Category: Education


Five Tips to Building your Business with AWS

on | in Education, government, Nonprofit |

The AWS Build-A-Business Workshop promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Latin America through a series of GriffinWorx workshops. Our first event is in Costa Rica on April 27-28. Register here.

Each Build-A-Business Workshop is a two-day experiential, mentor-driven event supporting the development of innovative new businesses. Working with GriffinWorx, government leadership, AWS experts, universities, and grassroots organizations, our goal is to empower new businesses and collaborate with business solution providers in the region to uncover hidden opportunities and actionable solutions that will ignite innovative thinking and behaviors.

Cloud technology can be a game changer for entrepreneurs and economies. At AWS, we want to give new businesses a boost in their business planning, demand generation, and technology innovation to bring their products or services to market.

Here are five essential actions startups can take to use AWS technology as a driver of innovation:

  1. Take advantage of AWS Activate: AWS Activate is a program designed to provide startups with the resources to get started on AWS. All startups can apply for the Self-Starter Package. We also have custom Portfolio and Portfolio Plus packages for startups in select accelerators, incubators, Seed/VC Funds, and startup-enabling organizations. In addition, each startup participating in the AWS Build-A-Business Workshop will receive $1,000 in AWS promotional credits.
  2. Work with the Government: Technology ecosystems require collaboration to grow and thrive. Startups should identify methods for crosscutting collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations. Most countries have small business advantage or incubation programs, which can include a collection of local mentors, business loans, or facilities to use as you get your business off the ground.
  3. Be Curious: Learn what would ultimately make your customers successful. Dive into the details from your customers’ perspectives. What matters most to them? How can you make their experience better? As you are building your business, start with an end goal and map out the steps to get there. This can reduce surprises.
  4. Think Globally: With tools like AWS LightSail, you can have technology that is offered to the largest of enterprises for the cost of a cup of coffee. AWS pricing gives customers of all sizes the opportunity to access innovative cloud services.
  5. Create your “Board of Directors:” Increasing the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs requires increasing the quality and quantity of local mentors and coaches dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators. From the start, engage with mentors you trust locally who can open doors for you. Ask them to give you constructive feedback as you get started. Local mentors and coaches can help build strong teams, design viable business models, secure customers, and generate revenue rapidly. The result is the growth of scalable and investment-ready businesses.

“At AWS we believe that investing in entrepreneurs creates a more well educated and successful workforce,” said Jeff Kratz, General Manager of Worldwide Public Sector for Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean at Amazon Web Services. “Technology innovation can drive economic development around the globe, and we are committed to supporting the entrepreneur across Latin America.”

By reducing the barriers for innovation to flourish, we are encouraging Latin America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem growth and the empowerment of innovative businesses. Take your current business or idea to the next level and register today for the AWS Build-A-Business Workshop.

Cinco consejos para construir su negocio con AWS

 

El taller AWS Build-A-Business Workshop promueve la innovación, el emprendimiento y el desarrollo económico en América Latina a través de una serie de talleres de GriffinWorx. Nuestro primer evento se lleva a cabo en Costa Rica, del 27 al 28 de abril. Regístrese aquí.

Cada taller de AWS Build-A-Business es un evento experimental de dos días, orientado por mentores, que apoya el desarrollo de nuevos negocios innovadores. Trabajando con GriffinWorx, liderazgo gubernamental, expertos de AWS, universidades y organizaciones de base, nuestro objetivo es capacitar a nuevos negocios y colaborar con proveedores de soluciones de negocios en la región para descubrir oportunidades ocultas y soluciones accionables que enciendan pensamientos y actuaciones innovadoras.

La tecnología en la nube puede suponer un cambio importante para los empresarios y las economías. En AWS queremos impulsar a las nuevas empresas en su planificación empresarial, generación de demanda e innovación tecnológica a la hora de llevar sus productos o servicios al mercado.

