10 Companies Vie For Massive Department Of The Interior Cloud Project

The Department of the Interior said the cloud migration project will be split into 10 IDIQ (indefinite delivery indefinite quantity) contracts that are each worth up to $1 billion. The 10 competing vendors selected by the department are IBM, Verizon, AT&T, Aquilent, Autonomic Resources, CGI, Global Technology Resources, Lockheed Martin, Smartronix and Unisys.

IBM already has been awarded one of the 10 contracts, which is a 10-year cloud hosting service deal.

"We're thrilled because these don't come along every day and it's a recognition of our cloud, past performance and technical expertise," said Andy Maner, managing partner of IBM Global Services. "It's a real advantage for us because we are one of the few that can position seven of the tracks to do transformational projects of a large infrastructure."

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The Department of the Interior was unavailable for comment. However, according to a department blog post, the individual contracts will be awarded through "task orders" for each project following one-off competitions between the 10 selected finalists. The DOI said the first project is for SAP application hosting. Additional services will include virtual machines, storage, database hosting, secure file transfers, Web hosting, and development and test environments.

IBM said it plans to leverage its Smart Cloud for Government and IBM Federal Data Center services for the cloud project. Maner said the DOI's approach to this cloud project -- selecting 10 companies to compete for the individual billion-dollar contracts -- will allow the department to "get the best value from a set of vendors" in an efficient manner.

"Over time they will evaluate what vendors are bringing to the table in a new and evolving way for cloud computing," Maner said.

Meanwhile, Susan Zeleniak, senior vice president of Verizon Public Sector, said Verizon will work with various bureaus within the Department of the Interior to understand their business requirements and then help modernize the way applications are managed and stored and help to control costs.

"It's an opportunity to continue to deliver our cloud solutions to the government," said Zeleniak. "If you think of cloud infrastructure where government agencies do not have to build their own data centers, buy their own equipment and maintain a staff to upkeep it, then they can take advantage of an infrastructure that is already built and buy it as they need it. And this contract is beneficial to the Department of Interior because they can buy it as they need it."

Zeleniak said Verizon expects three or four task orders. She also said the investment Verizon has made in building out its cloud capabilities and making those offerings government-ready are paying off.

"When we built our [cloud] facility, we built it with government requirements and security standards in mind," said Zeleniak. "I do believe the [department] sees the value of vendors who have already built this infrastructure and Verizon, in particular, built an infrastructure that is based on CSMA (carrier sense multiple access) and meets government requirements for these kinds of services."

Zeleniak said Verizon will continue to build resources to support mobility and cloud initiatives for the government as agencies and departments look to lower costs and improve their operations.

"The more mobile the government becomes, the more mobile access it provides to citizens and the more information is made available to citizens," said Zeleniak. "We look forward to transforming the way government does business to make it better for citizens at a lesser cost for the government."