Editor’s note: Story has been updated with comments from Verizon.
The Interior Department has awarded 10 contracts in an effort to accelerate its move to the cloud. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts each have a cap of $1 billion, which means the total value could reach $10 billion.
The department hopes these contracts will help speed up the acquisition process, and enable it to leverage technology much sooner. Interior expects the transformation of its IT capabilities to result in $100 million in benefits each year from 2016 to 2020, according to an announcement.
“This is a change we’ve been eager to make for a while,” Andrew Jackson, deputy assistant secretary for technology, information and business services at Interior, said in the online post. “The cloud-hosting award was on hold until recently, when a contract protest was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Now that we can finally move forward with these contracts, we’re expecting significant reductions in hardware, software and operations costs to the taxpayer.”
The department put the potential vendors through an extensive selection process to ensure competitive prices throughout the life of the contract. The contract awards went to Aquilent, AT&T, Automonic Resources, IBM, CGI, GTRI, Lockheed Martin, Smartronix, Unisys and Verizon.
“AT&T Government Solutions is proud to be a part of the Department of Interior’s cloud contract award, and we look forward to leveraging AT&T’s broad range of network resources and cloud solutions,” Sherry Charles, VP, AT&T Government Solutions, said in an emailed statement to FedScoop.
IBM said in a statement it was looking forward to working with Interior on its cloud and federal data center capabilities over the next decade.
“Now more than ever, the United States government needs the safety and security of IBM’s decades of experience in managing sensitive data,” said Rebekah Yeager, IBM’s press contact. “IBM is confident this is one of the key reasons [Interior] turned to IBM and gave the company a $1 billion award for not only hosting services but consulting services.”
In a news release Friday, Susan Zeleniak, senior vice president of public sector markets at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said:
“Verizon has a history of successfully providing advanced networking and security solutions to the Department of the Interior. The Foundation Cloud Hosting Services contract represents an expansion of Verizon’s engagement with the department and will enable it to leverage Verizon’s significant cloud investments and expertise to help the department achieve its long-term objectives.”
Interior said it believes a cloud migration will help close or consolidate hundreds of Interior data centers. It will also let the department transfer from physical servers in-house to a cloud-based system to keep in line with initiatives put out by the Office of the Chief Information Officer.