Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Government Community Cloud
Government Community Cloud
Microsoft recently announced a special version of Office 365 called the Government
Community Cloud (GCC). The GCC is specifically created for United States government entities.
A subscription to the GCC is sometimes referred to as a G-tenant. All US federal, state, and
local government entities are eligible to sign up for the GCC instead of a traditional
enterprise Office 365 subscription, which is sometimes referred to as an E-tenant because of the
E1, E3, and E4 plan names associated with the commercial offerings for enterprises. Like the
E plans, the GCC has corresponding G1, G3, and G4 plans.
The GCC was introduced to address very specific government regulatory requirements,
such as the need for special auditing or for additional background checks and security
clearances of Office 365 personnel. These requirements are unique to government
entities and are not required for enterprise customers. It does not mean that the GCC is more
secure than the commercial Office 365 subscriptions. While the GCC is reserved for
government entities, it is not a requirement for a government organization to register for a
G-tenant. Government organizations can choose to use an E-tenant if they do not require
the special requirements found in the GCC.
It is important to stress that certain regulatory requirements are achievable only in the GCC.
One example of this is the ability to host Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) data in
Office 365. There is a specific process to accomplish this, but it can be done only within the
GCC. We will discuss CJIS in the "Regulatory compliance" section later in this chapter.
Business case for Office 365
Technologists and technology leaders likely are already familiar with Office 365 as a
technology platform. However, some might believe that Office 365 only provides cost-savings
opportunities. Cost savings, tangible and intangible, form the basis for a business case to
consider Office 365 over traditional technology adoption. However, there are other aspects
of Office 365 that make it a compelling solution to consider adopting. The following
sections highlight some of the more significant features of an Office 365 business case.
The subscription model for licensing software is an industry trend and not just applicable
to Office 365. However, what Office 365 does is to make it more cost effective to access
new technologies. It also makes it flexible for organizations to license software only at a
level that matches their organization's consumption. This is sometimes known as a
paywhat-you-use model. Office 365 provides the ability for organizations to add and remove
licenses, and enterprises are billed on an annual basis. Office 365 also makes it flexible and
cost effective for enterprise customers in two important ways: