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Microsoft and Lockheed Martin were awarded a $9.8 million contract to migrate the Environmental Protection Agency to Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based collaboration and communication service, the companies announced Wednesday.

The transition will improve EPA employee access to communications and mobility tools that will save an estimated $12 million over the four-year contract period.

“EPA and Lockheed Martin have a long and productive relationship. I am excited to have them assist us in transforming the way our employees work and collaborate with one another,” said EPA Chief Information Officer Malcolm Jackson.

Under the terms of the contract, approximately 25,000 users of EPA e-mail will be transitioned to Office 365 for Government, a new multi-tenant service that stores U.S. government data in a segregated community cloud and includes e-mail, calendars, scheduling and collaboration tools for internal and external use. Lockheed Martin will manage the migration and provide engineering and ongoing integration services.

The primary e-mail migration will be completed in early 2013.

“EPA will continue to lead the pack on environmental stewardship, and moving an IT environment to the cloud is a natural part of that,” said Greg Myers, vice president of Microsoft Federal. “There is tremendous potential in the cloud, not only for transforming the way government employees work, but also for helping agencies meet their environmental and energy efficiency goals.”