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Huddle secures contracts with US federal government

Company hopes gaining FISMA accreditation will also drive business in the private sector

US government agencies will soon be using Huddle's cloud-based platform to improve collaboration between departments, after the company signed a strategic partnership with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the strategic investment firm that identifies technology solutions to support the missions of the US Intelligence Community.

Huddle already provides two different versions of its content collaboration platform to the UK government. The first is a "public cloud" version, which is accredited to a high level of security for use on sensitive but unclassified information across the UK government.

The second version is for even more secure levels of working, and is delivered in a private cloud that sits on secure infrastructure hosted by the UK government. It meets some of the highest standards in the industry such as SAS 70 Type II and ISO 27001, as well as IL2 and IL3 government accreditation.

Huddle plans to deliver both solutions to the US federal government. However, in order to do so, it has had to develop a version of its content collaboration platform that also adheres to FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002). This guarantees that US government agencies can discover, access, and work on content securely.

The technology is currently being developed for two IQT customer agencies - the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Huddle was unable to divulge the size of these deals, but said that the DHS has an annual IT budget of $98.2 billion.

"This is a big deal because it shows that the cloud is truly coming of age. It means that government is now using this at the very highest levels and across all agencies," said Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle.

"The cloud is transforming the way government works in several ways. One is that it's a huge cost reducer for them. So to put it in context, Huddle costs about 30 percent less over 3 years than its nearest traditional on-premise competitor, which is Sharepoint.

"The second thing is government is a collaborative environment. If you're creating policy you work with lots of other agencies and it's all about people working on content. What the cloud does, and what Huddle does, is it enables people to collaborate on content more effectively than ever before."

Mitchell said the contracts with the two US government agencies should act as a launchpad for deals with other federal agencies, and also boost Huddle's profile among private sector clients, such as investment banks. The company expects overall sales to triple this year, but in the US sales are set to increase eight-fold.

Huddle is currently used by 80 percent of central UK government departments to drive efficiencies and reduce operational costs. It has also been deployed by government organisations in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Greenland and Finland.

"We are excited about Huddle's technology platform and the opportunities for secure collaboration it has the potential to provide for our Intelligence Community customers," said Robert Ames, Senior Vice President in charge of the Information and Communication Technologies practice at IQT.

"We look forward to building upon the company's ongoing success in both the government and commercial markets."

Back in May, Huddle raised $24 million (£15.3m) in a Series C round of funding led by Jafco Ventures. The company said it would use the capital to bring intelligent collaboration to organisations across the globe.


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