Microsoft launches new cloud solutions for U.S. government

Posted Mar 6, 2018 by James Walker
Microsoft has announced a new cloud solution for U.S. government departments. Microsoft 365 Government bundles technologies including Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft's Enterprise + Mobility Suite, aiming to enable a government IT "tipping point."
The logo of Microsoft can be seen on a window of the  Microsoft Berlin  venue.
The logo of Microsoft can be seen on a window of the "Microsoft Berlin" venue.
John MacDougall, AFP/File
In a blog post this week, Julia White, Microsoft Azure Corporate Vice President, said 2018 will be the year in which government agencies start to undertake wide-scale digital transformation initiatives. Microsoft wants to be the partner that departments choose as they add new technologies to their workflow.
Microsoft currently provides three different government cloud services which have dedicated infrastructure within the U.S. There's Government Community Cloud (GCC) for local and federal agencies, GCC High for more classified users and DoD Cloud as a dedicated service for intelligence and defence departments. Microsoft 365 Government expands on these three solutions by adding many of the applications and services from the company's Office 365 suite.
Incorporating Windows 10 and Office apps such as Word and PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 Government is designed to improve the productivity of government workers. It will include most of the capabilities offered in business Office 365 suites, including Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. Each service is intended to meet the needs of government staff while remaining compliant with the necessary IT standards.
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According to Microsoft, government departments and federal agencies need to modernise to stay effective. The company noted that the data storage requirements of governments exceed those of almost any other organisation. Utilising the cloud can help departments to manage their data and unlock the insights within, enabling them to remain relevant in the digital era.
"By using cloud computing, government can access innovation including artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of things; enable more collaborative, mobile work styles to increase productivity and attract new talent; and meet their mission goals of improving life for citizens," said White. "And, across these areas, governments can utilize leading cyber-security capabilities developing through cloud computing."
Microsoft's also preparing to debut a dedicated U.S. government version of Azure Stack. The service provides hybrid cloud functionalities based on Microsoft's regular Azure cloud network. Customers can use Azure Stack to deploy components of Azure inside their own datacentres, allowing them to retain control over where data is stored. The new solution will integrate with existing government solutions to simplify identity control, data storage and disaster recovery.