Microsoft, CSC nab $91 million FAA cloud contract

Thomas Pajot/

The announcement comes the day before a governmentwide deadline to outsource at least three IT systems to the Web.

The Federal Aviation Administration will relocate agency email to a Microsoft cloud under a $91 million deal with prime contractor CSC, the two vendors announced.

The potential seven-year agreement will shift 80,000 email users now reliant on multiple systems to the online software package Microsoft Office 365, according to CSC.

Microsoft officials said the covered employees -- 60,000 from FAA and 20,000 from the Transportation Department -- will have secure access, via the Internet, to email, scheduling, instant messaging and Web conference tools “from virtually any device.”

The project was prompted by the White House’s cloud-first policy for outsourcing computing hardware and software to remote data centers when possible, CSC officials said.

Agencies are required to move at least three IT functions to the cloud by June 9 under a sweeping set of 25 IT management reforms handed down in 2010.

Microsoft, which is competing in a $20 billion federal cloud market that includes Google and Amazon, also provides Web services to the Agriculture Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors.

“The FAA’s mission is essential to how our nation functions, and the agency’s decision to implement Office 365 validates our approach to enterprise security, privacy and compliance in the cloud,” Curt Kolcun, Microsoft U.S. Public Sector vice president, said in a statement.

Leif Ulstup, president of CSC’s North American Public Sector Federal Consulting Practice, said in a statement that company officials “are committed to delivering a secure, cost-effective and flexible enterprisewide cloud solution in support of the agency’s mission to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”

(Image via Thomas Pajot /