All of GSA's e-mail now in Google cloud

The General Services Administration has successfully migrated 17,000 e-mail users to Google Apps for Government, a secure cloud-based e-mail and collaboration platform, according to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.

“It’s official! The U.S. General Services Administration is the first federal agency to successfully migrate its employees to a cloud-based e-mail service using Google Apps for Government,” Johnson wrote in a blog.

The move is the first step in GSA’s effort to provide cloud e-mail as a service option to other federal agencies, Johnson noted.

Related coverage:

GSA launches $2.5B cloud computing procurement


In May 2011, GSA requested bids from industry that will give government agencies options for secure, cost-efficient cloud-based e-mail solutions, Johnson said.

“The successes and challenges faced by GSA in implementing our new cloud e-mail system will help inform our decision making and allow us to better serve our customer agencies as they begin moving to the cloud,” she said.

GSA awarded Unisys a contract to migrate e-mail to the cloud in December 2010 via its Alliant contract. GSA expects its new solution to increase employee productivity, enabling employees to work remotely from any location at any time.

GSA will also benefit from new collaboration capabilities, such as direct access to onsite and remote colleagues through video chat and shared documents, Unisys officials said.

“We expect that using a cloud-based system will reduce e-mail operation costs by 50 percent over the next five years and save more than $15.2 million for the agency in that time,” GSA’s Johnson said.

During the six-month transition, more than 17,000 GSA and contractor e-mail addresses, content and calendar data were migrated to Google Apps for Government. Enhanced user authentication and other security improvements were also added during the transition phase.

All the agency's mobile devices also were transitioned, while certified Unisys consultants trained GSA employees on best practices for leveraging the Google Apps for Government platform. GSA and Unisys teams worked collaboratively to manage the transition with end user communication and participation, Unisys officials said.

Based on the success of its work with the GSA and other agencies, Unisys announced the availability of its Collaborative Office Solutions – Google Apps for Government. Working with Google and Tempus Nova, Unisys will provide a set of services to help agencies accomplish their enterprise transitions to Google Apps for Government.

Cloud computing provides on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or interaction from the service provider.

“Moving government agencies to the cloud is part of the Obama administration’s ‘cloud first’ strategy and GSA’s success broadly demonstrates that agile, secure, reliable, and cost-effective cloud options exist,” Johnson said.

“Already, 15 agencies have identified 950,000 e-mail boxes across 100 email systems that are going to move to the cloud,” she said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Wed, Aug 10, 2011

Apparently it did pass FISMA, though no one can really seem to explain why and/or how. Also, they were using a lotus client, which is still present but will be phased out (except for the IG office which apparently refuses to go to google due to the failure to meet their internal requirements.) Their interface is gmail, just like everyone elses..but it has a GSA logo..that's how you know its SAFE! lol..riiiight

Fri, Jul 29, 2011

No wonder none of the addresses I deal with work any more...

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 Lin Washington, DC

Does anyone know how GSA handled the security planning. Were they able to certify that the cloud vendor met all of the FISMA requirements?

Thu, Jul 28, 2011

Is GSA still using Outlook with Google Cloud storage? Or is GSA dumping Outlook (and perhaps MS Office) in favor of ALL Google Apps?

Wed, Jul 27, 2011

I hope Google provides better email service than DISA does for DOD!

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group