The Air Force Will Dole Out $1 Billion for Cloud Migration

Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft teamed to win a big Air Force contract.

The U.S. Air Force will spend up to $1 billion over the next five years to migrate more than 750,000 of its users to cloud-based email, communications and other services.

Three companies – Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft – partnered to win the Air Force’s new Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services contract, which is a follow-on to a previous Air Force pilot effort called Collaboration Pathfinder aimed at deploying Microsoft 365 across portions of the military branch.

The same three companies owned that previous business, migrating some 140,000 users to cloud-based email, records management, office productivity and other services since 2015, and they’ll expand the scope of their work under the CHES contract to several hundred thousand more users in the Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“This contract provides a solution for unified communications that accelerates migration to cloud-based IT and communications capabilities while enabling the warfighters to focus on their core missions,” said Dan Busby, vice president and general manager for General Dynamics Information Technology.

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The companies partnered together in a contractor team arrangement, allowing all three companies to pool resources to meet a customer’s demands. The Air Force did not administer the procurement itself. Instead, the Air Force issued a task order under a multiple-award contract the General Services Administration administered.   

The Air Force has been a progressive cloud computing adopter, having transitioned some of its most important unclassified systems to the cloud in recent years. In 2016, the Air Force transitioned its personnel portal for 1.7 million active duty and retired airmen to the cloud, and its top officials have routinely expressed interest in outsourcing IT management to commercial vendors.