Microsoft Unveils New Government Cloud Offerings at Eighth Annual Public Sector CIO Summit

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 24, 2010 — Today, at the eighth annual Microsoft U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a number of new enhancements and certifications for the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) that continue to raise the bar in cloud security and privacy. In a keynote speech addressing more than 300 public sector CIOs, Ron Markezich, corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, launched an industry first — a new dedicated government cloud offering based on the BPOS. For education, Microsoft also announced it is extending identity federation services to Microsoft Live@edu to help schools improve collaboration and security, as well as simplify identity management and support interoperability among disparate software applications.

The new Business Productivity Online Suite Federal is optimized to meet the security, privacy and compliance needs of U.S. federal government agencies. In addition, Markezich announced future capabilities and certifications that will continue to raise the bar in cloud security and privacy, including two-factor authentication, enhanced encryption and the expected attainment of Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification, an important requirement for government information technology, in the next six months.

“Microsoft is the first and only cloud provider to offer this level of protection and security for governments,” said Markezich. “We were able to achieve this industry first thanks to our experience providing dedicated cloud services for the past five years.”

Markezich also announced several new customers including the City of Newark and Florida State College at Jacksonville, one of the 10 largest U.S. universities.

“In the City of Newark, we are focused on ensuring that our IT modernization and cost-saving programs exceed the mayor’s overall objectives of renewing government,” said Michael Greene, CIO of the city of Newark, N.J. “That’s why we closely examined Microsoft’s approach, which blends cloud-based services and on-premises software. It just made sense. We ultimately went with Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite — it’s the catalyst that will allow our team to focus on upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010. This model provides us best-of-breed collaborative technologies along with the ability to comply with federal and state regulations. We’ll save money, receive guaranteed uptime, and now have the benefit of working with a trusted party to manage it with us.”

Microsoft Online Services for Government

Microsoft Online Services are available for government customers of all sizes. These versions, and the security and privacy enhancements being announced today, include the following:

  • Business Productivity Online Suite meets a wide variety of industry standards and certifications, including International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001, Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 70 Type I and Type II, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Title 21 CFR Part 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, and Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) compliance. Today, more than 500 state and local governments use Microsoft Online Services in the United States, including 48 of 50 states. These range from the largest entities with tens of thousands of seats to the smallest of municipalities.

  • Business Productivity Online Suite Federal is launching today for U.S. federal government agencies, related government contractors and others that require the highest levels of security features and protocols. The new offering includes all the certifications and security features of the Business Productivity Online Suite and more. The service is housed on separate, dedicated infrastructure in secured facilities. Physical access to those systems is limited by biometric access controls to a small number of individuals who, in compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), must be citizens of the United States who have undergone rigorous background checks, including fingerprinting.

“Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite will now offer unmatched capabilities for our government customers and their unique needs,” said Curt Kolcun, vice president of Microsoft U.S. Public Sector. “The enhancements we’re introducing today and over the next six months raise the bar on security and privacy. The reason that governments in 48 of the 50 U.S. states have chosen from our Microsoft Online Services for offerings is in large part because our offerings are built from the ground up with enterprise-grade security and privacy in mind.”

Microsoft Cloud Services for Government

Microsoft offers a spectrum of cloud computing solutions — from infrastructure to applications for organizations and individuals. Microsoft cloud services for government are interoperable and elastic solutions that enable rapid delivery of easy-to-use solutions in response to changing business needs while leveraging existing IT investments and familiar applications.

At this week’s CIO Summit, several government entities’ cloud solutions based on Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services platform that provides a development, service hosting and service management environment, will be featured. To aid government transparency, the City of Miami created a public-facing 3-1-1 application using Azure to monitor and analyze non-emergency requests, such as pothole repair or missed trash pickup in their area. Another unique application of Azure, an example provided by the City of Chicago, will also be discussed. Last summer, organizers of the “Taste of Chicago,” one of the largest outdoor food and music festivals in the world, used Azure to provide interactive, online maps that its residents and visitors used to plan visits to the event. Visitors to the event could search by day, stage, event, and vendor and then print out a tailored map to use as a guide at the festival.

Developing Identity Federation Services for Live@edu With the University of Washington

Microsoft’s cloud services deliver a unique value for schools and universities by providing solutions that foster simple, “anywhere, anytime” collaboration. In the past six months more than 10,000 schools have signed up for Microsoft Live@edu, Microsoft’s hosted e-mail, communications and collaboration solution for students. Florida State College at Jacksonville and the University of South Carolina are recent wins and join the thousands of other institutions in more than 100 countries already providing Live@edu to tens of millions of students worldwide.

“The University of Washington believes federation and interoperability are key elements to effective, seamless collaboration in complex environments,” said Terry Gray, associate vice president of Technology Strategy at the University of Washington. “We have a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and we are excited to work together on the development of a wide range of technologies that will have an impact on how institutions collaborate worldwide.”

As part of this relationship, the University of Washington will help provide service configuration feedback, implementation documentation, migration guidance and service testing on two identity federation options. First, customers with an existing investment in Active Directory will be able to extend that platform to the cloud with Active Directory Federated Services (ADFSv2) and enable access to Live@edu services. Second, customers with investments in alternative identity platforms, such as OpenLDAP, will be able to take advantage of full SAML/Shibboleth federation support. The University of Washington will also be one of the first institutions in the world to roll out a federated identity solution with Microsoft on Live@edu.

About the U.S. CIO Summit

The Eighth Annual U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit will continue through Feb. 25. Throughout the agenda-packed two days, the event will feature presentations from an assortment of company executives and product group leaders, highlighting new technologies and solutions from Microsoft and industry partners, including collaboration, open government, business intelligence and security sessions. Information on the event will be updated regularly at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/wwpublicsector/Default.aspx.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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