This week in the cloud

August 18, 2011

Two big stories this week in the cloud computing arena being covered by Federal News Radio.

Two firms protest GSA’s email cloud RFP

The General Services Administration’s $2.5 billion email-as-a-service contract is under protest. The two vendors filing the pre-solicitation protests said GSA’s requirement to have a government-only cloud is a “restrictive specification” and therefore not allowed under federal acquisition rules. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports GSA is continuing to evaluate offers while it waits for a decision by the Government Accountability Office, which is expected by Oct. 17.

Army cloud email a ‘pathfinder’ to enterprise services

After being on hold for the past month, the Army on Tuesday resumed the migration of its 1.4 million email users around the world to the cloud. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, Army leaders are now aiming to have the entire migration completed by March of next year. The Army sees this as its starting point for greater use of the cloud. Once the email migration is complete, Mike Krieger, the Army’s deputy chief information officer, said his agency plans a new wave of enterprise services enabled by a more unified network, including collaboration tools in the cloud.


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.


GSA’s cloud services RFP released

May 10, 2011

The Fed Cloud Blog told you it was coming. Now, the General Services Administration has officially released its request for quotation for e-mail, office automation and electronic records management cloud services.

Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports the cloud contract has a ceiling of $2.5 billion over five years.

The important dates to remember? Vendors must submit bids by June 19 through the EBuy system. Questions about the RFQ should be submitted by May 20.

“Email-as-a-service is about amplifying the use of cloud computing,” said GSA Administrator Martha Johnson last week during TechAmerica’s CIO Survey conference. “Agencies will be billed for services based on the number of mail boxes used. Cloud providers maintain the infrastructure. The return on investment comes in less than two years.”

Cloud computing has become a major IT initiative in the Obama administration. Federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra says there are $20 billion in systems across the government that could move to the cloud.


GSA’s email cloud contract could be worth $2.5 billion

April 28, 2011

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra expects the General Services Administration to issue a solicitation by May 10 for a $2.5 billion contract for email-as-a-service. It’s part of how the administration wants agencies to move to cloud computing, Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports.

Kundra said Wednesday there are $20 billion in systems across the government that could move to the cloud, and email and collaboration software are among the easiest first steps.

“We already are seeing 15 agencies that have identified 950,000 e-mail boxes across 100 email systems that are going to move to the cloud,” he said during an update on the administration’s 25-point IT reform plan at the White House. “This represents a huge opportunity for [vendors] to aggressively compete for these new opportunities in the cloud space and provide the government with the best value and most innovative technologies.”

Miller reports GSA has been working on the email-as-a-service RFQ since last summer. It likely will be a blanket purchase agreement, similar to the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) contract GSA awarded to 11 vendors last October.

Read Jason’s full story on this topic by clicking the link above.


This week in cloud computing

April 17, 2011

Kundra: Agencies on path for transition to cloud

Agencies are on track with their cloud computing strategies. Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra told those in attendance at the NIST Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop that all agencies have identified the three systems they will move to the cloud as part of the administration’s cloud-first policy. Kundra gave several examples of agencies that are moving full steam ahead. Read more and listen to Kundra’s speech by clicking the link above.

Six-month budget slashes e-gov fund by 76 percent

Among the cuts agreed to by lawmakers and President Obama in the 2011 budget compromise is a dramatic reduction in the administration’s E-Government fund, which pays for open government websites such as Data.gov, the IT Dashboard and USASpending.gov. Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra testified last week the government has saved $3 billion so far with the use of its 25-point IT restructuring plan. He said the process of adding transparency to IT programs was key to the cost savings the administration has achieved.

Also testifying at the hearing was Dave McClure, associate administrator in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration. McClure said when GSA begins offering cloud email services under a blanket purchase agreement it estimates it will save agencies as much as 44 percent over their current email costs. Read the full story by clicking the link above.


Cloud-first policy, cloud security top of mind for feds

April 12, 2011

Federal News Radio covered two big stories this week on cloud computing. Check them out!

Cloud computing e-discovery risks a concern
Federal lawyers and record managers are watching closely how the General Services Administration, the Agriculture Department and others move their email and collaboration services to private sector cloud computing providers. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller says they have questions about accessing data if the government faces a lawsuit.

Kundra details cloud-first success stories
Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra was on hand at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s latest Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop. During a Q&A session, Kundra discussed some of the success stories for the Obama administration’s cloud-first policy. Listen to the Q&A by clicking the link above.


IRMCO sessions to focus on cloud

March 11, 2011

The General Services Administration’s annual IRMCO conference is just around the corner and two of its key panel discussions will focus on cloud computing.

IRMCO will be held March 15-16 at the Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Day two will open with a CIO roundtable on implementing the 25-Point IT Plan laid out by the Obama administration last year. (Cloud computing is a major component of that plan.) The discussion will be led by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and panelists include:

  • Chris Smith, CIO, USDA
  • Bernie Mazer, CIO, Interior
  • Darren Ash, Deputy Director for Corporate Management, Office of the Executive Director, NRC
  • Henry Sienkiewicz, CIO, DISA

The two-day conference will then finish with a panel on data center consolidation and the cloud-first policy implemented by OMB in 2010. The panel will be led by GSA’s Steve Kempf, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service.

Panelists include:

  • Katie Lewin, Director, Cloud Computing Program, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA
  • Kevin Kampschroer, Director, Office of Federal High -Performance Green Buildings, GSA
  • Richard Spires, CIO, DHS
  • Jerry Williams, CIO, HUD

The Fed Cloud Blog will bring you the latest from the conference next week!