Dell EMC calls it the largest-ever federal cloud award. Under the five-year deal, Dell EMC will implement a Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program. This includes consulting services for migrating the communications and collaboration systems, as well as application profiling services to assess applications for cloud suitability, migration, or retirement.
“This really is the contract to deliver the cloud service itself,” said Cameron Chehreh, COO and CTO for Dell EMC Federal. “During the business transformation elements, should they see a need to acquire other hardware or software, we can offer them a complete solution.”
In 2015, the U.S. Air Force started its Collaboration Pathfinder with these same companies, initially migrating email to the cloud. This effort also deployed other Microsoft Office 365 productivity tools and communications.
More than 140,000 users have migrated to Microsoft Office 365 over the past two years. CHES is the next step, but with a wider scope.
The new cloud-based initiative will provide information, communications, email, collaboration services, office productivity, and records management for up to 776,000 users. These include the Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Specifically, it’s the complete suite of Office 365 along with some Azure components that should be coming on line in the future,” Chehreh said.
This could include Microsoft Azure Stack, which lets organizations build a private-cloud version of the Azure public cloud in their own data centers. Dell EMC is a hardware partner.
“We underpin the Azure Stack very well on our hyperconverged infrastructure,” Chehreh said. “Should they choose to explore hybrid cloud offerings though Dell EMC, we have the opportunity to offer them these hybrid cloud offerings though Azure Stack.”
The organizations plan to roll out the entire program in less than a year. This means migrating between 5,000 and 7,000 users a week, Chehreh said. “We’ve been doing this for several years under the predecessor. During the migrations, it’s extremely seamless to the users. So from a mission disruption, it’s extremely low.”
The new contract “really validates the fact that hybrid cloud is the new operating model,” he added. “Hybrid really is the future of cloud. It’s more about an operating model than a destination.”