Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Opinion

Making the Government $$$ Foster Real Innovation and Competition

Government deal size can coerce solution providers to inter-operate and innovate

In the mid '90s, I started up a practice at a large systems integrator helping customers plan, design and implement on-premise e-mail systems. Very often the differentiator was the collaborative functions that an organization could also leverage during the e-mail system implementation. This capability helped departments share information and react to market dynamics faster. At that time we never dreamt of putting email information outside of an organizations network. Customers spent millions in purchasing licenses, hardware and implementation services to give them an edge over their competitors.

Today, driven by consumer acceptance of free e-mail services, corporations are most likely to view e-mail as a commodity that can be purchased and implemented without affecting their competitive advantage. Several large wins like Motorola and LA County by Google, Dow Chemical by Microsoft and Panasonic by IBM/Lotus are reducing the mental barriers of entry.  Back in the mid 90's, I would never have dreamed of e-mail commoditized to the extent it has been today. Leveraging distributed technology is helping organizations deliver very scalable solutions at a fraction of the cost that was a norm of the past.

Recently, there was an interesting Wall Street Journal article about Google and Microsoft competing for federal contracts, specifically the General Services Administration (GSA). I was surprised how the article made it sound like it was a two horse race. Where did Cisco and IBM disappear to?

There is a lot of discussion going on about governments encouraging open standards and providing the necessary infrastructure helping the private industry to gain a competitive edge. For this much commoditized e-mail solution today, I would like to challenge the GSA and Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the Federal Government, to do something very unique. Put a set of security requirements for any vendor to meet in order to sell their services to the government. Build a set of integration standards that each vendor has to comply to ensure inter-operability. Negotiate pricing based on volumes. Here comes the kicker - let the employees have an option to pick their e-mail vendor of choice. After all, a lot of large private employers give their employees the choice of cell phone providers. Sometimes those employees pick those providers who most suit their individual needs, for example, cell phone coverage for where they live.

If a solution of choice is implemented, you will see competition by vendor’s to produce the best user interface that users would like. Finally we will start to see not a “winner take it all” but “the best solution wins” mentality by vendors. Sales teams will not walk away from the deal counting their commission checks but will now be involved throughout the implementation to make sure their product gets accepted. Ability of employees to switch e-mail providers will ensure ongoing customer service like never before.

Choice of solutions will ensure innovation while meeting standards and interoperability. Allocating a small budget to start-ups will help keep the cloud computing hosted e-mail field level, especially in solutions required by local governmental agencies. Let the federal government, with a $71 billion IT budget, make sure in action and spirit that there is not a duopoly of vendors but well defined standards which allow a variety of vendors to participate in this fast growing area. With the increased pressure to reduce the deficit and helping the private sector become more competitive, the government could do wonders by maintaining a competitive market.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...