[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

The Department of Interior has awarded a contract for department-wide cloud email and collaboration services for Google Apps for Government.

Ken Salazar (Secretary of the Interior): Implementing a department-wide, cloud-based email system that helps modernize the ways we do business while cutting costs is good government, plain and simple.

The contract, which was awarded to Google Apps for Government provider Onix Networking will consolidate the Department of Interior’s email services into a single system and simplify its data storage requirements.

New video and audio chat features will complement traditional email communication tools, along with Google Docs, Calendar and Sites. Users will have the option to use Web-based tools or traditional desktop software to access the new system. This service will have a seamless integration with mobile devices.

Upon completion, the department plans to exercise the next contract option and migrate more than 90,000 mailboxes from its seven disparate on-premise email systems to the new cloud email system by the end of December 2012.

The award covers the first option for up to 60 days at $17,248. The total contract value is $34,872,728 over seven years.

[Image: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar promotes tourism and travel. Image Courtesy: Department of Interior]