Is there such a thing as secure collaboration? That's what Huddle is aiming for with a new FISMA-approved cloud service for U.S. government agencies to communicate across the web.
Collaborating Behind Closed Doors
Being certified by the Federal Information Security Management Act is a great way to open doors within government, even if they slam tightly closed again once you're through. Huddle has a version of its popular collaboration platform approved and certified for this level of use, allowing the U.S. intelligence community and other agencies to worth together and share information across the cloud in a secure fashion.
Already widely used by western European governments, the secure Huddle platform is currently being developed for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This achievement for Huddle is down to a strategic partnership and technology development agreement with In‐Q-Tel (IQT), a non-profit, strategic investment firm that identifies solutions to support U.S. intelligence.
Developing for the Man
Of course, the battle for government money is intense and there are plenty of competitors in the secure space, with IBM's SmartCloud for Government (which is also FISMA compliant) a major player. Of course, this market isn't all hush-hush as Google and Microsoft had a good old argument about the level of accreditation for their products last year.
While likely a tiny drop in the $78+ trillion Federal IT budget, (you can view more on that mammoth entity at the Federal IT Dashboard), these deals will help raise Huddle's profile and help it secure further government work.
As government departments move away from developing or contracting for their own costly, non-functional solutions, and start adopting and adapting off-the-shelf products that can be fortified to suitable security levels, more and more cloud services could play a part in helping make the government more agile and communicative among its departments.
Back in the Enterprise
For the rest of us users, Huddle keeps on updating its core products with new features and improvements. Most recently, we've seen the addition of a single view of files for enterprise users, and the arrival of the inevitable iPad app.
This comes on the back of a recent funding boost back in May, that gave the company an additional US$ 24 million to work with. As M&A activity starts to rise after Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer, will someone major now be looking at Huddle as a cloud collab partner?