Plan for Microsoft 365 Government - GCC deployments
This guidance is for IT pros who are driving deployments of Office 365 in US federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government entities or other entities that handle data that’s subject to government regulations and requirements, where the use of Microsoft 365 Government - GCC is appropriate to meet these requirements.
If your organization has already met the Microsoft 365 Government - GCC eligibility requirements and applied for and been accepted into the program, you can skip steps 1 and 2 and go directly to step 3.
Step 1. Determine whether your organization needs Microsoft 365 Government - GCC and meets eligibility requirements.
The Microsoft 365 Government - GCC environment provides compliance with US government requirements for cloud services, including FedRAMP Moderate, and requirements for criminal justice and federal tax information systems (CJI and FTI data types).
In addition to enjoying the features and capabilities of Office 365, organizations benefit from the following features that are unique to Microsoft 365 Government - GCC:
- Your organization’s customer content is logically segregated from customer content in the commercial Office 365 services from Microsoft.
- Your organization’s customer content is stored within the United States.
- Access to your organization’s customer content is restricted to screened Microsoft personnel.
- Microsoft 365 Government - GCC complies with certifications and accreditations that are required for US Public Sector customers.
The Office 365 US Government service description describes the platform’s benefits, which are centered around meeting compliance requirements within the United States.
You might want to transfer the tables of information in the service description into an Excel workbook and add two columns: Relevant for my organization Y/N and Meets the needs of my organization Y/N. Then you can review this list with your colleagues to confirm that this service meets your organization’s needs.
Microsoft 365 Government - GCC is only available in the United States. Non–US Government customers can choose from a number of Office 365 Government plans.
Step 2. Apply for Microsoft 365 Government - GCC
Having decided that this service is right for your organization, start the process of applying for this service here.
Step 3. Understand Microsoft 365 Government - GCC default security settings.
We recommend that you take time to carefully review your admin and security settings before you modify them, and consider impacts on compliance before you make any changes to the default security settings.
Step 4. Understand which capabilities are currently unavailable or disabled by default.
To accommodate the requirements of our government cloud customers, there are some differences between Microsoft 365 Government - GCC and Enterprise plans. Refer to the following table to see which features are available.
|Unified presence (Skype for Business and Teams unified)||Available|
|InterOp (1:1 Teams-Skype for Business chat)||Available|
|OneNote tab||On the Government backlog|
|Email a channel||Not available|
|Give and take control in sharing||Available|
|Connect from a conference room||Available|
|Surface Hub support||Not available|
|Skype for Business - Teams calling||Available|
|Audio conferencing (by allowing meeting participants to join via PSTN)||Available|
|Microsoft Phone System direct routing||Available|
|Lobby for PSTN callers||Available|
|Boss and delegate support||Available|
|Consultative and safe transfer||Available|
|Do not disturb breakthrough||Available|
|1:1 to group call escalation with Teams, Skype for Business, and PSTN participants||Available|
|Forward to group||Available|
|Transfer to PSTN call||Available|
|Emergency calling - Calling Plans||Available|
|Support for existing certified SIP phones||Available|
|eDiscovery for both calls and meetings||Available|
|Organization auto attendant||Available|
|Skype consumer - Teams call support||Available|
|Store||App Store||On the Government backlog|
|Compliance||Compliance content search||Available|
|Audit log search||Available|
Once other workloads are fully available in the GCC cloud, then they will become available in Teams when all additional integration work is completed.
Step 5. Plan for governance
Determine your requirements for governance and how you can meet them. Go to Plan for governance in Teams for more information.
Step 6. Deploy Teams for collaboration
After you’ve been onboarded to Microsoft 365 Government – GCC, follow the recommended deployment path outlined in How to roll out Microsoft Teams. Be sure to engage with your Adoption and Change Management team and Teams champions.
You can also work with FastTrack or your chosen partner to onboard the service.
Step 7. Deploy Teams for meetings and voice
This is also a great time to use Teams with your wider stakeholder group to start planning for rolling out meetings and cloud voice features.