Ottawa firm wins federal email classification software contract

An Ottawa email ranking software company has won a multi-million dollar contract to provide its solution to the bulk of the federal government.

Titus Inc. said Wednesday that its Message Classification for Microsoft Outlook suite has been chosen by Shared Services Canada to be adopted by 43 federal departments. It already has been bought by some of them.

Worth $5.8 million over seven years, its one of a number of contracts awarded by the government as part of its program to shrink the number of providers and data centres across the country.

Message Classification integrates with Outlook to allow users to classify outgoing email. A warning flag pops up if a message marked “secret” is addressed to someone not authorized to get it.

In short, CEO and founder Tim Upton said in an interview, it makes sure messages to the right people.

To celebrate the win, Upton plans to take the entire staff to a nearby pub for dinner.

Upton said at least 200,000 people will get the application over the next two years. It’s one of the larger deals the company has won. Titus is also a supplier to the U.S. Veterans Affairs departments for 350,000 seats.

It will be overseen by Bell Canada and CGI Information Systems, which last year won the right to supply consolidated email services to the government, replacing 63 email systems.

Shared Services Canada (SSC) was created in 2011 to integrate a number of government IT departments and services under one roof. In addition to cutting the number of data centers to seven from 485, it aims to have a government wide voice and data network (part of which was awarded to MTS Allstream) and a single email system (awarded to Bell/CGI) among other services. It also has responsibility for buying devices including laptops, printers for most departments.

SSC couldn’t provide an official for an interview on the progress of the initiative. Instead a spokesman referred ITWC to the testimony of SSC president Liseanne Forand last month before a House of Commons committee.

In addition to the contracts already awarded there are some 50 wide-area networks interconnecting over 3,580 sites distributed across Canada and internationally, serving over 377,000 users, she said. SSC will move these networks to a common shared telecommunications network infrastructure.

In the last fiscal year SCC achieved its goal of saving $75 million. The department has a budget of $1.48 billion.

The savings came from contract consolidation, leveraging the government’s buying power, and streamlining internal services. Specifically there $13.2 million was saved on network contracts, $20 million on cellular services, $9 million in toll-free long distance and teleconference services, $7.5 million in network procurement reductions, and $25 million in internal operations.

Benoit Long, SSC’s senior assistant deputy minister for transformation, also told the committee that the unfinished consolidation of data centres involves erecting seven purpose-built structures. The goal is to save $99 million over seven years.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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