US Air Force Awards $1B Cloud Contract

Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft recruited for five-year IT transformation for up to 776,000 users.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

September 20, 2017

2 Min Read
US Air Force Awards $1B Cloud Contract

The US Air Force awarded a $1 billion contract to Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft to implement a five-year cloud IT transformation program for up to 776,000 users.

It's the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract, according to a statement from Dell EMC .

The program, called Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services, will "improve efficiency and agility, encourage innovation, and generate cost savings," Dell EMC says.

The Air Force launched its IT transformation two years ago with the $296 million Collaboration Pathfinder, deploying Microsoft Office 365, in a contract previously awarded to Dell, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and General Dynamics Information Technology. More than 140,000 users have been migrated over the past two years, Dell EMC says.

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"CHES is the follow-on to that program, but with a far wider scope, making it the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract in the federal marketplace," Dell EMC says.

CHES will provide information, communications, email, collaboration, office productivity and records management for its users, benefiting the Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers, Dell EMC says.

The Air Force plans to roll out the entire program in under a year, to help the services focus on their core mission and reduce costs as data centers are consolidated, Dell EMC says.

The contract includes Dell EMC Consulting Services for migrating communications and collaboration, as well as application profiling services to assess applications for cloud suitability, migration or retirement.

CHES and Collaboration Pathfinder aren't the Air Force's only cloud projects. The service is using Amazon Web Services for testing operational control software for global positioning system satellites.

The Air Force's personnel portal for 1.7 million active duty and retired airmen, MyPers, is on an Oracle Cloud.

And the US Army recruited IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to build a new, secure private cloud at Army Redstone Arsenal, one of its main missile testing and deployment arsenals. (See US Army Drafts IBM for Private Cloud.)

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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