The Tasmanian government has selected Australian IT & Telecommunications company Annitel to provide an Infrastructure as a Service solution for an initial period of two years. The size of the contract will be determined by uptake from Tasmanian government agencies, although “several” agencies reportedly have plans to use Annitel’s IaaS offering as soon as it becomes available. The Tasmanian government’s decision to select Annitel illustrates the global quality of government interest in cloud platforms. In the U.S., for example, Oracle recently launched an Oracle Government Cloud platform in an effort to compete with Amazon Web Services, IBM and Google in the government cloud computing space. Annitel’s IaaS platform for the government of Tasmania is expected to become available sometime in October.
Today, Oracle announced the availability of an Oracle Government Cloud dedicated to providing cloud platforms and services for North American government agencies in recognition of the “Cloud First” requirement that government organizations consider cloud computing as a method to improve service delivery and agility. The Oracle Cloud currently renders a suite of SaaS applications available to government agencies although plans for the addition of IaaS and PaaS infrastructures to the Oracle Government Cloud are in the works. Specifically, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle RightNow Policy Automation and the Oracle Learn Cloud are available to customers to help manage human resources and conduct project management, vendor management, financial management and customer service.
Oracle’s launch of the Oracle Government Cloud represents a serious attempt to cash in on the lucrative market from government agencies that are transitioning their IT infrastructures to cloud-based environments. The battle for market share in the Government Cloud space currently features Amazon Web Services, IBM, Google, Acquia and others. Amazon Web Services and IBM, for example, continue to fight for rights to a $600M contract from the CIA that was originally awarded to Amazon Web Services. IBM recently announced a 10 year, $1 billion contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior and Google has been offering its applications for government usage for years.
Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services continues to enhance its GovCloud platform, most recently with the addition of CloudFormation, which allows developers and IT administrators to provision AWS services using preconfigured templates or customized templates that allow for modification and control of IT infrastructures in a systematic, controlled fashion. In the case of Oracle, the success of its Government Cloud will largely depend on the speed on which it can roll its IaaS and PaaS platforms for government usage and ability to demonstrate their compliance with government standards and certifications such as FISMA, a standard which has been achieved by the likes of Google, IBM’s SmartCloud, Acquia and Amazon Web Services.