A big advance today for Huddle, the enterprise cloud collaboration platform: the company has announced that it is developing a version of its platform for two federal U.S. government organizations, the Department of Homeland Security‘s Science and Technology Directorate and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. These are the first U.S. deals of their kind for the company originally founded in London but now dual headquartered in San Francisco — although they are not unprecedented: Huddle says it is already providing similar services to 80% of the UK government.
The first stage of these deployments is a strategic partnership between Huddle and In-Q-Tel (IQT), the non-profit, strategic investment firm that identifies and develops technology solutions for the U.S. Intelligence Community. Huddle tells me that financial terms of this deal have not been disclosed.
When completed, the platform will enable employees in the two groups to discover, access, and work on content with each other, through a framework that has been approved to have the right level of security.
Huddle has raised $40 million in funding to date, and today also said that it has had 800% sales growth over last year. It has not set a date yet for its initial public offering, although it has already stated that this is its next expansion plan.
On top of serving 80% of all UK government departments, Huddle is also taking a big part of its spend on cloud services: it says it has secured some 89% of all spend that was allocated to the G-Cloud framework. It also has government clients in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Greenland and Finland, and works with other non-federal agencies in the U.S. such as NASA and a number of state governments.
One of its more milestone events in the UK, which could have been a persuading factor in the decision announced today, is that in July last year, the company developed Huddle IL3, the first commercial public cloud service to be modified and accredited for pan-government collaboration on restricted data. Huddle says that pan-government collaboration, not just within teams but across firewalls to external parties, is currently one of the driving forces in a lot of cloud deployments in the public sector.
More generally, the move is a mark of how much public sector organizations have been investing in cloud services — reflecting the wider trend among enterprises. “Governments worldwide are now placing cloud technology at the heart of their campaigns to increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce IT costs,” said Alastair Mitchell, CEO, Huddle.
Once this instance has been developed it can be deployed to further agencies and organizations in the U.S. intelligence community. “We look forward to building upon the company’s ongoing success in both the government and commercial markets,” said Robert Ames, SVP for the information and communication technologies practice at IQT.
Huddle is not the only cloud company going after this space, of course. Salesforce, which is ramping up its product offering with new launches next week at Dreamforce, also touts its work with public sector companies.