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When you check the facts, Microsoft government cloud stands apart

By Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure on October 18, 2016

Filed under Microsoft in Government

Governments across the United States – from the biggest federal agencies to the smallest towns – are increasingly turning to the cloud to be more productive and collaborative, and to better harness exponentially growing amounts of data that helps them better support the citizens they serve. But which cloud provider is best suited to help them with these important tasks? When we check the facts, it’s evident that not all clouds are created equal.

No major cloud provider is as committed to supporting the needs of government agencies as Microsoft, and we have built the most trusted, comprehensive cloud for government. To further that commitment, today we are announcing significant advancements for our Government Cloud:

  • Department of Defense-specific Office 365 and Azure. By the end of 2016, physically isolated versions of Azure Government and Office 365 US Government Defense specifically for the Department of Defense (DoD) will be available in two new dedicated regions. These regions will also connect to Department of Defense (DoD) networks via Microsoft Express Route.
  • DoD Information Impact Level 5. These versions of Office 365 and Azure are built from the ground up to meet DoD Impact Level 5 controls. DoD agencies and companies managing controlled information will be able to use this platform for Department of Defense National Security System data. Microsoft is on track to achieve a DoD Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization for both Office 365 and Azure.
  • Two additional Azure Government regions in the South West and South Central United States. Today we’re announcing our intent to expand Azure Government from new regions in Arizona and Texas. Slated to be generally available in 2017, the new regions will add to our existing regions in Virginia and Iowa and are new additions beyond the Department of Defense regions mentioned above. Now, Microsoft has a total of six dedicated regions for government customers – significantly more than any other cloud provider. Combined with dedicated Government ExpressRoute options, Microsoft offers government agencies broad choice of where they host their data and where they connect directly to Microsoft’s infrastructure.

We take our customers’ trust very seriously, and we know we can’t build that trust with words alone. Instead, we nurture it by delivering on what we promise. With nearly 6 million Microsoft Government Cloud users across more than 7,000 federal, state and local government customers, our customers are proof of that trust. In a recent survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, government customers rated Microsoft as the most trusted cloud service provider, over AWS, Google and Salesforce.

To extend this trust, we also believe it’s important for our government customers to know all the facts before they make important decisions about their cloud investments. Microsoft is the only Government Cloud provider that has:

  • DoD Impact Level 5 readiness. Microsoft is the only commercial cloud provider to offer a cloud that is DoD Impact Level 5-ready for infrastructure, platform, and productivity services.
  • Signed CJIS agreements in 23 states. Microsoft has signed Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) agreements in 23 states, covering more than 60% of the U.S. population. This is nearly six times the number signed by our nearest cloud competitor. Microsoft’s leadership in signing these agreements is helping agencies strengthen transparency, trust and community relationships.
  • Six dedicated government U.S. datacenters. Microsoft is the only government cloud with six datacenter regions (including two dedicated regions for DoD Impact Level 5). Microsoft offers the broadest geographic availability and diversity, including 500-mile geo-redundancy, with regions in the east, west, south and midwest. And our bi-coastal, government-only datacenters offer data replication in multiple locations within the country for business continuity. By comparison, the other major cloud provider only offers one government cloud region in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Largest compliance portfolio. Microsoft has the broadest and deepest compliance certifications of any cloud provider, with infrastructure, platform and productivity services. In addition to the 23 CJIS states and DoD Impact Level 5 milestones, Microsoft is willing to put its government compliance in writing, including the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 1075 Encryption Requirements, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP — including FedRAMP High and achieving the first FedRAMP JAB P-ATO through FedRAMP Accelerated), among others. This compliance enables Microsoft to address the breadth and depth of regulations customers require.
  • Formal eligibility process. Microsoft is the only government cloud service provider with an exclusive, rigorous screening process for every single incoming request to determine eligibility to house data in the Microsoft Government cloud.

At Microsoft, we stand up for government customers by standing behind the investments we’ve made, to ensure our customers have the most trusted, complete, compliant and secure cloud solution available. As we continue to build out our government cloud infrastructure and services here in the U.S. and in datacenters across the globe, we will continue to work to ensure our innovations in cloud technology, capacity, trust and compliance help governments work better for everyone.

Contact Microsoft to learn more about the Microsoft Cloud for Government.

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