Government agencies have another option when it comes to cloud-based tools: enterprise collaboration startup Huddle has been given a FedRAMP authority to operate.
Huddle’s software allows agencies and enterprises to create, share, sync and store documents, regardless of whether a user is inside a firewall. Huddle’s software-as-a-service offering can be accessed on any device, including iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. The service also allows users to work offline, securely saving documents until a user re-connects to the Internet.
“We’re looking forward to helping agencies across U.S. federal government manage key programs, such as shared services and outsourcing projects, and significantly increase productivity and efficiency,” Huddle CEO Morten Brøgger said. “The ability to securely share and discuss documents, such as audits and board papers, is set to help federal agencies achieve their goals.”
The London-based company has a history of working with the U.S. government: NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the National Institutes of Health all use Huddle. The company also has a strategic development agreement with In-Q-Tel, the nonprofit venture firm that supports startups tied to the missions of the U.S. intelligence community.
Brøgger said he welcomed the year-long FedRAMP ATO process since it now assures security from the moment an agency is interested in Huddle.
“When we’re dealing cloud-based services, there’s always a security concern, specifically with government customers,” Brøgger told FedScoop. “Clearly, the customers need to feel comfortable about the security level.”
Huddle adds to a couple offerings that have already earned an ATO from FedRAMP, including Microsoft’s SharePoint and
MAX.gov, a collaboration tool run by the Office of Management and Budget. Brøgger said Huddle can be used to either replace or serve as an extension of SharePoint.
“SharePoint has a couple shortcomings,” he said. “It is not necessarily user-friendly and intuitive to use as Huddle. The intelligence that goes into the document that you cannot always get from reading the document — why did we decide that, why did we do that — a lot of that dialogue, you can actually retain [with Huddle].
Another feature Huddle includes is a dashboard with a predictive algorithm that can show certain people what documents they should be watching or working on over a given amount of time.
“Depending on who you are and what level you are in the within the organization, it will say ‘You need to work on these 17 documents’ on your dashboard,” Brøgger said. “Even if you are offline, you will be given the documents you need to work with.”
Huddle’s services also include FISMA compliance, with data stored in government-secured data centers with 256-bit SSL encryption, SAS 70 and encryption at rest.
The announcement comes as the company has been rather active in the last six months. In December, the company announced a $51 million round of funding at a valuation of $350 million. Earlier this year, Brøgger came aboard as CEO when its co-founder, Alastair Mitchell, moved into a dual role as company president and chief marketing officer.