FAA moving 80,000 employees to Office 365

The Federal Aviation Administration will move 80,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365, giving them secure access to e-mail, instant messaging, calendaring and Web conferencing tools from virtually any device. 

Helping employees to be both efficient and innovative was a key driver in the FAA's decision to move to the cloud, according to a Microsoft blog. However, as a cloud productivity service, Office 365 also will support the FAA's broader NextGen initiative to make air travel more convenient and dependable for people, said Curt Kolcun, vice president of the U.S. Public Sector division at Microsoft Corp.

Computer Sciences Corp. will lead the agency's cloud implementation, helping the agency to address the Office of Management and Budget’s Cloud First policy, said Leif Ulstrup, president of CSC’s North American Public Sector Federal Consulting Practice. CSC will help move 60,000 FAA employees and 20,000 Transportation Department workers to the cloud.

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Microsoft unveils Office 365 for Government

An integral part of OMB’s 25-Point Plan for IT Reform, the Cloud First policy requires agencies to evaluate safe, secure cloud computing options before making any new investments. Over the past 18 months, agencies were required to move three services to the cloud.

The federal government should start seeing savings of $100 million a year starting in 2013 as result of some agency cloud migrations resulting from OMB’s 25-point Plan for IT reform, Scott Renda, portfolio manager for cloud computing with OMB, said at a recent National Institute of Standards and Technology Cloud Computing Forum.

The FAA joins a host of other government agencies that have moved e-mail to the Office 365 cloud, including federal agencies such as the Agriculture Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors; the states of California, Nebraska and Minnesota; and the cities of New York and San Francisco.

Microsoft on May 30 unveiled Office 365 for Government, a new multitenant service that stores U.S. government data in a segregated community cloud. Built to the same security standards as Office 365 for Enterprises, the cloud platform includes Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and Office Professional Plus.

CSC will provide the FAA with a cloud software-as-a-service solution under a seven-year contract with an estimated total value of $91 million.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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