GSA developing cloud-based email contract

GSA is developing a cloud email and enterprise services contract inspired by DISA's single-award DEOS vehicle.

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

The General Services Administration is planning a civilian version of the $8.2 billion cloud contract for email and collaboration services it is managing for the Department of Defense.

Alan Thomas, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said that the coming Civilian Enterprise Office Solution (CEOS) is still in the "early stages" of development. The vehicle will look to leverage similar cloud efficiencies for email and other applications for federal agencies.

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Thomas said the idea came directly from plans for the Defense Enterprise Office Solution contract. DEOS was launched by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

That acquisition, envisioned as an office systems counterpart to the warfighting cloud program Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, is being conducted under GSA's Schedule 70.

"The federal CIOs offices said, 'Hey, we ought to do something similar for civilian,'" Thomas said in a keynote at the BMC Exchange event in Washington D.C. on May 7. [FCW, Washington Technology sibling publication, was the media partner for this event.]

"CEOS won't be a carbon copy of DEOS," Thomas told FCW in an interview after his presentation. "You're not going to get every agency in the federal government on one email system, but we could do some standardization and create some efficiencies there."

"We're early. I haven't mapped it out yet," he said. "Obviously, it won't be on the same timeline as DEOS."

GSA released the final solicitation for DEOS in late April. With that contract, DISA plans to move some 3.1 million end users to a cloud-based environment that will be used for both classified and unclassified communications.

DEOS will be a single-award contract, under which DISA will buy email, content management, file storage, productivity tools, web conferencing, instant messaging, native audio and video and mobility through a commercial cloud model.

"The trend" with DEOS, Thomas said, "is for true enterprise standardization."

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