will be able to use part or all of them, saving time and resources. Other City employees – 30,000 of them as a first wave under this consolidated agreement – will have an opportunity to use Microsoft’s cloud computing productivity services to work on documents simultaneously with colleagues, participate in online conferencing and use other features. And unlike traditional software products, the programs used in cloud computing are updated instantly when newer versions are released, so employees will always have access to the latest technology.

The inclusion of Internet-based computing complements and extends the City’s own network of servers and provides additional opportunities to save money, space, energy, and maintenance time. This will help DoITT achieve the goals of its Citywide IT Infrastructure Services program (CITISERV), which will consolidate the City’s more than 50 separate agency data centers into a centrally managed state-of-the-art facility.

The consolidated agreement was made possible when the Mayor signed Executive Order 140, which authorizes DoITT to centralize the coordination of information technology planning and policy for the City.

Bloomberg and Ballmer also announced that New York City will host Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in July 2011. The global competition challenges high school and university students to help solve the world’s toughest problems through technology. Microsoft and partnering organizations will recognize students for their achievements, present finalists with prizes and expose participants to ways they might turn their ideas into reality.

Microsoft’s partnership with New York City and its decision to host its next Imagine Cup in New York underscore Microsoft’s history of partnering with the City to improve the lives of New Yorkers. This includes programs such as the Microsoft-sponsored Virtual Senior Center, developed by the New York City Department for the Aging, DoITT, and Selfhelp Community Services, which links homebound seniors with computer, video and Internet technology that reduces social isolation and helps them access community services, in addition to Microsoft’s providing their Internet safety video “Clicking with Caution” to 200,000 New York City public school students at no cost.

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