FAA moves to the cloud through CSC, Microsoft and Amazon in potential $1bn contract

CSC has announced a contract win with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worth $108 million (£70.4m) alongside Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other business partners.

The contract, potentially worth $1 billion over 10 years, will see the FAA move to a hybrid cloud environment, with CSC consolidating data centres and migrating data and systems across using the CSC Agility Platform cloud management tool.

The news was initially broken by Washington Technology, with the report noting that other companies involved in the team include EMC and Equinix. The FAA posted an official announcement noting the contract was awarded on August 26.

Regular readers of this publication will be aware of the importance of such contracts to cloud providers. The CIA’s cloud computing contract, awarded in 2013 and reportedly worth $600m, went to Amazon Web Services despite an appeal from IBM amid complaints that AWS’ bid was $50m more expensive, and that the procedures used to rank Amazon’s proposal as technically superior were wide of the mark. In February 2015, the AWS CIA cloud had achieved ‘final operational capability’.

Winning lucrative public sector contracts are also seen as vindication of a cloud provider’s security accreditation –in particular the stringent FedRAMP certification. AWS got its FedRAMP wings in June 2013, while Microsoft followed suit in October that year.

CSC president and chief executive Mike Lawrie said: “CSC and our alliance partners are demonstrating the unique value that we as a team can bring to deliver an innovative, next-gen IT cloud solution that drives the FAA’s mission forward.” He added: “We are in a unique position to help meet the agency’s operational and budgetary challenges over the life of the program.”

In statements, Amazon noted the acceleration of government cloud adoption while advocating its own compliance standards including FedRAMP, ITAR and SRG, while Microsoft argued the contract win ‘builds nicely’ on additionally moving the FAA to Office 365 for greater productivity.