Federal agencies advancing government and our nation

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Note: In Part 1 of a two-part series, Rick Wagner shines a spotlight on federal agencies demonstrating resiliency to respond and rebound from 2020 challenges and reimagine a future of innovation and transformation.  

As we look ahead to the close of 2020 and the beginning of a new year and administration, I’m more excited than ever to be leading our 3,000-member Microsoft Federal team. Formed in July – the same time I came aboard – this new organization reflects Microsoft’s commitment to, and investment in, federal government agencies and the specialized partners who join us in supporting their mission-critical work.

In this year of unprecedented challenges, we’ve seen U.S. government agencies respond to the health and economic crisis posed by a global pandemic, civil unrest over policing and racial justice issues, raging wildfires, catastrophic hurricanes and more. Unlike the private sector, the business of government is always open, especially during times of uncertainty, adversity and disruption. I’m inspired by the speed of federal agencies to address evolving demands while advancing government and our nation. I’m also proud that Microsoft Federal kept pace with our customers in using technology as a core enabler for innovations that serve everyone.

Leadership, resiliency, momentum

Federal agencies are demonstrating leadership, resiliency and momentum in building solutions for some of the most pressing issues of 2020. That’s why our Microsoft Government Leaders Summit digital broadcast on Dec. 7 is focused on empowering mission and leadership resiliency. With our trusted cloud, AI and other leading-edge capabilities, federal organizations are quickly tackling coronavirus issues to ensure seamless delivery of important services and continuity of operations. For example:

Meeting diverse missions

While the pandemic requires great agility and resiliency, federal agencies also moved forward across several fronts to better meet their diverse missions, such as:

Accelerating progress

We’re working with the federal government to accelerate progress in other ways, such as The First Five Consortium with the Department of Energy to develop disaster-response AI tools that help first responders quickly address floods, wildfires and windstorms. The Wall Street Journal explained the name as a reference to “the importance of the first five minutes in responding to a natural disaster,” and Susie Adams noted our Azure cloud and AI models will be used to analyze massive and disparate data sets in real time to help first responders better allocate resources or inform the public.

Microsoft Federal and our industry team are pleased to collaborate with the DOD in advancing microelectronics technology and strengthening the American microelectronics industrial base through the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) using Advanced Commercial Capabilities Project. We believe RAMP is vital to protecting national security, maintaining U.S. technological leadership and strengthening the economy.

We also hope the path is soon cleared to begin the essential work on the DOD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), providing fast, responsive, flexible and adaptive cloud services to users at all classification levels. Originally announced Oct. 25, 2019 but stymied by litigation, we remain committed to delivering the best technology, the greatest value to our women and men in uniform, and the highest speed to adoption, innovation, capability and scale.

Respond, recover, reimagine

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been widely attributed with seeing the world going through three pandemic phases: respond, recover and reimagine. As evidenced by the above examples, federal agencies have successfully responded to initial COVID-19 impacts and are now rebounding through collaboration and modernization with secure cloud and AI solutions. We’re also seeing great strides to shape a future of economic growth, transformation, and increased public trust and confidence.

For more than 40 years, Microsoft has supported federal agencies as they fulfill missions and create more efficient, effective government. Microsoft Federal is fully dedicated to continuing our company’s history of serving as the trusted partner to government customers as they digitally transform, reimagine tomorrow and achieve more for all of us.

An invitation

Please join us for the first-ever digital Microsoft Government Leaders Summit, 10 a.m. to noon ET, Dec. 7. Register today to hear from:

  • Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Brad Smith, Toni Townes-Whitley, myself and others discussing the government landscape and what’s needed to address the most pressing issues for federal agencies.
  • Federal leaders who are responding to change and recovering through collaboration and modernization.
  • Author and historian Walter Isaacson, sharing insights on the leadership and resiliency strategies that powered great historic transformations during challenging times – and how these lessons can provide a roadmap for leaders in times of extreme disruption.

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