NOAA completes agency-wide move to the cloud

Thursday - 1/5/2012, 9:51am EST

By Jolie Lee
@jleewfed
Federal News Radio

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has moved its 25,000 employees, contractors and associates to Google Apps for Government's cloud-based email service.

NOAA employees also have access to the other Google applications, such as scheduling, collaborative document writing, creating web pages and synchronization with mobile devices, according to a Google blog post.

NOAA is the largest agency to date to complete its transition to cloud-based email, according to Google.

"We have a very highly distributed and mobile workforce in NOAA, literally scattered around the world in responding to disasters and other events. We want to build a collaborative capability as soon as possible," said NOAA CIO Joseph Klimavicz in a June announcement to move to the cloud.

Klimavicz added, "This fits very nicely in our push for more telework and being able to access our data anywhere, anytime around the world."

NOAA had started a pilot program with Google apps starting in 2009, and the program had grown to 500 people, Klimavicz said. Employee feedback was "very, very positive," he said.

Transitioning to the cloud took about six months. In June, NOAA announced the $11.5 million, three-year award to Earth Resources Technologies, Inc., based in Laurel, Md., to deliver the Google Apps for Government in partnership with Google, Unisys and Tempus Nova, according to an agency release.

"The cost to the taxpayer will be 50 percent less than an in-house solution," Klimavicz had said in a statement.

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More cloud computing newsTags: NOAA, cloud computing, Google Apps for Government, Technology, Joseph Klimavicz, email