Microsoft 365 Government - how to buy

In response to the unique and evolving requirements of the United States public sector, Microsoft has created specific Microsoft 365 Government environments for US public sector customers. This service description provides an overview of the environments and more information on how to buy. It is recommended that you read this service description alongside other Microsoft 365 and Office 365 service descriptions.

What’s Microsoft 365 Government?

Microsoft 365 Government is a set of productivity, security, and mobility cloud software capabilities tailored for US government agencies and contractors sponsored to hold controlled, unclassified information. Delivered through unique environments that meet the most stringent of compliance requirements, Microsoft 365 Government is a cloud offer for US government customers that matches as closely as possible the features and capabilities of Microsoft commercial cloud enterprise offerings.

What’s the value of Microsoft 365 Government?

Microsoft 365 Government helps US government leaders and workers be productive anywhere, anytime by enabling mobile productivity and secure collaboration with compliance by helping agencies effectively manage regulatory data-compliance requirements. The following table provides examples for key government roles.

Government leaders can… Government employees can… Field personnel can…
Increase public trust through improved communication and transparency
Improve citizen services through better collaboration
Improve quality of services through mobile access to the information field personnel need, when they need it
Improve access to insights that can help shape policy and budget decisions
Enhance cross-agency communications.
Enable collaboration and knowledge sharing to identify and resolve problems quickly
Stay informed and connected with staff and citizens, in the office or on the road
Create deeper engagement with civil servants to help improve employee retention rates
Build a stronger sense of community across agency locations
Ensure a US government–compliant solution that helps reduce costs and enhance agility

What makes Microsoft 365 Government different from Microsoft 365 for enterprise offerings?

Microsoft 365 Government is uniquely designed to address the compliance requirements of US government agencies in four key areas:

Exclusive community. Government data centers are available only to government agencies or departments—or commercial companies that have been authorized to hold and process-controlled information on behalf of the US government.

Screened personnel. Access to your organization's customer content is restricted to screened Microsoft personnel who are US citizens and has passed required background checks. Third-party audits. All of the infrastructure is audited by a certified third-party auditor who provides a security assessment report or attestation letter used by federal agencies to issue an authorization to operate (ATO).

Content storage. Data is stored within the continental United States with compliant infrastructure. The following table summarizes Microsoft 365 for Government environments and commitments.

Offerings Commitments
Microsoft 365 Government GCC
FedRamp High, DFARS, CJIS, IRS 1075, DISA SRG L2
Microsoft 365 Government GCC High
FedRamp High, ITAR, DFARS, DISA SRG L4 controls
Microsoft 365 Government DoD
DISA SRG L5

For more information about Microsoft security and compliance accreditation, visit the Microsoft Trust Center

Microsoft 365 Government eligibility and validation

Microsoft 365 Government is available to eligible government customers and non-government organizations sponsored to hold or process controlled information. The eligibility criteria for these two categories of customers is consistent across the Microsoft Government Cloud.

Both GCC and GCC High offerings are available to any customer that is eligible for the Microsoft Government Cloud, and the DoD environment is for the exclusive use of the U.S. Department of Defense. Service availability and price differ, and GCC remains the hero offering for all customers that do not hold FedRAMP High or DoD controlled unclassified information (CUI).

An eligible government customer is defined by one the following:

  • A federal agency, defined as a bureau, office, agency, department, or other entity of the U.S. Government
  • A state/local entity, defined as one of the following:
    • Any agency of a state or local government in the U.S.
    • Any U.S. county, borough, commonwealth, city, municipality, town, township, special purpose district, or other similar type of governmental instrumentality established by the laws of a customer’s state and located within the customer’s state’s jurisdiction and geographic boundaries
    • The District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands
  • A tribal entity, defined as a federally recognized tribal entity eligible for funding and services from the U.S. Department of Interior by virtue of its status as an Indian tribe, or, in Alaska, a native village or Alaska Regional Native corporation

Non-government organizations who hold the following types of data and can provide the listed proofs qualify for the Microsoft Government Cloud validation process:

A commercial private entity with data that is subject to regulations. Accepted government data types include:

  • International Traffic in Arms (ITAR)
  • Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI)
  • Department of Energy (DoE) UCNI
  • Criminal Justice Information (CJI)
  • Department of Defense Impact Level Data
  • Other types of data that require Microsoft 365 Government

An international commercial entity may qualify, though regulated data may be required to purchase the service through their US subsidiary.

