Federal government agencies could soon have the option of migrating to a cloud-based email service, following the issue of a notice by the General Services Administration (GSA) that it plans to solicit industry bids.

The GSA has put the industry on notice that it will be asking software-as-a-service vendors to submit quotations to provide hosted email services. According to the notice, the request for quotations will be issued by the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 2011.

The GSA notes that in June 2010 the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative (FCCI) established an email working group to coordinate across government and industry and to be the source of “information, solutions, and processes that foster adoption of SaaS email within the Federal Government.”

The working group quickly ramped up and began developing a strategy to deliver SaaS email capabilities via enterprise-wide blanket purchase agreements (BPAs). The FCCI will hold a briefing session on November 1, 2010, to provide agencies and vendors with more information on the SaaS email strategy.

Email is one of the first cloud-based services to gain early traction in the government sector. In recent weeks, Microsoft has won major deals with the City of New York and the State of California to provide government employees with access to its cloud-based Business Productivity Suite, which includes email and collaboration applications.

 

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