TechWeb

Google Apps Selected For Energy Dept. Lab

Oct 25, 2011 (10:10 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=231901630


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The Department of Energy (DOE) is the latest agency to leverage cloud computing for email and collaboration, with plans to migrate 5,000 users at its Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to Google Apps for Government.

The DOE awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to Unisys to build a secure, cloud-based environment it will manage for the project, according to Unisys. The contractor previously helped the General Services Administration (GSA)--which in July became the first federal agency to complete a transition to cloud-based email--move 17,000 users to Google Apps, said Unisys.

The contract has a 37-month base period valued at about $5 million, followed by seven one-year options. Potentially, the contract could be worth $10 million over 10 years, according to Unisys. Subcontractors on the project include Tempus Nova and CRI Advantage.

Once the transition to Google Apps is complete, Unisys will continue to provide maintenance and operations services for the cloud-based environment supporting the implementation, the company said.

Like other federal agencies that are migrating applications and services to the cloud, the DOE's INL decided to move email and collaboration to the cloud to cut costs and make it easier and more efficient for employees to access applications, the lab's CIO said in a press statement.

[The federal "cloud-first" mandate means agencies must adapt that model to the idiosyncrasies of government. Learn How To Build A Government Cloud.]

"Information management and information technology are important enablers of INL's mission to promote national energy security," said INL CIO Brent Stacey. "Use of cloud computing, through solutions like Google messaging technologies with Unisys managed services support, is one way for us to innovate traditional services for higher reliability with a lower cost."

In addition to the GSA, other agencies that have migrated or are in the process of migrating in-house email to the cloud include the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Army, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Google and Microsoft have been competing to provide cloud-based email and collaboration to federal agencies. Both have won significant deals with the feds, who are using public, private, and hybrid cloud scenarios for their deployments.

Email and collaboration so far have been the first applications of choice for agencies to move to the cloud under a federal "cloud first" mandate to move more applications and services to the cloud.