Proof of membership in one of the groups listed above will be required for access to Microsoft 365 Government offerings.

What services and features are available in the Microsoft 365 Government cloud environments?

To learn more about the services available in Microsoft 365 Government, see the following resources:

What sales channels are available for Microsoft 365 Government?

The following table shows the options that can accommodate the needs of each segment.

Item GCC GCC High DoD
SKU Gov for government, GOVCON for commercial GCC-High DOD
Channel EA (LSP), AOS-G, MPSA, Web Direct, CSP EA (LSP), AOS-G EA

How do I buy Microsoft 365 Government?

Follow these steps to purchase Microsoft 365 Government licenses:

  1. Complete and submit the form for GCC or GCC-High to validate your organization’s eligibility.
  2. Work with the Microsoft account team or a qualified partner to place an order. Customers can purchase Microsoft 365 for US Government licenses only through select partners.

LSPs GCC and GCC High (+500 seats)

  • CDW
  • Connection (formerly PC Connection)
  • Crayon
  • Dell
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Insight
  • Minburn Technology Group
  • PCM (also owns En Pointe Technologies)
  • SHI
  • SoftwareOne
  • Softchoice
  • Zones International

AOS-G partners GCC and GCC High (under 500 seats)

  • 12:34 MicroTechnologies, Inc.
  • Accenture Federal Services, LLC
  • Agile IT, Inc
  • American Technology Services, Inc.
  • Applied Information Sciences, Inc.
  • Arctic Information Technology, Inc.
  • BAH
  • C3 Integrated Solutions
  • CACI
  • Carahsoft
  • Catapult Systems, Inc.
  • CGI Federal Inc.
  • Conquest Cyber (UDT)
  • CyberSheath
  • Daymark Solutions, Inc.
  • Dox Electronics Inc.
  • Enlighten
  • F1 Solutions Inc.
  • Four Points Technology, LLC
  • GDIT
  • Golden Five LLC
  • Hypori, Inc.
  • Imager Software, Inc. d.b.a ISC
  • Jackpine
  • Jasper
  • Johnson Technology Systems, Inc.
  • KAMIND IT, Inc.
  • KTL Solutions, Inc.
  • LiftOff, LLC
  • ManTech
  • Nimbus Logic LLC
  • Northrop
  • Novetta
  • Permuta Technologies, Inc.
  • Perspecta
  • Planet Technologies, Inc.
  • Quiet Professionals, LLC
  • R3, LLC
  • Red River
  • SAIC
  • Smartronix
  • Summit 7 Systems
  • TechTrend, Inc.
  • Valcom Salt Lake City, LC dba VCLM
  • VC3, INC
  • Vexcel

Note: All Microsoft licensing solution providers (LSPs) in the preceding list can transact both GCC and GCC High through Enterprise Agreement (EA) to create the customer price sheet (CPS). Organizations that don’t qualify for EA can purchase GCC licenses through the listed AOS-G partners or CSP partner program.

If you work with a CSP partner, contact them or find a CSP.

What trials are available?

  • EMS. Customers can select the Try now button on the upper right portion of the EMS page to go through a gated sign-up process on the Office commerce portal, which routes them to the Azure Active Directory (AAD) portal.
  • Office 365. A free one-month trial is available for GCC ONLY.
  • Microsoft does not offer trials of Office 365 GCC to commercial customers, and there are no trials of GCC High or DoD.

Where can I learn more?

See the following resources to find out more about Microsoft 365 Government.