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Driving Government Digital Transformation with a Complete, Trusted Cloud

By Curt Kolcun, Vice President, US Public Sector on October 25, 2016

Filed under Microsoft in Government

Columns on a government building

Today, at the 5th annual Microsoft Government Cloud Forum, we’re bringing together more than 600 customers and partners from across the U.S. federal, state and local government agencies to focus on digital transformation and the possibilities for government leaders to capitalize on the promise of technology to create more efficient, transparent, and productive government operations. We believe a cloud-first approach can help agencies with their digital transformation initiatives, providing more value to those they serve.  At Microsoft, we are committed to providing the most complete and trusted cloud so that government agencies can achieve more.

Recently, we took that commitment a step further by sharing significant Cloud for Government updates that demonstrate the unique breadth and scope of our solutions and the ways in which we are investing in our platform to enable U.S. government agencies to innovate and transform. It’s clear that not all clouds are created equal and we encourage you to check the facts, to select the platform that is best suited to enable agencies and citizens to succeed.

Today, as an extension of our commitment to comprehensive compliance, Microsoft is announcing that it signed a CJIS agreement with the state of Georgia, bringing the total number of signed CJIS agreements to 24. This is four times more than our nearest competitor. We are also proud of the 13 Microsoft Azure Government Cloud services in our FedRAMP scope, including FedRAMP Moderate and High, for which we have achieved authorization. This is two times  more services in scope than the nearest cloud service provider, with more expansions planned. We don’t intend on stopping here.

Solutions designed with a focus on government agencies such as Office 365 for Government, Azure Government, and Dynamics Government provide unique cloud breadth that help organizations lower costs, make data-driven decisions, manage  transparency, and ultimately achieve better citizen outcomes.  We are continuing our momentum around the Microsoft Government Cloud by announcing:

  • General Availability of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS): Now available to Azure Government customers, Log Analytics and the Operations Management Suite Portal helps customers collect and analyze data generated by resources in cloud and on-premises environments. The service provides real-time insights using integrated search and custom dashboards to help customers readily analyze millions of records across all workloads and servers regardless of their physical location.
  • General Availability of the Azure Government Marketplace:   Now available to Azure Government customers, Azure Government Marketplace brings the quality, choice, and strength of the Azure partner ecosystem to our IT & Developer government customers using a unified location. We’ve partnered with some of the top ISVs to provide Azure Government customers more options for finding the right solution and quickly spinning up applications that suit their needs. A sample of partners includes: F5 Networks, Cisco Systems, ESRI, Citrix, Barracuda, and Splunk.

Today, we also discussed recently announced capabilities, which are helping to provide the trust, security, and functionality that government agencies are looking for. Highlights include:

  • Department of Defense: Highlighting our commitment to the Department of Defense, today Microsoft is beginning the Azure Government preview program of the regions dedicated solely to Department of Defense customers. This preview program includes over 30 customers from across the Department of Defense.
  • Commitment to Linux and Open Source: Red Hat images in a Pay-As-You-Go model: As we showed at today’s Forum, Microsoft also continues its commitment to choice and flexibility through our partnership with Red Hat by offering government organizations additional options to migrate their Red Hat subscriptions to Azure Government. Through Red Hat images available in a Pay-As-You-Go model, our government customers are able to scale their cloud services across the platforms of their choice.
  • Azure Blueprint: Earlier this month, we announced the initial release of the Azure Blueprint program. Key to this program are the fast-track processes and templates that outline the customer and agency responsibilities while hosting IaaS and PaaS  solutions on Azure, which can help to accelerate the time needed to meet FedRAMP.

Government Agencies Transforming with the Microsoft Cloud for Government

Microsoft is proud of our relationships. With nearly 6 million Microsoft Cloud for Government users across more than 7,000 federal, state and local government organizations, we are excited to help address the unique and complex challenges that governments face in service of their citizens.

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD Enterprise and Architecture Transformation (HEAT) initiative, led by the agency’s IT leadership, is moving everything to the cloud and looked to Microsoft to provide that all-in-one enterprise solution. “SharePoint is going out to the cloud. All our storage is going to the cloud. Skype for Business will be part of that capability…Everything is now cloud…We will build everything new in…[Microsoft’s] Azure cloud.” said HUD’s Chief Information Officer in a recent interview.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A Cooperative Research & Development Agreement is leading to an optimal method for extracting data from NOAA’s internal systems. This will allow Microsoft to host weather, water, ocean, and climate data provided by NOAA scientists on our Azure cloud platform, allowing government and private industry to take advantage of the consolidation of NOAA data in a cloud repository.
  • The Memphis Police Department needed a scalable solution to store more video evidence in a cost-effective way. Los Angeles (LAPD) recently discussed their use of our cloud services at the Gartner Symposium and was attracted to our CJIS compliance. For the Miami-Dade Police Department, it was about building community and making policing more transparent. Whatever your organization’s concern, with the Azure Government Cloud, police departments can now support petabytes of video data, get instant access to digital evidence, and in the process, they significantly cut infrastructure costs and maintain compliance.
  • World-class technology companies leverage Azure Government as their cloud platform to help government customers meet their security and compliance requirements.  Examples include IBM Intelligent Video Analytics, Genetec Clearance, and Safariland’s VIEVU Solution – all highlighted at the recent International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.

Looking to the Future

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on planet to achieve more – that includes every government organization at the state, local and federal levels and our partners.  We are looking forward to working with you to make the digital transformation journey and to ultimately achieve better outcomes for citizens.

Contact Microsoft to learn more about the cloud for government, and, join us at the Microsoft Local Tech Gov Summit on November 16, 2016.

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