$1B Contract For 3 Tech Giants In Air Force’s Cloud Move

Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt
Posted: 09/22/2017
USAF Cloud

Considering it spends most of its time off the ground, it only makes sense that the United States Air Force would shoot straight into the cloud.

Of course we’re referencing the data storage component of cloud services, and the USAF announced this week it was inking a $1 billion, five-year deal with three IT powerhouses to convert the entire government entity over to the cloud.

Based on price tag and work scope, this is the largest-ever federal cloud-based contract, and will see Dell EMC, General Dynamics, and Microsoft work collaboratively to make the move happen. The Enterprise-as-a-Service program will serve some 776,000 users across the Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The new program is named CHES, or Cloud-Hosted Enterprise Services, and was preceded in 2015 when the USAF deployed Microsoft Office 365 including email, productivity tools, and communications. The new program is an add-on to that transformation.

According to the USAF, the plan is to have the entire system rolled out within a year so data centers can be consolidated quickly and turn into cost savings.

At the first-ever American Technology Council event held at the White House in June, which featured leaders from Apple, Amazon, and Google, among many others, President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner laid out harrowing details of antiquated and costly government technology that soon need major overhauls.

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Kushner explained the federal government currently operates 6,100 data centers across the country, the “vast majority of which can be consolidated and migrated to the cloud.” He went on to explain the Department of Defense is still using eight-inch floppy disks and the Department of Veterans Affairs online forms are mostly inaccessible to modern Internet browsers.

By a conservative estimate, Kushner said, the government is spending $80 billion annually on its IT infrastructure; two-thirds of which is being spent on maintaining legacy systems – an “unsustainable” figure, the adviser said.

Jason Koestenblatt
Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt