The Interior Department is shifting to a cloud-based e-mail system.
The agency announced a nearly $35 million award to Onix Networking Corporation of Lakewood, Ohio, a Google Apps for Government provider. Onix will consolidate seven separate e-mail systems spread across nine agency bureaus, an Interior spokesman said. Interior’s 88,000 employees will use one account that can either be accessed
through a Web browser or via desktop.
In July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar laid out an information technology modernization strategy, that included a single e-mail system. Salazar’s plan projects $500 million in savings by 2020.
The e-mail system had its share of squabbles. Google and Onix filed legal protests after a previous Interior Department solicitation, worth up to at $59 million, required the e-mail system carry Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite. Google and Onix claimed the requirement was “unduly restrictive of competition.”
Interior is the third government agency making the shift to cloud-based e-mail. The General Services Administration and the Department of Agriculture Department of Agriculture migrated to the cloud in 2011.