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USDA Moves to Cloud with Microsoft

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to make a technological step forward to the cloud with help from Microsoft.

USDA will become the first cabinet-level agency to move its email and collaboration applications to the cloud.

The move comes on the heels of the news that GSA would be moving toward the cloud with Google and partner firm Unisys.

According to the firm, “this migration is the culmination of USDA CIO Chris Smith’s effort to streamline agency messaging, reduce costs and improve efficiencies that build on existing infrastructure and allow USDA to extend its on-premise software investments agreements to the cloud solution. The software as a service deployment will include Exchange Online for messaging and calendaring, SharePoint Online for document collaboration, Office Communications Online for instant messaging and Office Live Meeting for web conferencing.”

Member agencies will be able to make use of enterprise collaborative capabilities, including global address lists, full calendar synchronization and integrated voice mail and email.

“USDA’s vision of maximizing efficiencies and improving productivity across a vast enterprise through the cloud will be a model for large government agencies, ” said Curt Kolcun, Microsoft vice president, U.S. Public Sector. “With the Microsoft cloud productivity solution, USDA employees will benefit from having better access to information, improved collaboration and information sharing. This comprehensive approach lays out a foundation for greater innovation, money savings and better citizen services.”

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