On the Path to GCC High: How to Validate Your Organization with Microsoft

By - July 11, 2023

In a previous article, we discussed each of the currently available editions of Microsoft 365. These ranged from the base commercial M365 up to the GCC High edition. In this article, we will focus on the steps required for your organization to qualify for GCC High.

In order to purchase GCC High, your organization must first receive Microsoft validation. There are three main steps to this process:

  1. Submitting a request for validation
  2. Providing appropriate documentation
  3. Submitting a GCC High licensing request

The following guide will explain each step in further detail, as well as how RSM can help in your GCC High journey.

Step 1: Validation Request

The validation process begins at the following link: Microsoft Government General Validation. The purpose of this form is so that Microsoft can verify your organization’s eligibility as one of the following:

  • US federal, state, local, or tribal government entity
    • Select this option if you are one of the above bodies
  • Solution provider serving US federal, state, local or tribal government entities
    • This option only applies to non-government solution providers such as CSPs
    • Selecting this option will cause your validation request to be declined
  • Customers handling government-controlled data
    • Select this option if you are not a government organization

When applying for GCC High, validation as a category 3 entity is required. Category 2 entities only qualify for Azure Government and not GCC High.

Once Microsoft has reviewed your validation request, they will contact you via email within two business days regarding next steps.

Step 2: Provide Documentation

Once the first step of the validation process has been completed, the Microsoft US Government Cloud Eligibility Team will contact you to request one of the following pieces of documentation:

  • A Valid CAGE Code or SAM registration with DUNS:
    • Your SAMS registration must be for All Awards.
    • You will not receive validation if the purpose is only for Federal Assistance Awards.
  • A signed contract (certified electronic or ink) indicating the regulated data requirement as part of the direct or indirect delivery.
    • Ensure that the name of the data owner entity is visible.
  • A sponsor letter specifying the regulated data requirements and the duration of the requirement, signed within the last 12 months.
    • This must be from a valid US Government entity or previously approved Category 3 entity holding the same data type, specifying the controlled data type (see list below), on the sponsor entity letterhead, and signed by the sponsor (certified electronic or ink).

Controlled information types acceptable for Microsoft GCC High validation include the following:

  • CUI: Controlled Unclassified Information (including all of the CUI sub-categories)
  • ITAR: International Traffic in Arms Regulations
  • EAR: Export Administration Regulations

Microsoft will also request any additional clarification regarding your organization, such as any website, address, or phone number issues at this time.

Step 3: Submit Request

Once you have submitted the required documentation, Microsoft will reach back out and either:

  1. Notify your organization that it has been validated or
  2. Request different or additional documentation needed for the validation process

Once your organization is deemed eligible, Microsoft will ask you to work with the Microsoft account team or a qualified partner such as RSM to purchase GCC High.

How can RSM help?

RSM’s US-based experts are trained and certified to offer Microsoft services from the commercial level up to the GCC High edition. When providing GCC High support services, we ensure there is no risk of RSM ever ingesting or handling sensitive data into RSM’s network, as we leverage separate, GovCon-approved devices and software.

Our experts will help guide clients in purchasing the necessary licenses in order to operate a GCC High tenant, and we will then provide support services to help clients best utilize their new environment.

RSM is here to help you in your Microsoft journey, from the commercial to the GCC High level. For more information, please reach out to:

Receive Posts by Email

Subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.