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November 16, 2012

VA Awards HP Enterprise Services a $36 Million Contract

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded HP Enterprise Services a five-year contract valued at $36 million to provide a department-wide email and calendaring infrastructure to the VA's 600,000 users with Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365 for government.

The agreement was awarded under the Veterans Administration Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (VA T4) program, the department's information technology modernization contract.

Officials with HP Enterprise Services said that the modernization effort will begin with 15,000 people and expand agency wide to 600,000 people when all contract options are executed.

"VA is moving to cloud-based email and collaboration as part of a broader effort to leverage emerging technologies to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and, most importantly, improve service delivery to our nation's veterans," said Charles De Sanno, executive director, enterprise systems engineering, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in a statement.

Company officials said that as part of the pact, HP will lead and manage the implementation of Office 365 for the VA to enhance reliability, security, privacy and compliance as well as create geographically diverse disaster recovery.

According to company officials, the VA will use Microsoft Office 365 for government, which features a separate community cloud, for email, shared calendars, instant messaging, and Web and video conferencing.

It also includes applications for productivity and collaboration including cloud-based Office, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.

"The VA needed to transform into a 21st century organization that could enable employees to collaborate more effectively," said Marilyn Crouther, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. public sector, HP Enterprise Services.

Crouther said that together with the VA and Microsoft, the HP team will modernize the VA's communications infrastructure while lowering costs and setting the stage for other U.S. government agencies to enter the cloud era.

"The VA's decision to implement Office 365 for Government with HP Enterprise Services validates our longstanding partnership and our commitment to helping them move to the cloud on their terms with the most complete productivity and collaboration tools available while keeping their information protected and secure," said Greg Myers, vice president, Federal, Microsoft.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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