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Air Force issues cloud-based enterprise services contract

The Air Force has issued a contract for cloud-based unified communications and collaboration services for an estimated 776,000 users.

The five-year contract valued at $1 billion for hosted cloud services awarded to Dell EMC and partners General Dynamics and Microsoft is said to be the largest federal contract yet.

The AF contract will also provide enterprise services to users in the Defense Logistics Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, the companies said.

The Air Force initiated its IT modernization efforts in 2015 with the roll out of Microsoft Office 365 applications. Dell, Microsoft and GD's Information Technology unit executed the earlier contract. More than 140,000 Air Force personnel have migrated to the system over the past two years under the Collaboration Pathfinder program.

The follow-on contract award announced this week covers a broader IT initiative called Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services, or CHES. Under the program, IT, communications, email, collaboration and productivity tools along with records management will be hosted in a new Air Force cloud.

"The objective is to roll out the entire program in under a year, a schedule that will allow the services to focus on their core mission and reduce costs as data centers are consolidated under this effort," Dell EMC noted in a statement announcing the contract award.

The partners also said the CHES contract would accelerate the Air Force's migration to cloud-based IT and communications. The Air Force announced in June that it had contracted with NES Associates to install infrastructure for the CHES IT stack at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

About the Author

George Leopold is a contributing editor for Defense Systems and author of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom."Connect with him on Twitter at @gleopold1.

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