The Department of the Interior released a request for proposal on Tuesday for a new cloud-based email and collaboration service that aims to acquire more than 90,000 email mailboxes and migrate users from seven email systems into one.
“We’ve faced challenges in our efforts to consolidate the Department’s multiple emails systems, but we are moving forward with a transparent, competitive acquisition strategy and expect all users to be on a single email service by the end of the year,” said Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology, Information and Business Services Andrew Jackson. “When completed, our employees will have a modern email service with new productivity and enhanced collaboration features. The new service will cost less and will provide additional security that is nonintrusive to users.”
According to the department, the new email service should:
- Provide features, functionality and capabilities that meet industry performance standards and interoperability standards, as well as utilize best practices
- Offer the necessary redundancy, resiliency, and contingency capabilities to ensure service availability according to DOI’s needs
- Improve user experience and productivity
- Provide a secure computing environment that complies with all required federal regulations and Department –specific security requirements
“As this service is made available, DOI will also meet several security objectives that have been revised from previous efforts,” said Interior Chief Information Officer Bernard Mazer. “These include leveraging the Department’s current HSPD-12 background investigations as a minimum access requirement, utilizing a Government Community or Private Cloud for hosting, expanding the geographic coverage area from Continental United States to include Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, and defining the level of separation between the Department’s data and others if using a Government Community Cloud.”
The request comes after the department previously awarded a similar contract to a Microsoft vendor, but pulled it back following a protest from a Google apps vendor that alleged unfair competition.