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When unexpected or uncontrollable situations like disasters hit, it is critical that the transportation hubs of metropolitan regions are able to run seamlessly and that employees have the tools they need to communicate with each other amid impending chaos.

Nowhere did that become more apparent than when Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard two years ago. In 2012, the majority of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)’s services were stored in on-premises servers. This meant that the largest transportation network in North America was in danger of its communications services going down, an outcome that could cause transit operations to suffer and leave the MTA unable to effectively help commuters in a real time of need. 

To help prevent potential issues like these from happening in the future, the MTA will be deploying 22,000 seats of Microsoft Office 365 for cloud-based e-mail and productivity over the next few months. 

One of the biggest factors driving MTA’s move to Microsoft Office 365 is that the service provides reliable and seamless communication and anywhere, anytime productivity capabilities, especially in crisis and disaster situations.

The MTA serves a population of more than 15 million, with a network spanning 5,000-square miles from New York City to southeastern New York State. In emergency situations, whether they be natural or man-made disasters, it’s crucial that transit systems continue running without issue so commuters can get to safety quickly.

By migrating to Office 365, MTA will use the power of the cloud to maintain email and server connectivity, improve cross-team collaboration, and keep its operations moving forward regardless of the circumstance. This new strategy will also deliver more than $6 million dollars in cost savings over the next three years.

The MTA joins a rapidly growing list of state and local government customers that are taking advantage of the reliable communication and productivity benefits of moving to the cloud with Microsoft, including the City of Chicago, the City of San Jose, the State of New York, and the State of Texas.

Do you have a comment or an opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Or e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.