Air Force moves to microsoft 365 cloud

Air Force, DLA move to Office 365

The Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency are headed to the cloud with the award of the  Collaboration Pathfinder contract to a team led by Dell.  Along with Microsoft and General Dynamics, Dell will be providing a tailored version of Microsoft Office 365 and cloud-based services that include email, instant messaging, desktop voice/video communications, productivity and user storage capabilities, the Air Force said in its announcement. 

The new architecture will provide two key benefits: enabling soldiers to focus on mission rather than managing IT commodities such as SharePoint, and realigning critical resources to cyber mission areas.

By using commercial services such as Office 365, the Air Force maintains it can cost-effectively boost productivity and collaboration of service members.  Additionally, the Collaboration Pathfinder aligns with the Joint Information Environment, which is a secure and interoperable cloud computing environment for the entire force, and advances consolidated Defense Department mobile and messaging. 

The 100,000-seat contract is one of the largest commercial cloud contracts in DOD history, according to Microsoft, and it promises to reduce costs for both the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency over three years. 

The period of performance for the new contract begins June 22, 2015, with deployment expected in fiscal 2016, according to Microsoft. 

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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