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About the Project

The Commonwealth's Transition to Google

 project schedule phases

The Commonwealth of Virginia has engaged Tempus Nova to provide messaging services. Transition to the Google platform will be complete in March 2018. 


 Core IT Group

 Early Adopters

Google Guides

General Information about Going Google

How can I learn about the contract with Tempus Nova?

You can access and review the VITA contract with Tempus Nova here.

Why are we changing our email service?

The contract with our current information technology (IT) infrastructure provider is expiring and cannot be renewed. VITA conducted a procurement that resulted in the contract with Tempus Nova featuring Google. The new Google solution represents a better, faster and more secure communication and collaboration forum than anything the commonwealth has today. You will be able to access your email and calendar securely from any approved computer or smartphone.

I already use Google Apps for my personal email and calendar. Are we getting the same applications?

They are similar. We are leveraging the business-class edition of Google Apps, which provides more features, more support and guaranteed up-time. In addition, you will also receive the Google Chrome internet browser.

Will my email address change?

No, your email address will not change. You will continue to receive all your email at your current address.

What is the mailbox size?

There are two mailbox sizes: 30 gigabytes (GB) and unlimited. It will be up to each agency to determine which users get which mailbox size.

Will Google Apps replace the Microsoft Office suite and SharePoint?

Our initial migration will be for email, calendar and instant messaging and will not affect Microsoft Office or SharePoint.

Does Microsoft Office go away?

Microsoft Office will not go way in the near term and not necessarily in the long term. However, there are advantages to using the Google Apps collaboration tools.

Will Outlook remain standard on the desktop image?

Yes, it will remain as part of the standard desktop image.

How will Outlook be supported if there are issues?

You will continue to place calls to the VCCC to report issues with Outlook. Northrop Grumman and Tempus Nova are committed to working together to identify the root cause of the issue and resolve it.

Is the 30GB dedicated space for mailbox or is it shared space for the suite of Google products?

It is shared space for both email and Google Drive. However, documents stored in Google Drive using Google products (Docs, Sheets and Slides) will not count against the 30GB when Google Drive becomes available.

What is the impact on SharePoint?

Our goal is to shift workplace collaborative services (WCS) from SharePoint to Google and move as much SharePoint use, data and content as possible to Google Sites and/or Drive. However, there may be business reasons and functionality that do not translate. Our project team is in the process of assessing, mapping and determining the best fit.

What happens to AirWatch?

AirWatch will be replaced by a Gmail app containing the necessary security controls.

What happens to hosted mail archive (HMA)?

HMA will be replaced by Google Vault.

What product will be used for instant messaging (IM)?

Google Hangouts will be used as the IM client.

If the new collaboration tools will be Google hangouts and sites, are they approved for storage of sensitive data?

Google hangouts and Google Sites are not approved for sensitive data at this time.

Will Google Drive also be part of the suite of Google Apps?

We are not approved for the use of Google Drive at this time.

What is different between Google email and Microsoft email?

Tempus Nova and Google have provided a helpful document "Switching to G Suite from Microsoft" and web page link https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/switch-from-ms/ to assist with understanding the switch.

Is there a cost reduction per mailbox? If so, when will cost savings be passed on to customer agencies?

The rates for fiscal year 2018 have been established and published, and enacted as part of the budget. Each year, messaging rates will be evaluated as part of the regular budget process.

How much will the unlimited storage email option cost?

At this time, there are no plans to change cost per mailbox regardless of the storage amount. The unlimited email storage is a benefit of the new messaging services.

When will the transition to Google begin?

We plan to move the nearly 60,000 employees on VITA’s enterprise email system from Microsoft Exchange to the Google services in three phases, beginning with a core IT team (approximately 250 users). We will then migrate a group of select participants called early adopters (approximately 12,000 users), followed by the remaining employees in March 2018. Phase one will begin Nov. 13, 2017; phase 2 is targeted for Jan. 22, 2018; and the final phase is targeted for March 26, 2018. Agencies unable to transition in the identified phases due to a specific business case will have an opportunity to discuss their unique business case with the messaging service lead.

Is my agency required to switch to the Tempus Nova/Google email solution?

Each agency is required to transition to the Google platform.

Which agencies will migrate first?

Migration to Google will occur in three stages: core IT – technically savvy users who volunteered from several agencies; early adopters – five entire agencies will migrate during this phase; final go-live – remaining commonwealth users will migrate.

Will you provide assistance during the transition?

Google Guides, training documentation and online training will be available.

What must agencies do to transition to messaging?

The major tasks for agencies are mailbox clean-ups, verification of software (Google Apple Sync for Microsoft Office (GASMO), Chrome) pushes and training participation.

How much time will it take to set up and learn how to use Google Apps?

You will be able very quickly to master the basics, such as sending and receiving email, viewing and scheduling meetings, and collaborating in real time. A typical email and calendar migration may require you to spend approximately four hours dedicated to training, reviewing documentation and setting up your services. Anyone who already has a Gmail account at home will be more familiar with Google and able to transition very easily. If you access email on a mobile device, plan on spending a bit more time learning how to work in Google Apps on your mobile device. 

G Suite and related messaging services, including email, are part of the commonwealth’s new information technology infrastructure services provided by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).