Estas son cinco acciones esenciales que las startups pueden llevar a cabo para usar la tecnología AWS como un motor de innovación:

  1. Aproveche AWS Activate: AWS Activate es un programa diseñado para proporcionar a las startups los recursos necesarios para comenzar a utilizar AWS. Todas las startups pueden solicitar el paquete Self-Starter. También tenemos paquetes personalizados de Portfolio y Portfolio Plus para startups en determinados aceleradores, incubadoras, organizaciones de Capital Inicial/Capital Riesgo y organizaciones para la puesta en marcha de startups. Además, cada startup que participe en el Taller AWS Build-A-Business recibirá $ 1,000 en créditos promocionales de AWS.
  2. Trabajo con el Gobierno: Los ecosistemas tecnológicos requieren colaboración para crecer y prosperar. Las startups deben identificar métodos para la colaboración con organizaciones gubernamentales y no gubernamentales. La mayoría de los países cuentan con programas de incubación o de ventaja para pequeñas empresas, que pueden incluir una colección de mentores locales, préstamos comerciales o instalaciones que se utilizarán mientras su negocio despega.
  3. Sea curioso: Aprenda lo que en última instancia hará que sus clientes obtengan éxito. Profundice en los detalles desde las perspectivas de sus clientes. ¿Qué es lo que más les importa? ¿Cómo puede mejorar su experiencia? Mientras usted construye su negocio, comience con un objetivo final y planifique los pasos necesarios para llegar allí. Esto puede reducir las sorpresas.
  4. Piense globalmente: Con herramientas como AWS LightSail, puede obtener la tecnología que se ofrece a las mayores corporaciones por el costo de una taza de café. Los precios de AWS permiten a los clientes de todos los tamaños la oportunidad de acceder a los innovadores servicios en la nube.
  5. Cree su “Junta de Directores:” Aumentar la calidad y la cantidad de emprendedores requiere aumentar la calidad y la cantidad de mentores y entrenadores locales dedicados a capacitar a la próxima generación de innovadores. Desde el principio, comprométase con los mentores de confianza locales que pueden abrirles puertas. Pídales que le proporcionen crítica constructiva a medida que comienza. Los mentores y entrenadores locales pueden ayudar a crear equipos fuertes, diseñar modelos comerciales viables, asegurar clientes y generar ingresos rápidamente. El resultado es el crecimiento de negocios escalables y preparados para la inversión.

“En AWS creemos que invertir en los emprendedores crea una población activa más educada y capaz”, dijo Jeff Kratz, Director del Sector Publico Global para Latinoamérica, Canadá y el Caribe de Amazon Web Services. “La innovación tecnológica puede impulsar el desarrollo económico en todo el mundo y nosotros estamos comprometidos en apoyar a los empresarios en toda América Latina.”

Al reducir las barreras para que la innovación pueda florecer, estamos alentando el crecimiento de los ecosistemas empresariales de América Latina y el empoderamiento de negocios innovadores. Lleve su negocio o idea actual al siguiente nivel y regístrese hoy para el Taller AWS Build-A-Business.

Advice from City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge Winner: Appriss Safety

on | in Education, government |

Are you a technology partner implementing a program or service on behalf of a government or school district? Winners will receive up to $50,000 in AWS promotional credits to help achieve their mission with the cloud. Click here to apply today (the nomination takes around five minutes)! The City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge closes on Friday, May 12th.

Here is one winner’s story:

VINE began from a tragedy in Louisville, Kentucky in 1993. Mary Byron was tragically murdered by her boyfriend turned rapist when he was released without notification to Mary or her family. County officials worked diligently to design a system that would let crime victims know the location and incarceration status of their offenders.

Mike Davis, the current CEO of Appriss, and Yung Nguyen founded Appriss in 1994. The two worked with Jefferson County, Kentucky, government officials to develop the nation’s first automated victim information and notification system (VINE) after Mary Byron’s murder. VINE® (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a free service that lets victims call a toll-free number, visit www.vinelink.com, or use the VINE mobile app to anonymously check on an offender’s custody status. Victims can also register to receive automated notifications about changes in offender status in their choice of format: phone, email, or text. VINE is currently used in 48 states and is the nation’s leading automated victim notification solution. VINE also offers protective order and court notifications, in select states.

With plans to launch a greatly enhanced version of VINE in 2017, Appriss Safety, a division of Appriss, Inc., applied to the 2016 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge in the Partners in Innovation category in hopes of winning AWS promotional credits to mitigate some of the costs, since they had plans to use many AWS services, including compute, storage and content delivery, database, networking, analytics, management tools, and application services.

“We were encouraged to apply for the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge as we needed to update VINE’s aging technology infrastructure. With the help of the AWS credits, we are now using AWS services to bring the new version of VINE to market,” said Krisy Bucher, Marketing Manager. “City on a Cloud provided us with AWS promotional credits, good exposure for our company, and a networking opportunity to meet with other industry leaders at the AWS Public Sector Summit.”

