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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

GSA to use Google cloud-based system for e-mail

By Capitol Business's Marjorie Censer

The General Services Administration announced Wednesday that it will be the first federal agency to move e-mail to a cloud-based system, reflecting the government's push for adoption of Web-based computing.

GSA awarded a $6.7 million, five-year task order to Unisys, a Pennsylvania-based contractor that has an extensive local presence. Unisys is partnering with Google, Tempus Nova and Acumen Solutions.

The shift to the cloud means the agency will access software and other computing resources on demand, using a model that has been compared to an electricity grid. GSA estimated the move will cut the agency's e-mail spending in half over the next five years.

Cloud computing advocates argue that the technology's reliance on a shared pool of resources makes it possible for networks, servers and other equipment to be used more efficiently.

The Office of Management and Budget announced last month that the government is adopting a "cloud-first" policy, meaning federal agencies are required to default to cloud-based solutions. GSA said Wednesday that its award is "in step" with that strategy.

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By Capitol Business's Marjorie Censer  | December 2, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Contracting  
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