Inspire, Transform, Empower: A look back at 2015 for Microsoft in Worldwide Public Sector…
The previous 12 months have been an exciting time for the Worldwide Public Sector team at Microsoft, as we’ve worked in support of our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. From improving social services in the United Kingdom, to helping eradicate poverty in rural India, to improving incident response and water conservation efforts in North America, I’m proud of the work we’ve done this year to deliver positive societal and global impact. From all of us on the Worldwide Public Sector team at Microsoft, we hope that you are as inspired as we are by the stories that follow.
2015 Worldwide Public Sector Story Highlights:
Nottinghamshire County Council: Nottinghamshire County Council boosts social care
Like much of local government, Nottinghamshire County Council, one of the UK’s largest councils, is working in an environment of reduced government funding coupled with rising costs and a higher demand for services, especially in the area of social care. To increase efficiencies and improve the quality of services they deliver to citizens, Nottinghamshire County Council has implemented a cloud solution that enables staff to access work data, files, and colleagues wherever they are. Now, social workers have the information they need at their fingertips to provide the best possible service to local families, and productivity has increased by 17 percent.
Forensic Advantage Systems: Law enforcement builds cases, protects community with cloud-based forensics application
Forensic labs, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies are always looking for new tools that increase efficiency to help them solve crimes and build cases. That’s where Forensic Advantage Systems comes in. The company’s Incident Response 360 application enables crime scene and mass disaster responders to document, collaborate, and reconstruct an incident in a highly secured Microsoft Azure Government cloud, usable in both connected and disconnected modes.
San Francisco Public Utilities: How the cloud can help San Francisco Public Utilities Commission weather the drought
California water shortages and a record drought have prompted the state’s governor, Jerry Brown, to tell agencies, such as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, to lower their water usage by 25 percent. Working in conjunction with OSIsoft a maker of smart sensor platforms, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is using Microsoft cloud technologies to gain instant access to information that leads to faster decisions and more effective operations, such as being able to move water around the system, reduce the amount of overflows, and treat higher quality water. And, moving operations to the cloud will save the agency the cost of servers, hardware, and software so that they can focus on giving people what they depend on every day: water.
Peirce School: Primary school’s energy management transformed by cloud-based insights
The Peirce School in Arlington, Massachusetts, used the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform to host its fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) technology from ICONICS, building a system to monitor heating and cooling equipment. The system increased the speed of problem detection by 15 percent, reduced energy consumption, and cut outside contractor costs. It is now slated for a second school and helped pave the way for state funding for other FDD projects
Al Amal School for Deaf Students in the United Arab Emirates educates children in kindergarten through grade 12. To help teachers build engaging lessons, the school worked with Microsoft to deploy a new solution based on Microsoft Office 365 that aids faculty in creating sign-language videos, improves teacher-student communication, facilitates independent learning, and encourages parent involvement.
City of Lviv: City of Lviv modernizes data collection, drives city transformation with shift to cloud
To help visitors find local sites of interest, the city of Lviv, Ukraine, built Tourist Information Centers (TICs), where tourists can ask questions, pick up brochures, and learn about the city. TIC employees collect demographic data, which the city uses to improve tourist services. To modernize its manual spreadsheet-based data collection, Lviv deployed a new information portal built on Microsoft Azure that improves data accuracy and speeds up report generation.
Is it possible to predict whether students are at risk of dropping out of school? The Tacoma Public School district thinks so. By using predictive analytics tools based on Microsoft cloud technologies, the district is providing comprehensive data snapshots of student success indicators and has already helped improve graduation rates from 55 to 78 percent.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center: Dartmouth-Hitchcock ushers in a new age of proactive, personalized healthcare using Cortana Analytics Suite
In the Upper Connecticut River valley, an unprecedented effort is underway that could revolutionize the US healthcare system. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, an unlikely team of experts from a broad swath of industries—from medicine to retail, entertainment, publishing, and hospitality—is fearlessly and persistently challenging the status quo of modern healthcare. They’re piloting a highly coordinated, intensely personalized solution that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health.
City of Surat: Surat becomes a safer, smarter city with new technologies for policing and service delivery
The rapidly growing city of Surat, India, decided to adopt new technologies to increase the efficiency of city operations. The Municipal Commissioner has improved access to services through an online Virtual Civic Center and is working on a City Dashboard to better track services delivery. The Police Commissioner has reduced crime by 27 percent in parts of the city with a new video-enabled command center, and a new application management system helps citizens submit paperwork to the city and track progress online.
Optolexia: Swedish researchers build dyslexia screening tool with cloud-based analytics solution
Optolexia, founded by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, built a dyslexia screening tool for young children. By using a repository of eye-tracking data and an analytical engine built with cloud-based Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Optolexia aims to help schools identify students at risk for dyslexia significantly earlier than current screening tests. With early diagnosis, students can receive appropriate treatments to boost learning skills and improve academic performance.
The mission of India’s Ministry of Rural Development is the sustainable and inclusive growth of rural India through a multipronged strategy for eradication of poverty by increasing livelihoods, providing a social safety net, and developing infrastructure for growth. As part of their efforts, the ministry created a work registry, job-matching, and payments system that uses Microsoft technologies. Hosted on the government/private cloud, the system aims to ensure livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Modesto City Schools: California school district adopts Windows-based devices for better teaching and learning
To improve teaching and learning, Modesto City Schools is standardizing on devices running the Windows operating system for all staff and students. With 12,000 devices today, growing to 45,000 in five years, Modesto Schools likes the performance, low cost, and digital inking technology provided by Windows-based devices. It has also rolled out Microsoft Office 365 to give all staff and students cloud-based access to the latest productivity and collaboration tools.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the ways technology is transforming the public sector. For more on Microsoft and our work to empower organizations and individuals, please visit our Public Sector industry sites found below.