U.S. Air Force contracts with Dell, General Dynamics and Microsoft to launch CHES program

Cloud migration has helped Dell and industry partners General Dynamics and Microsoft score a $1 billion contract with the U.S. Air Force to implement its Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program. The CHES program will move an estimated 770,000 users in the military branch, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Defense Logistics Agency to a cloud-based system. The contract was awarded by General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service in Denver.

The U.S. Air Force is embracing the cloud with the shift toward virtualization in the private sector, but on a much bigger scale. The CHES program follows in the foot trails of the Air Force launching its IT transformation initiative, Collaboration Pathfinder, in 2015, which was awarded to Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft. The military branch deployed Microsoft Office 365, email, communication tools and productivity suite to 140,000 users over the course of two years. The CHES program is an extension of that project.

Through the Enterprise-as-a-Service under the CHES contract, the Air Force will focus on moving three-quarter of a million users onto a cloud based system for email, data, office productivity, records management and collaboration support. The goal is to have the program up and ready in a year or less. The companies claim it is the biggest cloud contract in the federal market.

“We’re grateful for the Air Force’s continued confidence in Dell EMC and our industry partners to expand and further support its IT modernization efforts,” said Steve Harris, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Federal. “This new contract builds on the foundation and success of Collaboration Pathfinder that launched the department’s modernization initiative. Dell EMC has the strengths in cloud, defense and consulting services needed to implement quickly and manage enterprise-scale migrations. We will help deliver a robust CHES infrastructure, enabling the service to focus on mission accomplishment.”

The CHES programs includes Dell EMC Consulting Services for moving communications and collaboration systems to the Microsoft Office 365 platform, in addition to application profiling services to review applications for cloud suitability, migration or retirement.

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