Google, Unisys Gain Cloud Email Momentum In Federal Government

Google, Unisys Gain Cloud Email Momentum In Federal Government

The General Services Administration last week provided some reinforcement behind the Obama Administration’s “cloud-first policy,” taking action of its own. Specifically, GSA awarded a $6.7 million, five-year task order contract to Unisys Corp. for cloud-based e-mail and collaboration tools. In the process, GSA claimed to be the first federal agency to move e-mail into the cloud on an agency-wide basis. Unisys partners with Google, Tempus Nova, and Acumen Solutions.

A Unisys press release states the cloud-based service includes Google Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites. The win marks a change in federal fortune for Google, which lost out to Microsoft on a Department of the Interior contract and ended up suing the government.

While Google provides the apps, team member Tempus Nova, a consulting firm, specializes in Google Apps implementation and cloud computing. Acumen Solutions, meanwhile, will help integrate Google Apps with salesforce.com, according to a company spokeswoman. She said Acumen will also be the contract’s preferred supplier for social CRM.

Acumen scored a government cloud win earlier this year, capturing a project to rollout for a CRM/project management solution from Salesforce.com.

GSA’s contract follows other agencies’ e-mail-in-the-cloud ventures, but not all of those involve the public variety. In October, the Army agreed to migrate e-mail users to the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Microsoft Exchange 2010 service. The switch to the DISA cloud will begin next year and will involve 1.4 million unclassified network users and 200,000 secret network users, according to DISA.

Agencies will continue to weight public versus private cloud options. It will be interesting to see whether the opportunity to achieve economies of scale in the public cloud trump security concerns.

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