DICT re-launches GovCloud, awards P373-M contract to Vibal Group

To pursue its “Cloud-First Policy”, the government has re-launched what it claimed is the biggest cloud project in the country – the P373-million Government Cloud or GovCloud initiative.

Officials from DICT, DOST, and Vibal Group lead the re-launch of GovCloud

Officials from DICT, DOST, and Vibal Group lead the re-launch of GovCloud

The unveiling ceremonies were held at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City with officials from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) in attendance.

GovCloud started out as a major component of the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil), the flagship e-government program of the Aquino administration.

The DICT awarded the P373-million bid to build, operate, and transfer a complete cloud solution to Vibal Group, which is more known as a book publisher but is now in the middle of transformation as a cloud and education technology company.

Vibal Group partnered with technology firms Amazon Web Services, HP Enterprise, Indra Philippines, Microsoft, and Philcox Philippines for the cloud undertaking.

Gaspar Vibal, CEO of Vibal Group, said the project has a timetable of nine months. “We’ve already started last February so we expect to finish its implementation by October,” he said in a press briefing.

In his presentation, Vibal said GovCloud will use a hybrid cloud strategy that will use both private and public cloud. The creation of private in-country data center will ensure data security, while the off-premise public cloud will make online information and services readily available to government agencies, he said.

Seen as the DICT’s first signature project, GovCloud is a public service cloud infrastructure designed to reduce the cost of government technology solution, boost employee productivity, and improve online services.

The project is in accordance with DICT Circular No. 2017-002, which encourages all state departments, offices, and agencies to adopt the “Cloud-First Policy” and take advantage of scalable, on-demand cloud computing that can better serve citizens.

DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente said that under the government’s Cloud-First Policy, agencies must always consider cloud solution as the first option for their IT infrastructure. Other options can only be considered when a cloud solution is not feasible, he said.

“The GovCloud shall provide a complete cloud solution, allowing the DICT to act as a cloud broker with the ability to rapidly scale the infrastructure for government,” Villorente added.

The GovCloud service, which has been operating on a limited capacity since 2013, was initially set up to support the project’s applications and services.

To accommodate other agencies, it has expanded through the implementation of the Next Generation Cloud and the Government Common Platform Cloud.

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