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OTech aims for cost savings with new offerings

The California Office of Technology, known as OTech, will begin work on several cost saving projects over the next year, prioritizing cloud services and virtualized desktop services for OTech customers, according to director Ron Hughes.

In an effort to increase efficiency and provide customers, including state, county, local and federal governments, with options, Hughes said OTech will work toward three basic cloud service offerings: the systems provided and managed by OTech, a private offering supplied by vendors and a public cloud located at vendor data centers.

Starting with a pilot, OTech will work on a private cloud that is vendor supplied, vendor managed and located at the data centers at Goldcamp and Vacaville. The second phase of the cloud project would work toward a public cloud offering located at the vendors data centers and provided and managed by the vendors, according to Hughes.

"I’m really trying to give departments choices instead of just dictating to them," Hughes said of the three choices.

In addition to selection and cost savings, Hughes said the cloud services will allow departments to get systems running at a much faster rate than the current 8 to 12 months expected with a normal procurement process.

"With a private and a public cloud you go to a portal on the Internet and you can provision it in a manner of hours: what CPU you want, how much storage you want, what level of security you want. It really enables our customer to get systems up and running much, much faster," Hughes said.

A Request for Information is expected in the next 60 days, Hughes said.

"My goal is to have the private cloud up and running in the next 6 to 12 months," he said, adding that he hopes to have the public cloud offering in the next 2 years.

The Office of Technology, an office within the Technology Agency, will also focus on desktop virtualization services for customers. Providing virtualized desktops, which will allow data and applications previously stored on a desktop to be stored on a server, will improve the cost and time allotted to computer support, reduce software costs and set departments up for the move toward mobile computing.

Hughes said he plans on a pilot with OTech, then rolling out the service to the Technology Agency, and then rolling out the service for all OTech customers within the next 10 to 12 months.

OTech will also work on disaster recovery services for virtualized customers and for state and county governments, cloud email solutions, and mobility as part of the cost-saving plan, according to Hughes.