The City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge provided Appriss Safety with $25,000 in AWS promotional credits to help bring the VINE service to the cloud. The new version, releasing this spring, adds new features for victims of crime and a new application response system hosted on AWS GovCloud (US), an isolated AWS region designed to host sensitive data and regulated workloads in the cloud. Appriss continues its mission of saving lives and fighting crime by providing access to the nation’s most comprehensive and up-to-date arrest data network.

Apply to the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge today.

 

Registration for the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington DC is Open!

on | in Education, government, Nonprofit |

Whether you are new to the cloud or an experienced user, you can always learn something new at the AWS Public Sector Summit. This year’s event, geared towards government, education, and nonprofits, is taking place June 12-14 in Washington, DC.

Save your spot today and get ready to spend three action-packed days with the innovators who are changing the world with cloud computing. You’ll go home with new strategies and techniques to accomplish new projects, maximize budgets, and achieve your mission that you didn’t think possible.

Monday, June 12: Pre-Day

New this year, we will have a pre-day with technical bootcamps. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today. We will also be hosting technical and business pre-day workshops. Check them out here.

Tuesday, June 13 – Wednesday, June 14: General Sessions

Attend 100+ breakout sessions on topics such as DevOps, big data, Internet of Things, security and compliance, adoption models, scientific computing, open data, and more. We will have two keynotes featuring AWS leaders and global CIOs. And don’t miss our networking opportunities with partners and peers.

Watch this video to learn more and register today.

What is Peacetech? A New Environment Brings New Opportunity

on | in Education, government, Nonprofit |

From Kenya to Colombia, Afghanistan to Indonesia, media and technology is being used in innovative ways to counter age-old drivers of conflict, ranging from election violence and inter-ethnic tension, to resource shortages and gender violence. The spread of technology is producing a transformation in conflict management and peacebuilding.

Peacetech is a new industry that brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists and data scientists to design, develop, and adapt new solutions to counter conflict and strive for peace. Technology can be used as a tool to mobilize people for peacebuilding and to create spaces for discussions. Peacetech can accelerate the development of solutions, distribute them faster, and engage more people in generating ideas and collaborative problem-solving.

For example, virtual reality (VR) has been used to generate empathy by creating brief but powerful immersive experiences, allowing the user to internalize a message. Analytics has been used in the field to assess cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions related to conflict, providing new information and data visualization for decision makers. And social platforms, such as Skype, have been used to connect people worldwide with tutors to teach new languages, while providing empowering work opportunities to refugees.

C5 and PeaceTech Lab, along with support from AWS, are collaborating on the PeaceTech Accelerator, the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling startups around the world. The mission of the PeaceTech Accelerator is to produce innovative technology that manages, mitigates, predicts, or prevents conflicts.

“Today, people can send pictures, money, and information around the world with the click of a button,” said Sheldon Himelfarb, CEO, PeaceTech Lab. “Even in places experiencing some of the worst violence on earth, I see cell phones charging and air time selling. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide whether we use these tools to prolong conflict or build peace. The Accelerator is the embodiment of our commitment to support entrepreneurs who are dedicated to using their talents and technology for good.”

The PeaceTech Accelerator provides the mentorship and training needed to scale both for-profit and not-for-profit peacetech initiatives rapidly, securely, and cost-effectively to produce technology that can be used as platforms for peace.

Mentor sessions with AWS Solutions Architects at the PeaceTech Lab.

Learn more about the PeaceTech Lab and how to apply for the PeaceTech Accelerator here.

Dream Big for Your Students: Apply to the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge

on | in Education, government |

New to the City on the Cloud Innovation Challenge this year, we are opening the competition to school districts who are using the cloud to enrich learning, help teachers reach more students, and improve school or district operations.

Districts and schools can now submit applications for a chance to receive AWS promotional credits to start or continue their projects under the three challenge categories: Best Practices, Partners in Innovation, and Dream Big. The deadline to submit is May 12. Need ideas?

Through our work with over 7,000 education institutions globally, we have seen schools provide the best learning experience possible for their students. From bring-your-own-device and virtual desktops to learning management platforms and student data analytics, AWS offers tools to ensure that every student gets the attention they need to thrive in the classroom.

For example, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) uses Amazon WorkSpaces in a virtual environment. Amazon WorkSpaces is a cloud-based, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution that helps higher education institutions and K12 school districts give students and instructors consistent access to teaching and learning software on their own devices. Students can learn anywhere, on the device of their choice, with the software tools required to complete assignments.

