Macomb County Clerk Goes Google, Uses Cloud Computing
The Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds announced today that her office will officially “Go Google” tomorrow. As the county renews the old E-mail system licenses, the clerk will instead have Google Premier, gaining a suite of cloud computing applications, security and world-class disaster recovery. Sixty-seven county clerk users have been testing the service since January.
“Google lets us securely access information anytime, anywhere and find things fast, while keeping costs down,” said the Macomb County Clerk. “With Google our staff can innovate at a speed unprecedented in history, putting tools directly in the hands of those who create and use the public records we keep.”
Google Premier services to be used in the clerk/register of deeds include:
Text Chat + SMS
|Web site publishing
Voice chat (if PC w/mic)
Video chat (if Webcam)
“Using Google Chat we communicate with clerks while in court without being disruptive,” said the Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds. “We use Google Docs so several staff can work on the same document at the same time without needing to stop for a meeting, which gets results more quickly for taxpayers.”
Jury staff uses the Google service to post juror Web updates without needing Web publishing software, and can post juror updates from home, such as for snow days. Vital records staff use Google Docs to track security paper. Court clerks use Google Groups to route criminal bind over faxes. Google’s search feature makes it easy to find old E-mails.
Clerk staff can view E-mail attachments in many different formats without the need for specific word processing software versions. Staff can also create and E-mail documents in many different formats for customers, including PDF.
The service even gives clerks the ability to send text messages to attorneys when their cases are being called, which is helpful when attorneys have cases in multiple courts on the same day. Clerks will start experimenting with this service soon.
The Macomb County Clerk’s staff uses Google Forms to track when courts need jurors. Vital records staff has used Google’s E-mail translation feature to translate E-mail to and from Spanish.
When a tornado touched down in Macomb County last month, disrupting power and some network services, the clerk’s Google Premier service remained in service and accessible via cell phone and other networks until the county’s network and E-mail service were restored.
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in February 2010 to leave the county’s current E-mail system. Elected officials were given a choice of E-mail systems. Elected officials have the option to switch their choice with only 30-days’ notice to the county’s Information Technology Department. The county pays $58.94 per user per year for Google Premier and Google Message Discovery for archiving and e-discovery. It requires only Internet access and a Web browser. No hardware server is required. The county does not incur additional costs for backup, antivirus or antispam protection, disaster recovery, or all of the services listed above. Onix Networking Corporation provided Google Premier installation, training, and on-going support, which was included in the cost.
Google recently launched Google Apps for Government with specific measures to address the policy and security needs of the public sector. Google Apps is the first suite of cloud computing messaging and collaboration applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. General Services Administration.
The Macomb County Clerk posted details and short videos demonstrating how her office uses Google Premier at
Google has Michigan offices in Birmingham and Ann Arbor.
Out of State: 310-575-5035