AFP eyes protected Microsoft cloud

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AFP eyes protected Microsoft cloud

Prepares to stand up Office 365 PoC.

The Australian Federal Police has joined a growing group of federal government agencies considering Microsoft’s protected-level public cloud service.

The peak law enforcement agency last week revealed plans for the development of an Office 365 proof of concept for migration to Microsoft’s protected-level environment.

While its immediate priority is shifting current SharePoint environments to Office 365, the AFP is also keen to understand where else it might use the offerings.

Its brief on the digital marketplace, which has since closed, indicates the agency wants a “model for future AFP implementations and support of Office 365 in the Microsoft Cloud environment including exist considerations” to be developed.

But a spokesperson told iTnews the agency had “not yet determined whether it will introduce any such, or like, capability within its PROTECTED environment”.

“The purpose of the proof of concept is to conduct viability and fit for purpose analysis across cloud services,” the spokesperson said.

With some 6500 staff scattered across Australia, the AFP is now the largest government agency to be considering a shift to Microsoft protected-level offerings.

It follows that of the similarly sized Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which kicked off its project to adopt the protected-level email and collaboration platform last December after establishing an Office 365 tenancy.

Both agencies are some of the 50 government agencies understood to be considering the adoption of protected-level Microsoft cloud after the Digital Transformation Agency fired the starting gun last August with its own pilot of Office 365.

That development was widely seen as the necessary proof to pave the way for Azure and Office 365 to spread quickly in Canberra, though it will ultimately be limited to use by around 200 people.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business is also preparing to leverage Microsoft’s Azure offering as part of its build of a protected-level cloud environment for the secure sharing of sensitive documents.

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