The General Services Administration has successfully migrated its 17,000 employee email users from Lotus Notes to a professional version of Gmail packaged in Google Apps for Government. The process occurred over the last six months and was led by Unisys, which was awarded a $6.7 million contract to do so last December.
Moving IT to the cloud is part of the federal government’s effort to trim $3 billion over five years by consolidating data centers. GSA Administrator Martha Johnson wrote in a blog post:
The U.S. General Services Administration is the first federal agency to successfully migrate its employees to a cloud-based email service using Google Apps for Government. GSA’s successful transition is the first step in our effort to provide cloud email as a service option to other federal agencies.
Our own transition to the cloud will save millions in taxpayer dollars annually. We expect that using a cloud-based system will reduce email operation costs by 50 percent over the next five years and save more than $15.2 million for the agency in that time. A large part of these savings will come from a decrease in the number of costly data centers requiring hardware, software licenses, maintenance, and contractor support. In addition to the cost saving benefits, the new email environment provides our agency with an easily accessible suite of services including email and collaboration tools that help GSA employees become a more mobile and more efficient workforce.