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NOAA becomes the largest federal agency to Go Google

Posted by Dave Standish, Federal Civilian Account Manager

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected Google Apps as the agency-wide e-mail and collaboration platform for its 25,000 employees, contractors and associates working across the country and around the world. NOAA CIO Joseph Klimavicz made this announcement at “Innovation for the Nation” today in Washington, DC.

As an agency that enriches life through science, NOAA's work stretches from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean—and touches the lives of every American and many others around the globe each day. NOAA provides dependable weather forecasts, life-saving storm warnings, vital climate monitoring, sustainable fisheries management, safer navigation, protection for our fragile oceans and coasts and job-creating coastal restoration.

Now the NOAA workforce will have cutting-edge email and collaboration tools to keep pace with fast-accelerating environmental change. Planners, emergency managers, health officials, citizens and other decision-makers count on NOAA's internationally-recognized science and services to help make wiser choices in a changing world.

When the need for a modern email system arose, NOAA issued an RFP in January, in keeping with the Obama Administration’s “Cloud First” policy, to find cloud-based email and collaboration solutions that would best serve the agency’s needs, including meeting its stringent security requirements.

Since NOAA wants its highly distributed workforce to enhance sharing information and strengthening teamwork as soon as possible, speed and ease of deployment were key factors in the decision to select Google and our implementation partners ERT Inc., Unisys, and Tempus Nova.

By the end of the year, NOAA's workforce will migrate to Google Apps from its existing systems, giving employees tools like video chat and real-time document collaboration, and support for a broader range of mobile devices. NOAA is also promoting new telework options; Google Apps will enable staff to access their e-mail, documents and data from anywhere, on any internet-connected device—a valuable asset for the agency. As a cutting-edge science agency, NOAA is taking a leading role in bringing up-to-the-minute workplace technologies to the federal government.