AWS Public Sector Blog

Category: Public Sector

AWS EdStart_Global Founders_Blog Graphic_Genially_Studos

Increasing student engagement through new visual presentation development and test taking tools

AWS EdStart Members—Chema Roldan, co- founder and CTO of Genial.ly in Spain and Leonardo Prates, co-founder and CEO of Studos in Brazil—are enhancing the classroom experience for students and teachers. Genial.ly is focused on enabling students and teachers to create and deliver digital presentations. Studos is focused on helping students enhance their test performance through automatic feedback using AI. Read on to learn how these founders are developing the next generation of education solutions in the AWS Cloud.

reInvent 2020 Jan

New re:Invent sessions for the public sector coming this month

AWS re:Invent 2020 is not over. Additional content will be released January 12-14, 2021 including more than 200 new no-cost, virtual sessions. In the public sector track, watch five new sessions this January on topics from preparing for ransomware to designing AI and ML applications. Hear from customers like the United States Census Bureau and Capella Space in sessions aired first in Americas, then in Asia-Pacific, and finally in EMEA – all available later on demand.

tiny globe on a desk with graduation cap

8 recommendations for higher education from CIOs on remote learning

COVID-19 accelerated a number of rapid changes in higher education. Technology helped with continuity of education, and chief information officers (CIOs) had to overcome a number of challenges to achieve this. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ucisa, the member-led professional body for digital practitioners in education in the United Kingdom (UK), brought together CIOs from across the UK and Europe to share and discuss their recent experiences and share lessons learned. Learn their recommendations.

female student with mask holding books outside university building

University of Keele begins digital transformation using AWS

With AWS Cloud-based solutions, Keele University in England is now able to meet students’ and prospective students’ admissions needs virtually. Prospective students from around the globe can now tour campus remotely, and students going through the confirmation and Clearing process (a period where UK universities accept students and fill remaining seats in their incoming class if a student has not matched with their preferred institution) have a more streamlined, efficient experience. To kick-start the university-wide digital transformation, the team decided to start with an immediate need: the admissions process.

2020 changing to 2021

5 things we’ve learned this year in the cloud for the public sector

This year, global health and economy challenged government, education, nonprofit, and health organizations to rethink operations. With a focus on their mission, organizations quickly shifted to better and more quickly serve their constituents, students, and customers. Many took advantage of ways to innovate and consider adopting the cloud. AWS looked for ways to help these organizations, educating them on the power of the cloud—no matter where they were on their cloud journey—as well as sharing inspiring stories from their peers. Here’s what we learned.

On the night before Christmas, children around the world wonder when Santa is coming to town. For the 65th consecutive year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will put its world-class technology to work to keep an eye on Santa’s whereabouts. Beginning at 6:00 AM EST on December 24, families can check on Santa’s location by calling the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). In a typical year, nearly 1,500 volunteers gather at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, where they receive over 150,000 calls from children around the world. However, to keep volunteers safe during the pandemic, NORAD won’t be able to host as many phone operators in-person this year. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is supporting NORAD by helping their volunteers answer as many calls as possible through Amazon Connect, an omnichannel cloud contact center service. By transferring calls through Amazon Connect, NORAD staff and representatives will be able to answer calls from their homes or offices, supporting those on site at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center. All they need is an internet connection and a headset to take calls through Amazon Connect. Here’s how it will work: • When families call the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center, their call will be directed to volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base, who will answer as many calls as possible. • If a volunteer is not able to answer the call, it will be routed to a cell phone bank hosted by Verizon, where volunteers will also be able to answer calls. • If volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base and the Verizon phone bank aren’t able to answer a call, it will be routed through Amazon Connect to volunteers who are answering calls from their homes or offices. • If there are no volunteers available, families will receive a recorded message that is updated regularly with Santa’s current location. “The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center is an integral part of our program, and we are excited to expand our call center capabilities with this technology to keep our volunteers safe while still allowing them to answer calls,” said Preston Schlachter, public affairs officer for NORAD. “We appreciate everything AWS and our incredible team of corporate partners is doing to keep the magic alive this year.” “During the pandemic, many organizations have had to adjust how they operate call centers—Santa’s helpers at NORAD included,” said Dave Levy, AWS vice president for U.S. government, nonprofit, and healthcare businesses. “Amazon Connect allows customers like NORAD to limit the number of people answering calls in-person, offer operators more flexibility in where they work, and scale contact centers to answer more calls during times of peak demand. And no evening sees more demand for Santa’s whereabouts than Christmas Eve.” For more information, families can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website at www.noradsanta.org. Additionally, Amazon is working with NORAD to make sure Alexa is up to date on Santa’s whereabouts through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa. Enable this skill and request: “Ask NORAD Tracks Santa: where's Santa?” To all of the kids calling in—from one to 92—wishing a Merry Christmas from the AWS team to you.

NORAD keeps an eye on Santa with help from Amazon Connect

On the night before Christmas, children around the world wonder when Santa is coming to town. For the 65th consecutive year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will put its world-class technology to work to keep an eye on Santa’s whereabouts. Beginning at 6:00 AM EST on December 24, families can check on Santa’s location by calling the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). AWS is supporting NORAD by helping their volunteers answer as many calls as possible through Amazon Connect, an omnichannel cloud contact center service. By transferring calls through Amazon Connect, NORAD staff and representatives will be able to answer calls from their homes or offices, supporting those on site at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center.

woman researcher at computer in lab

An introduction to AWS for research IT: Getting started in the cloud

The cloud can help researchers process complex workloads, store and analyze enormous amounts of data, collaborate globally, and accelerate research and innovation. For research IT, Amazon Web Services (AWS) can help build scalable, cost-effective, and flexible environments while still maintaining the governance and guardrails for security and compliance. Following best practices, AWS allows for centralized management of resources, improved security and compliance of research workloads, and can save costs and accelerate innovation. What are some common questions from research IT customers?

KhalifaSat Image Cali Wildfires 2020

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre uses AWS Ground Station to support UAE and global industry development

When wildfires broke out across northern and central California in August, a remote-sensing Earth observation satellite watched 381 miles (613 kilometers) above the planet’s surface. Built entirely in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), KhalifaSat captured imagery that could help governmental agencies and first responders monitor and assess the impact of the destructive blazes. To help KhalifaSat maintain continual coverage, MBRSC uses cloud services from AWS including AWS Ground Station.

AWS managed storage

Amazon FSx now available in AWS GovCloud (US)

Amazon FSx is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, allowing government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits to scale their most sensitive file-based workloads to reduce cost and streamline operations. When customers move their NAS data and applications to AWS, they benefit from increased cost savings, improved security, and flexibility to modernize their infrastructure at their own pace. This allows organizations to focus more on the mission-critical parts of their application and driving more innovation.

Mais Digital powered by AWS

Government of Portugal and AWS sign MoU to accelerate cloud adoption

Today, the government of Portugal and AWS announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement will help accelerate adoption of cloud computing in the public sector and contribute to the national Digital Transition Strategy of Portugal. Driven by the signing of the agreement, AWS launched Mais Digital Powered by AWS, an initiative that aggregates all of the activities AWS is undertaking in Portugal, to support the country’s digital transition.