Note: In Part 2 of a two-part series, Rick Wagner shares Microsoft Federal’s 2020 progress in delivering solutions and tools for digital transformation and efficient mission-focused operations. Please see Part 1 for examples of federal agencies achieving success in addressing pandemic impacts and meeting diverse missions.
In Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s 2020 letter to shareholders, he reflects on the past year and the opportunity ahead. I was struck by one of his statements, which captures why I’m honored to lead Microsoft Federal: “I’m proud of how our ecosystem of customers and partners has stepped up over the past year to help people and organizations in every country use technology to be resilient and transform during the most trying of circumstances.” This is especially true in the United States, where our Microsoft Federal team and partners provide trusted leading-edge cloud and AI solutions to empower federal agencies in addressing extraordinary challenges, fulfilling demanding requirements and enabling secure, agile digital transformation. It’s also why our first-ever digital Government Leaders Summit on Dec. 7 will focus on mission and leadership resiliency.
Looking back over the year, Microsoft has made significant progress in providing best-in-class technology for our federal customers to quickly achieve commercial parity while meeting the highest levels of government security and compliance. We’re delivering the latest cloud and AI innovation directly to U.S. federal agencies. For example:
- We’re excited to join other companies in supporting the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the U.S. Air Force’s top modernization priority. Our technologies will help integrate the Air Force ABMS capabilities into the larger Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the Department of Defense concept to connect sensors from all military branches into a single network.
- FedScoop recently reported that the U.S. Navy is working to integrate all telework capabilities into a long-term solution powered by Microsoft 365. According to the article: “The goal is to be able to sync up more features, including a link between email and calendars,” and “by 2021 to have as many services as possible be digital and cloud-native to support both teleworking and in-person needs once more workers can come back to bases and the Pentagon.” Microsoft 365 is a great example of a product that enables remote government access, empowers cross-agency collaboration and complies with stringent security requirements.
- Last month, Microsoft took the next giant leap in cloud computing – to space. Azure Space is aimed at making Azure the platform and ecosystem of choice for the mission needs of the space community – on or off the planet. By combining a new set of offerings, a partner ecosystem and a global strategy focused on innovation, Azure Space will offer an integrated cloud and satellite experience connecting to almost any device anywhere. It also will serve as the bridge between the Pentagon and satellite providers.
- Another recent blog showcased our Power Platform return to the workplace solution, which enables enterprises and government agencies to prepare facilities and employees when a return to the physical workplace makes sense. We partnered with CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, to develop this comprehensive, end-to-end solution for location readiness, workplace care management, employee health and safety management, and location management.
- In late March, we confirmed that Azure Government Secret achieved provisional authorization to host government data classified as secret, meeting Department of Defense (DOD) Impact Level 6, Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 503 and facility accreditation ICD 705. We also announced:
- A new third secret region to provide increased availability for national security missions to stay ahead of unique threats.
- The release of 48 new Azure Government services, bringing our total FedRAMP High services to 101.
It’s worth noting that this most recent Azure Government news comes after a three-year series of news highlighting significant advancements to meet government and DOD requirements:
- Announcing new Azure Government capabilities for classified mission-critical workloads, Oct. 17, 2017
- Announcing Azure Stack for Azure Government customers to enable IT modernization and tactical edge scenarios, Aug. 13, 2018
- Enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions for government, Oct. 9, 2018
- Technology and the US military, Oct. 26, 2018
- Advancing tactical edge scenarios with Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack and Azure Data Box family, Feb. 4, 2019
- Announcing Azure Government Secret private preview and expansion of DoD IL5, April 17, 2019.
As the world around us continues to evolve in unpredictable ways, we’re seeing dramatic shifts in how the federal government is embracing technology with speed and agility to achieve objectives, better serve citizens, and further efficiency and effectiveness. The government customers I talk with are focused on digital transformation and seizing opportunities at the accelerated pace required to deliver modern mission outcomes. Microsoft Federal and our partners are committed to supporting the success of U.S. government agencies by continuously investing in our trusted cloud and AI capabilities.
You’re invited: Microsoft Government Leaders Summit
Another part of our investment is the Microsoft Government Leaders Summit,10 a.m. to noon ET, Dec. 7. On behalf of our Microsoft Federal team, it’s my pleasure to invite you to a digital event dedicated to helping federal government leaders reimagine a future of innovation and transformation to advance our nation.