Microsoft unveils full suite of cloud offerings aimed at government
Microsoft unveiled the full availability of its much-touted Azure Government Tuesday, combining three of its most popular services in one offering aimed at government users.
The full capability includes Azure, Microsoft’s community cloud platform; Dynamics CRM Online, a customer relationship management tool; along with Office 365 for Government, giving Microsoft a holistic offering aimed at federal, state and local governments.
“Through the completeness of this cloud, it really facilitates and will enable a transformation: that interconnectedness of security, your directory and putting together the solutions in a way that will really help propel you forward,” said Microsoft’s Vice President of the U.S. Public Sector Curt Kolcun.
At an event in Washington, D.C., unveiling the offering, Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella talked about how Azure Government fits into Microsoft’s goal of being the platform for productivity.
“For me, Microsoft’s real job is to be able to help others realize the benefits of this digital transformation,” Nadella said. “That’s why I talk about productivity and platforms, that’s what we do for a living. We want to be able to provide to others, in this case, government organizations, to take advantage of the digital transformation of their own processes, their own citizen services, that’s at the core. When you say that’s the core, you have to come at the cloud part of that with a comprehensiveness.”
The offering was hinted at when FedScoop spoke to a number of Microsoft executives during the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in July. While Office 365 for Government has been available for some time, the company has been running pilot programs with Azure and Dynamics CRM for the past few months, including one with the Agriculture Department. As of July, there were more than 2,200 government users of all three products.
Azure Government will offer storage, networking capabilities and applications hosted in data centers located within the U.S. or within an agency’s own data centers. Azure and Dynamics CRM Online have either met or are designed for compliance with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
A number of federal and state government entities are already using different sections of Microsoft’s cloud products. Last year, the U.S. Army bought 50,000 seats of Office 365 and Cloud Services, including email and calendaring, Office Web Apps, and unified communications capabilities to be used across the Defense Department. Additionally, the U.S Navy is deploying Office 365 to 8,000 Navy reservists, providing them with new collaboration and communication tools. On the state side, Texas and Alabama are using Azure in their criminal justice and health care systems.
For more on the offering, read the infographic below or visit Microsoft’s website.