Joe Barnas


Why hosted collaboration is a smart cloud solution

After years of talking about it, federal agencies are now moving ahead with implementing cloud-based IT solutions.

Spurred by the implementation of FedRAMP security standards and financial needs, agencies are eager to start realizing the flexibility, cost-savings, and mobile capabilities of the cloud

The switch is an important part of enabling agencies to meet diverse missions, while working within tight budgets.

Yet, just like weather clouds, there are different types of IT cloud solutions. How do federal agencies know which one is right for them?

One solution stands out for its ability to save agencies money year over year and move away from having to purchase and maintain internal systems: hosted collaboration solutions (HCS) work for government operations of any size.

They are fully scalable and support multiple devices and applications on one platform.  An HCS cloud system can grow with an expanding mission, or can be more easily downsized over systems owned and physically located within an agency.

Voice, voice mail, unified messaging, point-to-point video, and mobility are some of the most sought after features federal IT executives are looking for in a cloud solution.  An HCS approach to cloud meets each of these requirements, and can do so at a price point lower than more traditional cloud approaches.

Choosing an HCS approach allows customers to obtain services via a low risk, subscription-based model and avoid capital expenditures. 

HCS cloud utilization also means federal buyers never have to worry about obsolete hardware or software again. It includes automatic software updates and resource optimization.  It can even help busy federal IT professionals broaden the scope of services they offer their internal clients. 

Chief financial officers will like HCS solutions as well.  The ability to be scalable, either up or down, allows for more accurate budgeting. Not having to buy or maintain equipment is a significant advantage.

HCS cloud implementation helps free up IT budgets for other needs, while lowering yearly expenses for the services provided through the HCS solution. 

Finding these solutions, though, from a FedRAMP-certified, FISMA-compliant provider could be difficult. My company and Cisco have come together to offer a flexible, reliable HCS cloud service specially for the federal market.  It has a full range of cloud-based applications. It is also in the process of becoming FedRAMP accredited.

The sea of cloud offerings available to federal agencies can cause significant confusion and could even delay the ability of some to realize the improved performance and budgetary savings that come with them.  Federal IT officials need to ensure that the solution they select is from a trusted supplier, with federal experience and great technology.

About the Author

Joe Barnas is director of channles for Collab9. He can be reached at or 941.244.2364.

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