UK firm Huddle has teamed up with Whitehall security bosses to deliver a Cloud-based collaboration solution that can be used for work on classified government documents.
The deal with FCO Services, which built and manages the UK government’s secure private network, will enable civil servants across Whitehall to share policy documents and make changes online, work that currently has to be done either by face-to-face meetings or by a back and forth e-mail exchange thanks to the sensitive nature of some of the content. The organisations have teamed up to launch Huddle IL3, the first commercial public cloud service to be modified and accredited for pan-government collaboration on RESTRICTED data.
As the first Software as a Service (SaaS) application to be hosted on FCO Services’ Government Secure Application Environment (GSAE) Cloud infrastructure, Huddle IL3 allows public sector teams to access and distribute content up to IL3 (RESTRICTED) with the appropriate security measures and accreditation.
"This is a higher security version of Huddle that enables people to access a whole chunk of work that is at restricted level, such as policy documents and anything that contains personal details," explained Alistair Mitchell, CEO at Huddle. "Policy matters has been the big issue that restricts a whole load of collaborative activity. The only tool that government staff have had at the moment is secure email, there are no other systems that span across departments. Imagine a team of people in different locations trying to work on a 500 page policy document using email. The demand for a joined-up, networked solution is really high."
Huddle already boasts a presence in 70% of UK government departments and this latest partnership opens up much of the remaining 30% as well as providing a competitive lead over rivals such as Microsoft and Salesforce.com.
FCO Services’ (GSAE) platform, created specifically for government and hosted by government, aims to support cloud based working and help departments achieve the 25 per cent efficiency savings led by the Corporate Spending Review 2010. “Being in government, we understand the challenges that all government departments currently face,” said Chris Moxey, CEO, FCO Services.
“The GSAE Platform has been created specifically to meet the needs of the public sector, which needs to access and utilise SaaS applications at IL3 (RESTRICTED) and IL4 (CONFIDENTIAL). As a trusted partner to government with a considerable amount of experience in secure ICT, we are confident that we can support other government organisations move securely into the Cloud.”