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This is just a quick post to share some things we've heard around the watercooler regarding Office 365 in the Government Community Cloud.
As many are aware already, we now have Forms and Planner in GCC High. This was a major hangup for some of our clients seeking to transition into the secure cloud, as they were already using these features in commercial Office 365. This leaving dial-in meetings (as perhaps Teams) as the last major missing pieces that people are waiting for.
Coming in Q1:
Outlook App for iOS and Android (though we know how to make it work today, our approach will become the officially sanctioned path forward)
Outlook App for iOS and Android
There's no word yet on the as-yet-unnamed offering that will provide dial-in meetings for Skype for Business and Teams in GCC High and DoD. Folks in regular GCC already have this ability today. We hear there are discussions underway and that there may be some news developing on this topic in late January.
For partners, there are interesting happenings around selling Office 365 GCC High.
Up until now, there are only 5 Microsoft partners who have been able to sell these licenses through Microsoft's AOSG program. We have been told that no other partners will be permitted into this program, which may sound like bad news but what it really means is quite exciting. Existing GCC High partners will be transitioned from AOSG to CSP, while at the same time a process will be put in place under CSP to allow more partners to sell GCC High licenses through that channel.
CSP partners are already able to sell regular GCC licenses, so this change is a positive for everyone. There's no word yet on if this means that GCC High will be available on a month-to-month basis like other CSP offerings, but we would assume so.
If you're a CSP now and you are interested in getting on the GCC High bandwagon, there are a few things you can do today to streamline the process. Partners will need to obtain gold competency in a relevant area, so we're thinking that means Cloud Productivity or some similar track. Probably if you sell Office 365 today you are already there or well on your way. More than likely, those who sell to the federal government will still need to register with GSA or SAM.gov.
On the still-developing list of requirements, there will be process and government training partners will need to complete and an government addendum they will need to sign.
Keep in mind that this is all basically rumors, and there is no official date or even a target date from Microsoft. Microsoft is currently focused on developing their internal talent and making sure that all the existing AOSG partners are on a relatively equal footing with respect to the upcoming changes. The rest of us can expect to have some catching up to do once the gates are opened.