In addition to virtualized learning, the cloud also brings schools noticeable cost savings. Gibraltar Area Schools, a rural school district serving 600 K-12 children located on the district campus in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, have spent less than half of what they would on physical services over the past five years with AWS. The district has saved time, money, and resources by turning to the cloud.

Another area where educational institutions think and dream big is with data analytics.

Educational institutions have a tremendous amount of data that they collect on a daily basis, but often districts don’t have the capacity (time or resources) to do anything with it.

Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC) leverages Amazon Redshift to analyze student data proactively and help students who are at risk of dropping out. “We have an analysis kit we run every day, looking at data, comparing patterns over previous years’ information, and in a matter of seconds, we can tell if a student is likely to succeed or fail. The results have been phenomenal,” said Lige Hensley, CTO, ITCC. ITCC can now predict with over 80% accuracy which students are likely to fail a course within the first two weeks of class.

AWS has tools that can help districts get data from different sources into one place, so that they, like ITCC, can use data in the service of learning to help guide decisions about instruction, school administration, and operations. AWS also has services that make it simple and cost-effective to analyze all your data using your existing business intelligence tools.

With the AWS Cloud, schools, districts, and companies providing educational applications can access industry-shaping technology at an affordable cost, no matter what the scale. Apply for our City on the Cloud Innovation Challenge and let us know your big ideas around data and how AWS can help you get there!

How to Buy Cloud for Your Public Sector Organization

on | in Education, government |

Buying cloud computing services takes different skills and strategies than buying traditional IT. Are you ready to move to the cloud but looking for practical guidance? Not sure where to start? We’re here to help you select the right acquisition approach for your agency.

As your agency is considering moving to the cloud, there are important topics to consider, which include justifying your move to AWS, organizational and cultural implications, purchasing strategies, architectural considerations, and further optimization to enable innovation and save costs down the line.

  1. Scope the project in order to justify your decision: Early planning, communication, and buy-in are essential. Understanding the motivation (time, cost, availability, etc.) is key and will be different for each organization.
  2. Map out your acquisition strategies: Well-designed procurement strategies and cloud-centric contract vehicles will make a difference. Getting procurement ‘right,’ will lead to a portfolio of cloud technology and services that truly realizes the benefits of cloud computing.
  3. Structure the deal to save costs down the line: The shift from buying hardware to accessing cloud services makes technology faster, easier and less expensive. With AWS, you can use the spot market, save when you reserve, and only pay for what you use. Structure your deal to make use of On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances, Dedicated Instances, and Spot Instances.
  4. Consider implementation strategies to help you get more from your cloud deployment: When choosing to take advantage of the cloud, it is important to consider creating a cloud-first policy for your organization, which requires the consideration of cloud before taking an on-premises approach.
  5. Organize to move into production: Define and identify organizational structures and roles, required competencies, competency gaps, training needs, and staffing and organizational changes required to build an agile IT organization that is capable of effective cloud adoption. An organizational model that is optimized for cloud adoption should be established for the delivery and operation of cloud-based solutions.

Discover more details about the steps you need to take to migrate your government or education institution to the cloud – from design to implementation.

Learn more about acquisition and procurement strategies at the AWS Public Sector Summit June 12-14 in Washington, DC.

What do Birds and Social Media Have in Common? AWS Machine Learning Support

on | in Education |

Machine learning enables computers to make predictions from data without having been explicitly programmed to do so. Developers and researchers use AWS to develop and refine custom machine learning algorithms to help solve complex problems like classifying images and text.

In this post, we profile two academic researchers who used the AWS Cloud Credits for Research program to support their groundbreaking research. Learn how these researchers use the AWS Cloud to learn about language through 140 characters and identify different species of birds with just a photo.

Social Media Sentiment

Noah Smith, Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, designs algorithms for automated analysis of human language. He and his collaborators study social media to see what tweets and posts can reveal about language in today’s networked world.

“AWS supported a range of projects in the fields of computational linguistics and natural language processing. Most notably, we studied the link between sentiment expressed by social media users to public opinion surveys and language variation across the United States,” said Noah. “We also developed new tools for automated linguistic analysis of social media text.”

Social media messages offer new insight into regional language variation and change over time.  For example, new methods developed using AWS resources inferred a “subway map” of American cities, showing how new words on social media expand to usage in new places.

All About Birds

Serge Belongie, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University and Cornell Tech, used image classification algorithms for a practical application. His team created the Merlin Bird App to offer quick identification help for beginning and intermediate bird watchers to learn about North America’s most common birds.

