Unisys Brings US Department of the Interior to the Cloud

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The financial and business management systems of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) have been migrated to the cloud by Unisys Federal Systems to provide flexibility while maintaining high availability for data and applications, the company announced Tuesday. The DOI is the first branch of the US federal government to move its SAP-based application to the cloud, following the criteria of the Office of Management and Budget’s Cloud First Policy.

Unisys provides the DOI with an IaaS solution including Virtustream’s SAP in the Cloud hosting, allowing the DOI to reallocate cloud resources overnight, and providing service level agreement (SLA) oversight.

“The Department of the Interior’s migration of its financial management system to the cloud marks a milestone in the US federal government’s push to harness the benefits of cloud computing,” Casey Coleman, group vice president for the civilian agencies at Unisys Federal said in a statement. “As a result, the department can more efficiently allocate and use IT resources, with greater agility.”

The contract was awarded through the Foundation Cloud Hosting Services (FCHS) program, part of a five year DOI IT Transformation Strategic Plan which is due for completion in 2016, largely motivated by potential cost savings. The contract was awarded in 2013, and could be worth $44 million if the DOI picks up its option to extend it to 8 years.

Virtustream, acquired by EMC last May and adopted as the brand of its joint enterprise cloud business with VMware in October, received provisional FedRAMP approval in June.

Federal government cloud adoption may be accelerating, with 2015 serving as a “beachhead” year, according to the Washington Business Journal. A $108 million contract won jointly by three companies in September seems to indicate so, as does an IDC study from2013 that predicted US federal government cloud spending will surpass $5 billion annually by 2017.


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