Dell EMC and its industry partners, General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT), have been awarded a $1 billion five-year U.S. Air Force contract to implement a Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program. It will improve efficiency and agility, encourage innovation, and generate cost savings across the Air Force’s information technology enterprise.

The Air Force launched its IT transformation initiative in 2015 with Collaboration Pathfinder, deploying Microsoft Office 365 including email, productivity tools and communications. Dell, Microsoft and General Dynamics Information Technology were awarded that contract, and more than 140,000 users have been migrated over the past two years. CHES is the follow-on to that program, but with a far wider scope, making it the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract in the federal marketplace. The task order was awarded by the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service in Denver.

Enterprise-as-a-Service delivered through cloud has long been a top-level priority for the Department of Defense, and the Dell EMC solution meets that requirement. Under CHES, information, communications, email, collaboration services, office productivity and records management will be provided for up to 776,000 users. The Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be among additional government users to benefit from CHES. The objective is to roll out the entire program in under a year, a schedule that will allow the services to focus on their core mission and reduce costs as data centers are consolidated under this effort.

The contract includes Dell EMC Consulting Services for migrating the communications and collaboration systems, as well as application profiling services to assess applications for cloud suitability, migration or retirement. Dell EMC consultants have years of experience handling enterprise-scale migrations and helping customers achieve their business objectives by combining automated tools, unparalleled Microsoft subject-matter expertise and proven methodologies.


Steve Harris, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Federal

“We’re grateful for the Air Force’s continued confidence in Dell EMC and our industry partners to expand and further support its IT modernization efforts. This new contract builds on the foundation and success of Collaboration Pathfinder that launched the department’s modernization initiative. Dell EMC has the strengths in cloud, defense and consulting services needed to implement quickly and manage enterprise-scale migrations. We will help deliver a robust CHES infrastructure, enabling the service to focus on mission accomplishment.”

Dan Busby, vice president and general manager, General Dynamics Information Technology Global Solutions Division

“General Dynamics Information Technology is proud to continue our support to the U.S. Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This contract provides a solution for unified communications that accelerates migration to cloud-based IT and communications capabilities while enabling the warfighters to focus on their core missions.”

Leigh Madden, general manager, U.S. Defense, Microsoft Corp.

“The CHES contract extends the ability of the Air Force to collaborate across the enterprise. We aren’t just delivering a secure productivity solution, we’re freeing up resources, so our airmen can focus on mission critical tasks.