Atmospheric agency tracks a different kind of cloud

Following in the footsteps of the General Services Administration and many other federal agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has moved its email and collaboration systems to the cloud.

Writing on the Google Enterprise Blog, Kennith Jackson, deployment manager of Google Apps, announced that NOAA recently deployed Google Apps for Government for its 25,000 employees, contractors and associates. A Commerce Department agency, NOAA issues warnings about inclement weather and climate monitoring, as well as conducts research to enhance the understanding of the environment.

This move makes NOAA the largest federal agency to transition to cloud-based email and collaboration tools, Jackson said.

What sealed the deal for NOAA in transitioning to cloud-based services was the speed and ease of moving to Google Apps, said NOAA CIO Joseph Klimavicz. It took NOAA just six months to implement a unified email platform, something Jackson called “a remarkable achievement considering the agency’s size."

The deployment has meant that NOAA employees now have instant messaging, video chat and real-time collaboration tools that help staff work more efficiently, Jackson said. NOAA estimates the cost to taxpayers will about half what it would have been had the agency developed its own solution.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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