The app users can identify birds with just a photo or by answering five questions. Described as “like Shazam, but for birds,” users simply snap a photo of a bird, or pull one in from their camera roll, and Merlin Photo ID will offer a short list of possible matches. Merlin draws upon more than 370 million observations from the eBird citizen-science project and customizes the list to the species most likely to have been seen at the location and time of year.

“Our ability to use cloud storage and cloud computing on AWS has been instrumental for us to deploy the Merlin Bird Photo ID system to the public,” Serge said.

To build a successful visual recognition engine for birds, Serge and team created custom machine learning algorithms. The more data they collect, the more the algorithm is able to identify patterns. Those patterns are then used to improve Merlin’s performance and accuracy.

AWS Services for Artificial Intelligence

While these researchers used the power of AWS to develop their own Machine Learning algorithms, you do not need to be an expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to add Machine Learning algorithms to your applications. Amazon AI services enable you to:

  • Build conversational interfaces to your applications using voice and text
  • Add image analysis to your applications
  • Turn text into lifelike speech that you can store and play back
  • Build smart machine learning applications quickly and easily.

AWS also hosts several Public Datasets for Machine Learning research, including Common Crawl, Multimedia Commons, Landsat, and the Amazon Bin Image Dataset.

Are you an academic researcher interested in experimenting with ML and AI? Visit our AWS Cloud Credits for Research program.

Improving Security with Cloud Computing: Six Advantages of Cloud Security

on | in Education, government, Nonprofit |

Security is our number one priority, and at AWS, we have comprehensive security capabilities to protect virtually any workload. Through AWS Security services, we provide the opportunities to protect your data, monitor security-related activity, and receive automated responses. This gives our customers the ability to increase their security posture in the cloud, deliver more agile IT, and lower costs. With that in mind, here are six advantages of cloud security.

  1. Integration of compliance and security – You can leverage AWS activity monitoring services to detect configuration change and security events, even integrating AWS activity with your existing monitoring solutions for simplified compliance reporting. We provide compliance reports based on managing thousands of security controls inherited through the AWS platform, making it easier and faster for you to meet security and compliance requirements.
  2. Economies of scale apply – When organizations submit security requirements, we incorporate their feedback into the AWS security platform. All customers benefit from AWS security innovation and improvements made from customer feedback. Last year, we released hundreds of security and compliance related features and service enhancements.
  3. Customer focus on systems and applications – The cloud reduces the total “security surface area” that customer security experts need to manage themselves. Our shared responsibility model allows you to focus your expertise on the higher level operating system and application security management. You retain control of what security you choose to implement to protect your own content, applications, systems and networks, no differently than you would for applications in an on-premises data center.
  4. Visibility, homogeneity, and automation – With the cloud, you get to choose from a rich but more homogeneous set of infrastructure and capabilities. You can control down to the operating system image level what should be used in your environment. Using cloud orchestration capabilities like AWS CloudFormation, your security experts can validate a pre-defined configuration of systems and then those can be “stamped out” with all security features enabled and in place. For example, you can leverage AWS Quick Starts to automate the configuration of AWS resources to meet many compliance requirements.
  5. Cloud platforms as “systems containers” – Cloud platforms are “systems containers” that surround traditional systems and provide more insight into their behavior and functioning, including security issues, providing a new kind of “defense in depth.” The “container” that runs your operating systems and applications is programmable, monitorable, and reactive software. For example, without knowing anything about the internal workings of your application, once you know its normal network behavior, you can set monitoring alarms at the infrastructure level that will trigger a smart response to any unusual activity.
  6. Cloud, big data, security – With low-cost access to massive amounts of storage and processing capacity, our customers use the cloud to secure the cloud (they run big data analytics on security data and log data, which provides more insight into their security posture and results in a much faster remediation of issues). Leverage storage and processing power of the cloud to find the security event needles in the cloud haystack.

With the speed of innovation and increasing scale, the cloud story will only get better. AWS will continue to raise the bar in our efforts to provide our customers with an IT infrastructure and security services that deliver agility, visibility, scalability, and integrity. Our track record of operational integrity along with our rapid pace of innovation have gained the trust of government mission owners by delivering secure, agile, and cost-effective IT services.

AWS Launches the Fourth City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge; Opens Contest to Schools

on | in Education, government |

AWS launched the fourth City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, a global program recognizing how local and regional governments are innovating on behalf of their citizens around the globe. New to the competition this year, we are opening the competition to school districts who are using the cloud to enrich learning, help teachers reach more students, and improve school or district operations.

