Google has convinced the US Army to “Go Google”! Via their enterprise blog, Google has announced that the US army has gone Google, and will utilize Google Apps to improve their communication and become more mobile. This will reduce cost for the Army, as well as give troops around the globe access to things like Drive and Hangouts.

Google said the switch was “part of a transformational program to improve collaboration, information sharing and mobile access for an initial group of 50,000 Army and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel.” The program will initially roll out to the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, which handles all the IT and infrastructure for the Army, Including all end-to-end transactions.

Google also noted that the move to Docs would make the Army more nimble, allowing for better training and the spread of information to soldiers in the field. Private folders can be set up, and utilities like Hangouts can be taken advantage of for classes or conferencing face-to-face. The Army will also have the ability to create private channels for the Play Store to deploy apps and utilities they create.

The true brilliance is that Google Apps works across devices, so the Army will have very little hardware cost associated with the switch. It’s cloud based, so all that’s really required is a browser and a connection. Google Apps also meets with all current Army security policies and the Department of Defense authentication system. The famed “99.95 uptime” Google has will help, too.

  • Robert Walker

    So… FYI… The Army hasn’t “Gone Google”. Google doesn’t actually get any money from this agreement until one or more Army commands decide to drop their current email system and replace it with Google. I would encourage the media to actually follow up with how many of these 50,000 licenses ever actually get purchased by the Army. I am a huge Google Apps fan and an Army employee, but being on the inside, I can tell you that it would be a miracle for any .MIL command to make the decision to goto Google Apps. They are not “rolling out” to PEO-EIS, that is the agency that negotiated the purchase. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • vrm

      My understanding, from reading various sites is that the Army has its own a) identity management system 2) Enterprise email system. These are not going away anywhere soon, even if commercial cloud providers are utilized – they (commercial cloud services) will have to work with their identity management system.

      The army has approval to deploy 50,000 ‘seats’ from microsoft and google each to those divisions that cannot avail of their ‘enterprise services’ ( not clear to me what they consist of, besides email).

      The army >has< decided to use the 50,000 'seats' from google, to roll it out these services to their recruitment agency, academy etc and perhaps to field personnel. The google s/w they will use includes drive, docs and hangout. Gmail is NOT part of it, AFAIK.

      They have not yet utilized the 50,000 seats they can from microsoft but it is conceivable that they will utilize microsoft or even another commercial vendor such as IBM etc. Microsoft is another approved provider of such services.

  • vrm

    “Office 365 approved for purchase…”

    reads the headline, confirming that microsoft is one of the vendors whose services are approved for purchase under a blanket agreement, similar to what corporations have where vendor gets paid only for actual licenses utilized.

    If the army had actually bought those licenses, microsoft would have so stated. They did not. Google, OTOH, has claimed that they are deploying 50,000 licenses. They have not been deployed yet but it will begin.

    It is not surprising because the army has been using android and ios devices extensively and google apps would be a better fit than office 365. Google apps will also work on windows but office 365 has very limited support for non microsoft platforms.