To address specific government or business requirements, Microsoft offers several versions of Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS), including BPOS-Federal, BPOS-Dedicated, and BPOS-Standard. Each of these online services is designed to help meet your needs for robust security, all-day every-day reliability, and user productivity.
BPOS-Federal has received FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification and accreditation.
FISMA was passed in 2002 and created a process for federal agencies to certify and accredit the security of information management systems. FISMA certification and accreditation indicates that a federal agency has approved a particular solution for its use in line with the level of security established by that agency.
The certification and accreditation has resulted in an official “Authorization to Operate” (ATO) issued on April 19 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Services-Federal, which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Online. It follows a similar authorization issued by the USDA in November for the Microsoft data centers that will deliver these services to the USDA. We plan to pursue FISMA certification and accreditation for Office 365, next generation cloud productivity suite, after it launches.
As a result of this action, the USDA is migrating 120,000 employees to Microsoft’s BPOS-Federal service. This means that the USDA can use BPOS-Federal to handle a variety of tasks. For example, the USDA’s Food Security programs can use BPOS-Federal to respond to food safety emergencies, the U.S. Forest Service can use BPOS-Federal to coordinate its efforts to fight forest fires, and the Foreign Agriculture Service can use BPOS-Federal to manage the distribution of food aid to millions of people around the world.