Dell Included in Microsoft-USDA Cloud Computing Deal
More than 100,000 Users Spread Across 21 E-Mail Systems
By: Roger Strukhoff
Dec. 13, 2010 12:35 AM
"Migrating an enterprise of USDA's size and complexity from multiple environments, across multiple agencies, requires not only a trusted enterprise-ready solution, but also a partner that is able to work with us and navigate everything from archiving to authentication to mobile phone support," according to USDA CIO Chris Smith, who announced a recent, major Cloud Computing deal with Microsoft and Dell.
The deal addresses the agency's Enterprise Messaging Service (EMS), and "includes e-mail, webconferencing, document collaboration and instant messaging," according to Smith. "The USDA will become the first Cabinet-level agency to move its e-mail and collaboration applications to the cloud," he added.
The United States federal government as a whole has an annual budget of $85 billion for IT--compare this to the $67 billion that comprises the entire national budget of G20 member Indonesia, for example. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has been touting Cloud Computing in its many forms to be used increasingly at the federal level, although there is no precise definition of what Cloud is or how much should be spent on it.
The USDA is working with Microsoft and Dell to consolidate 120,000 users spread across 21 e-mail systems. The agency awarded a contract to Dell in May 2010 for Microsoft Online Services; "this migration is the culmination of USDA's effort to streamline agency messaging, reduce costs and improve efficiencies that build on existing infrastructure and allow USDA to extend its on-premise software investments agreements," according to Smith.
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