TMCnet Feature
July 27, 2011

With Help from Unisys, GSA Becomes First Federal Agency to Move to the Cloud

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

The government is constantly looking for ways to save money these days, and one tactic that has certainly proven successful for many major companies and organizations is moving to the cloud.

Following the recent transitions to the cloud by the USDA, the National Oceanic (News - Alert) and Atmospheric Administration and the ARMY, now the U.S. General Services Administration has become the first federal agency to completely bring its e-mail systems into the cloud.

With the help of IT company Unisys (News - Alert) Corp., the GSA’s 17,000 staff e-mail accounts, and corresponding content and calendar data, have been migrated to Google Apps for Government, a secure cloud-based e-mail and collaboration platform. Not only does GSA (News - Alert) expect this new solution to result in 50 percent cost savings, but it also will enable employees to work remotely from any location at any time, thus boosting productivity.

According to Yahoo News, shutting down the federal government’s pricey data centers and moving to cloud is part of a federal endeavor to save about $3 billion over the next five years.

"Our own transition to the cloud will save millions in taxpayer dollars annually," said GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, in a press release. "We expect that using a cloud-based system will reduce e-mail operation costs by 50 percent over the next five years and save more than $15.2 million for the agency in that time."

Together, GSA and Unisys worked to make the transition as smooth as possible. In addition to transitioning mobile devices, and adding security improvements, Unisys consultants trained GSA staff members on best methods for utilizing the Google (News - Alert) Apps for Government platform.

"We congratulate GSA on achieving this milestone in the government's transition to cloud computing," said Ted Davies, president of Unisys Federal Systems. "We are happy to have assisted GSA throughout this project, and look forward to assisting other government agencies interested in the savings and efficiencies that can be achieved by moving to the cloud."

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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