Founded in 1874, Garden Grove is one of the oldest cities in Orange County. As a full service City, Garden Grove offers its 173,000 diverse community members housing assistance, recreational programs, family entertainment, one of the top school districts in the country, and some of the most affordable places to live in “The OC.”
Garden Grove employs nearly 1,000 full and part-time employees who work throughout the city and who are supported by a small IT department of 15.
In 2009, the City’s email system became obsolete. Scalix’s desktop app didn’t support the remote access and multiple devices employees wanted to use to more effectively get their jobs done. Recognizing the drop in employee productivity as a result of missed meetings and unanswered emails, the IT staff at Garden Grove knew it was time to switch to an email and collaboration system built for the post-PC era.
The Challenge: Supporting a New Type of Workforce
Garden Grove’s IT Department had three primary requirements when it came to selecting a new email system: securely support mobile devices and remote access; integrate with their existing open source ecosystem; and of course, be as cost efficient as possible to meet the City’s budget constraints.
The City’s employees are made up of a mix of full and part-time employees, which makes purchasing full Office suite products impractical and cost prohibitive. In addition Office suite products had high support, upfront software, and maintenance costs. The obvious choice was a web-based email solution that provided a feature-rich experience and simplified IT management.
With a work force that became more mobile by the day, Garden Grove looked for an email system that could enable this mobile workforce while meeting their strict security and IT requirements. Employees were requesting access to their information on new devices like iPads, Android phones and, of course, they asked for access to email from different computers, offering the ability to work from home without having to bring their work-issued computer home every night.
With open source ingrained in Garden Grove’s IT culture and multiple custom applications already built, it was important that their new email system was built with open source standards. This would allow IT to easily integrate the solution into their pre-existing ecosystem while keeping their costs low.
After evaluating several solutions, including Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange, and Zimbra, it became quite clear which email solution met Garden Grove’s needs. Zimbra provided an email and collaboration service that gave employees a feature-rich web interface and mobile access that allowed them to work from anywhere at anytime. When cost was factored in, it became clear that Zimbra could be deployed at a fraction of the cost to the competition. Furthermore, Garden Grove could easily deploy Zimbra Open Source on a virtual machine, making it easy for IT to manage and scale their email environment while maintaining their open source ecosystem of existing apps.
Business Results and Benefits:
Twenty-four months after deploying Zimbra, Garden Grove realized a 100 percent ROI. Zimbra’s streamlined administration has also provided unforeseen benefits through IT time savings. The ease and granularity of backup recovery has saved hours of IT’s time. With the limited experience IT had with email, they were able to lean on Zimbra’s fantastic help documentation and support in order to maximize their deployment. Garden Grove’s IT department and their nearly 1,000 employees are finally on an email system that they can all agree is second to none.