By Max Clarke

Public sector organisations will soon be able to collaborate securely and effectively on IL3 (restricted) content thanks to Huddle, the leader in cloud collaboration and content management, and FCO Services, Government experts in secure ICT services.

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.

Huddle IL3 will significantly increase efficiency and reduce costs by enabling people across government to securely share documents, review content and discuss ideas in one central place. With government driving a shift to cloud-based technologies and collaborative working initiatives, the product responds to increasing demand for tools that support cross-department collaboration and joined-up government. Unlike many on-premise legacy ICT systems, Huddle IL3 can be set up in minutes, with no special architecting or customisations required, and software updates occur automatically.

The first Software as a Service (SaaS) application to be hosted on FCO Services’ Government Secure Application Environment (GSAE) cloud infrastructure, Huddle IL3 will enable office-based colleagues, remote workers and teams across government to access and distribute content up to IL3 (RESTRICTED) with the appropriate security measures and accreditation.

The product’s launch strengthens Huddle’s public sector offering, providing customers with the advantages of the cloud while storing more highly classified data privately as required. More than 60 per cent of central government departments, including Defra and the Cabinet Office, already use the secure public version of Huddle for external collaboration with data up to IL2. Huddle IL3 will significantly extend the uses of the collaboration application.

“While the majority of the market is well-placed to reap the benefits of public cloud offerings, there are a few sectors, such as government, where regulatory requirements make this impossible,” said Alastair Mitchell, CEO, Huddle. “Working together, we are combining Huddle’s expertise in online collaboration with FCO Services’ experience of providing essential, secure support services to government at higher security levels. Rather than battling with costly on-premise systems, government now has the opportunity to deploy a secure online application that enables people to get their job done. Being cloud-based, Huddle IL3 can reduce the management overheads of technology infrastructure, increase flexibility and improve productivity.”

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. The pressure to do more with less has never been greater and our customers are seeking new ways to meet their business needs. Our agreement with Huddle to host this collaboration application on our GSAE platform will help departments to make efficiency savings without the risk of compromise to data,” 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.”

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