This week’s latest cloud news

July 28, 2011

Two big stories Federal News Radio is following this week when it comes to cloud computing.

Industry leaders are calling on the federal government to revise its acquisition and budgeting practices, in hopes of accelerating the adoption of cloud services. The CLOUD2 commission made recommendations to government earlier this week.

“Agencies should demonstrate flexibility in adapting current procurement models and existing contracts to take advantage of new cloud offerings,” according to the group.

Federal News Radio’s Ruben Gomez reports the CLOUD2 report was requested by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

The commission also recommended industry launch new transparency efforts to publicize information about operational aspects of cloud services, including portability, performance and reliability.

In other cloud news, the General Services Administration became the first agency to migrate its entire staff into a cloud email system. All 17,000 of its users are officially in the cloud as of this week.

“In GSA, we have a motto that we have broad shoulders,” said Dave McClure, GSA’s associate administrator for citizen services and innovative technologies. “We need to be actually doing what we’re recommending other agencies do.”

Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports 15 other agencies have identified almost one million federal email accounts they want to move to the cloud.


Labor releases RFI for cloud email

June 3, 2011

The Labor Department has put out a request for information for a software-as-a-service cloud email solution.

“The purpose of this request for information (RFI) is to assist DOL in understanding the SaaS cloud computing solutions available in the market place with respect to email services, archiving and eDiscovery services, and collaboration services including the maturity and experience of vendors/system integrators in migrating and integrating multiple services to the cloud,” the agency said in the RFI available on

Currently, each of Labor’s nine major agencies is responsible for its own email system. In all, Labor services over 21,000 mailboxes.

Labor is just one of the growing number of agencies looking to the cloud for its email services. A recent report from the CIO Council, shows 13 agencies (including Labor) currently using the cloud or planning to use the cloud for email.

Interested parties can submit their responses via email until 3:00 p.m. (EST) on June 13.

Great week for Microsoft’s cloud services

December 12, 2010

Two good pieces of news for Microsoft on the cloud computing front.

Microsoft has received its FISMA certification. Microsoft CTO Susie Adams said in a company blog post, “Adding FISMA to our existing list of accreditations provides even greater transparency into our security processes and further reinforces our commitment to providing secure cloud computing options to federal agencies.”  

At the same time, the Agriculture Department says it’s ready to move to Microsoft’s cloud services. USDA awarded Dell a contract in May for Microsoft online services.  The move to Microsoft’s Enterprise Messaging Service (EMS) includes e-mail, Web conferencing, document collaboration and instant messaging. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports under the deal Dell will move 120,000 USDA employees out of 21 separate e-mail systems and into the EMS system. The transition will begin within the next month.

All of this news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement by the General Services Administration that it has awarded Unisys a contract to move its email to the cloud using Google Apps for Government.