Air Force awards $1B CHES cloud contract

(Air Force photo)

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The Air Force awarded a $1 billion contract to Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft to continue its massive migration to the cloud.

Through the five-year contract, the trio of contractors will implement the Air Force’s Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services program — a continuation of the Collaboration Pathfinder initiative to deploy Microsoft Office 365 with email, productivity and communications tools. Dell, Microsoft and General Dynamics Information Technology held that 2015 contract.

The new CHES contract, though, is much wider in scope, and according to Dell EMC, it’s the largest federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract. It will leverage enterprise-as-a-service cloud to deliver information, communications, email, collaboration services, office productivity and records management capabilities to 776,000 users across the Air Force, as well as the Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As of late August, about 100,000 airmen had such capabilities in the cloud, Air Force Space Commander Gen. John Raymond said then at an event. This new contract will make is so “nobody gets the ‘your mailbox is too full’ anymore,” he said. By outsourcing IT, it lets airmen focus on their primary duties, Raymond said.

The contractors have ambitious goals, hoping to roll out the entire program in the first 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,” according to a release from Dell EMC.

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Air Force, Air Force Space Command, Cloud, Dell EMC, General Dynamics, Microsoft, Military, Pentagon