“Through the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, we’ve watched our customers take action on an idea, grow a program to better serve their citizens, and raise the bar on what is possible when they dream big,” said Teresa Carlson, VP of Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services. “This year, we are excited to add school districts to the challenge, as we’ve seen some innovative uses of the cloud and want to recognize these pioneers around the world.”

Governments and school districts can now compete in three award categories:

  • Best Practices: This award category will recognize governments and school districts leveraging the AWS Cloud to implement a program or service on behalf of their citizens or students.
  • Partners in Innovation: This award category will recognize technology partners implementing a program or service on behalf of a government or school district.
  • Dream Big: This award category provides cloud credits to help governments and school districts implement big ideas through technology.

Winners will receive up to $50,000 in AWS promotional credits to help achieve their mission with the cloud. Click here to apply today (the nomination takes around five minutes)! The City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge closes on Friday, May 12th.

Governments and schools from around the world are investing in innovation and using the AWS Cloud, like the City of Chicago (2015 Dream Big Award Winner), which uses an open-source platform to provide real-time weather, road closures, transit data, residential complaints, and other information in the area so people can plan accordingly.

Another winner is the New York Public Library (2016 Best Practices winner), which makes available 677,496 items spanning a wide range of eras, geography, and media, drawings, manuscripts, maps, photographs, rare books, videos, audio, and more. Encompassing the subject strengths of the vast collections of NYPL, these materials represent the applied sciences, fine and decorative arts, history, performing arts, and social sciences.

Since launching the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge in 2014, we received several applications focused on bringing the Internet of Things into cities, many of which are leveraging or plan to leverage the AWS – Intel IoT Platform. This joint platform allows customers to derive insights from their existing data by deploying Intel IoT Gateways along with an ecosystem of compatible sensors and devices. These hardware devices include software built with the AWS IoT Device SDK to connect them to AWS IoT and, ultimately, AWS endpoints. From there, customers can build software to connect devices from their cities and school districts to AWS services and gain value through IoT data analytics.

If you have an idea that you want to showcase and expand or make a reality – apply now!

This year’s winners will be announced at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, DC June 12-14, 2017. Learn more about past winners by visiting our City on a Cloud Innovation Map.

So what would you do with $50,000 in AWS promotional credits? Tell us how for a chance to win and help your city or school become smart, connected, and sustainable with AWS.

Get ideas and learn more about the challenge and watch the 2016 video here.

Expanding Cybersecurity Education with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech

on | in Education, government |

AWS has joined the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech to support the Cyber Range initiative with scalable cloud infrastructure and to collaborate on cybersecurity educational efforts, enabling the Cyber Range with both content and a closed network for hands-on exercises, competitions, and other simulations.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this important initiative in Virginia, which is one we hope will spark similar programs across the country,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector for AWS. “It’s critical that we have a skilled cybersecurity workforce to meet the growing demands of the field. Security is ‘job zero’ for us at AWS, and we are excited to help inspire the next generation of cyber experts.”

Investments and public-private partnerships to train a cyber workforce with technology like the AWS Cloud can help better equip the next generation of cyber experts. By using AWS, the virtual facility will be well positioned to provide Virginia educators access to cybersecurity courseware, as well as a hands-on laboratory environment for students.

At the Commonwealth’s inaugural Cyber Fusion event and Virginia Cyber Cup Challenge on February 24-25 at Virginia Military Institute, Teresa joined a panel on the challenges and opportunities confronting the United States government, economy, and society in cyberspace and shared AWS’s commitment to growing the cyber and cloud-enabled workforce. See photos from the event below.

One way that we are doing this is through our global AWS Educate Program, which provides an academic gateway for the next generation of IT professionals. Through AWS, universities around the world access curriculum grants and learning content that give their students access to cloud technology. This means that new college grads can learn how to work with cloud computing before they graduate from college.

In addition to training the next-generation of cyber professionals, we provide government and our other customers with the most powerful, flexible, and affordable tools and capabilities to build secure systems. The AWS Cloud infrastructure has been architected to be one of the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today. AWS customers inherit all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes built to satisfy the requirements of our most security sensitive customers. We provide a wide variety of best practices documents, encryption tools, and other guidance our customers can leverage in delivering application-level security measures. AWS partners also offer hundreds of tools and features to help customers to meet their security objectives, ranging from network security, configuration management, access control, and data encryption.

Through relationships and programs like the Cyber Range, we are working to fill the cyber knowledge gap, improve hiring practices, and ultimately build a trusted workforce of capable cyber employees.