It’s slow in the document management space after the holidays, but there are still some notable points — including the fact the City of Boston has turned to Google and away from Microsoft. Meanwhile, Adobe is shutting down Workspaces, Dell and PSIGEN have formalized their partnership and Microsoft has announced some of the price plans for Power BI for Office 365.

Boston Turns Its Back On Microsoft

Ouch! The city of Boston has just signed a deal with Google to use its Apps suite and move to the Google Cloud from Microsoft. The deal will result in 76,000 municipal workers, including the police department, teachers and students, using and working on Google Docs, Gmail, and other Google apps, and backing-up their information into the Google cloud.

This one must really hurt Microsoft. Financially, the cut probably didn’t go too deep, but pride ... well that’s a different matter. Google and Microsoft have spent a lot of time over the past two years trading blows over the relative merits of their productivity suites, and while Office 365 cannot be beaten on functionality, when price was added into the equation, Google Apps probably worked out cheaper.

This is unlikely to be the last exchange between the two giants, but the City of Boston is a real gem, and comes at a time when Microsoft is finding it difficult to respond as the search for a new CEO continues.

It is also a major marketing victory for Google. The City of Boston was named the top Digital City in America  by the Center for Digital Government in November, so — and you can almost hear the public sector decision makers chewing on this one — if its good enough for Boston, then its good enough for other cities, agencies and federal departments.

The reasons Boston decided to go this road is not entirely clear. In a guest post on the Google Enterprise Blog, Bill Oates, the Chief Information Officer with the city, said that as a tech-savvy city, its managers are “always looking for the best IT tools to help our government run smarter, innovate more effectively and provide better services for our citizens.”

Why, Google? Office 365 has a lot more under the hood and a whole pile of price plans to suit every pocket. In response, he said:

In 2013, following an extensive review of the market, the city initiated a rigorous RFP (Request for Proposals) process that attracted a wide array of bids, including multiple Microsoft and Google cloud offerings. A selection committee composed of members from our City IT organization, Boston Police, and Boston Public Schools evaluated 10 proposals based on both cost and technical capabilities. The committee unanimously chose Google Apps based on its ability to meet the needs of a fast moving city while providing a secure cloud environment.”