On December 1, the General Services Administration announced that it awarded a 6.7 million $ contract to Unisys, partnering with Google, Tempus Nova and Acumen Solutions, to provide email and collaboration services for the next 5 years. In the announcement, GSA highlights that this is expected to 50% savings over the previous solution, and proudly claims that it will be the first federal agency to entirely migrate email and collaboration to the cloud.
This is a much needed win for Google, that – after its iconic win over Microsoft for the City of Los Angeles – has been lagging behind (see previous post) while its Redmond-based competitor was winning the State of California and New York City. While it is fair to say that those deployments are one order of magnitude larger (in the hundred of thousands seats vs. the 15,000 at GSA and just the double in LA), Google has been the first winner at federal level as well as at local level (with City of Orlando even earlier than LA).
Whether this deal will open the gate to a flood of RFPs from federal agencies for email in the cloud remains to be seen. However it is true that the deal in LA did trigger great interest at the state and local level, although Google did not necessarily reap most of the benefits.
It is also fair to say that GSA was somewhat forced to pursue email in the cloud more aggressively than any other agency, since they have owned the whole-of-government cloud dossier for a couple of years now, first under the CIO Casey Coleman’s leadership and more recently under the purview of Dave McClure’s Office of Citizen Service and Innovative Technologies.
Gartner will cover the event with a First Take note and an official position in the coming days.
Incidentally, I wonder how much of a coincidence is the departure of Teresa Carlson, Microsoft federal business lead for the past several years, for Amazon.