Federal Market Perspective: Cloud Technology Becoming Mainstream

There’s been a lot of talk in the federal marketplace about cloud-based services. Now, all that talk is turning to action. Federal agencies are no longer simply piloting cloud technology, they are beginning to put it to use. Email, web and communication applications have led the way, but agency-specific applications are now beginning to follow.

A recent roundtable hosted by Jason Miller of Federal News Radio focuses on cloud trends in the federal marketplace, including the issues and opportunities that are cropping up as the technology goes mainstream. Four experienced technologists participated in the discussion:

  • CIO for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Adrian Gardner
  • CIO for the U.S. Government Printing Office, Chuck Riddle
  • Senior Computer Scientist for the U.S. Census Bureau, Harry Lee
  • CTO for Avaya Government Solutions, Greg Pelton

A number of interesting insights surfaced.

Many agencies are retaining their existing infrastructure and launching hybrid cloud solutions. That necessitates carefully-constructed contract terms and service-level agreements for cloud-based services that clearly define roles and responsibilities.

As mission-critical apps move to the cloud, security becomes even more paramount. Agencies are looking for service providers that are transparent about security processes and can align with their requirements.

The cloud can be a great fit for citizen-facing contact centers. Cloud services make it simpler and more cost-effective to handle peak demand and to incorporate sophisticated call routing capabilities, self-service tools and analytics that improve service delivery and satisfaction.

My colleague Greg Pelton from Avaya Government Solutions shared an interesting anecdote about a large federal agency that recently transitioned its contact center to the cloud.

Executives thought they had been doing well in meeting their call-handling objectives. But they discovered their legacy systems had been configured to abandon calls that weren’t answered after a given period of time. That meant two-thirds of incoming calls were being dropped.

With the move to cloud-based contact center services, the agency now has sophisticated analytics they previously lacked – giving them full visibility into all aspects of their contact center operations. They are eliminating abandoned calls and making dramatic improvements in service delivery.

If you’d like to hear more, the program “Delivering the Digital Government Mission” is now posted online as a free webinar.

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