The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today awarded a five-year contract valued at $36 million to HP to provide a department-wide email and calendaring infrastructure to the VA’s 600,000 users with Microsoft Office 365 for Government, according to a press release.

The agreement was awarded under the Veterans Administration Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (VA T4) program, the department’s IT modernization contract. The implementation will begin with 15,000 people and expand agencywide to 600,000.

“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 of the VA's Enterprise Systems Engineering.

Moving to the cloud enables the VA to fulfill the cloud-first federal mandate while anticipating improved employee productivity and collaboration and reduced costs.

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 industry-leading applications for productivity and collaboration including cloud-based Office, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.

The VA is the latest federal agency to move to the cloud with Microsoft, including U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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