AWS Public Sector Blog

Mission Critical Cloud: What you missed at the AWS Public Sector Summit Online 2020 keynote

This morning, vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS) worldwide public sector, Teresa Carlson, kicked off the AWS Public Sector Summit Online. Teresa reflected on the challenging times during these past few months, shared key trends and lessons learned and spoke about AWS’s commitment to helping people around the world continue to deliver on their missions.

“The solutions being built are fundamentally changing the way the public sector approaches IT. Quite simply—there is no going back to the old way of thinking,” said Teresa in her remarks.

These unprecedented times have showcased the agility, speed, and flexibility of the cloud, which has helped customers get through this crisis while remaining focused on their missions. In her keynote address, Teresa highlighted AWS customers’ impressive global efforts and how AWS is helping support those customers’ missions. She also shared the latest news and announcements, resources, and more. Here’s what you missed:

Announcements to help accelerate cloud success and digital transformation

Embracing the new frontier of data: AWS Aerospace & Satellite Solutions

AWS is committed to supporting customers’ missions, on Earth and beyond. The recently launched AWS Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business segment, created to drive innovation in space, welcomes Retired Air Force Major General Clint Crosier. He will lead a team of experts that are ready to bring cloud solutions to serve space missions.

The Aerospace and Satellite Solutions team is already supporting customers around the world who are using AWS Ground Station to downlink, process, analyze, and distribute data in a cost-effective way. Large established organizations use AWS Ground Station to rapidly scale their satellite communications operations, while space startups use AWS Ground Station to scale quickly and avoid major capital expenditures that would be required to build satellite ground infrastructures.

In aerospace and satellite, customer Capella Space is going all-in on AWS. On AWS, Capella is launching the world’s largest commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite system. SAR is a unique form of radar that can penetrate clouds, collect data during all-weather conditions, and capture data day and night. Capella Space has already migrated its SAR datasets to AWS and is also leveraging services including analytics, machine learning, and more to deliver this data quickly and at a low cost to their customers.

Jump start big ideas for nonprofits: AWS Imagine Grant Program

Applications are now open for the 2020 AWS Imagine Grant program. Qualified nonprofits can share their big ideas that can scale to serve their mission for the chance to receive up to $100,000 to jump start these projects. Grant recipients also receive training, AWS Promotional Credit, and technical support to make their ideas a reality. Learn more about how to apply for a 2020 Imagine Grant and read about past winners.

How the cloud is meeting evolving needs—fast

Building on a foundation of security: FedRAMP

AWS continues to be home to more FedRAMP authorized solutions than any other cloud provider. As of the end of May, 110 third-party solutions have achieved FedRAMP Authorization on AWS. That is more than four times as many FedRAMP authorized solutions than the next two commercial cloud providers combined.

Using data to fight COVID-19: AWS Data Exchange and CORD-19

Open data is a powerful way to speed-up time to insights. To help researchers gain faster insights into COVID-19, AWS united more than 125+ unique third-party datasets and more than 2,300 data providers on the AWS Data Exchange. These datasets include COVID-related public records, from foot traffic from businesses to economic activity data and more.

AWS also helped build CORD-19 Search—a search website that analyzes the COVID Research Database, which contains more than 47,000 research documents. This search engine uses AWS machine learning to deliver precise answers to research questions along with research documents. Just seven weeks after the website launched, there have been more than 5,500 unique queries from over 76 countries.

Accelerating research projects: AWS DDI and the COVID-19 HPC Consortium

To accelerate the pace of new research, AWS launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative (DDI) in March, committing $20 million dollars in credits and technical support for researchers focused on diagnostic solutions. This work isn’t limited to COVID-19. Today, DDI is supporting over 35 projects.

AWS is also a founding member of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium. The COVID-19 HPC Consortium brings together industry, academia, and government to provide compute resources to COVID-19 researchers. As of today, AWS is supporting more than a dozen research projects through this initiative.

Using ready-to-go partner solutions: New partner solutions website

To help customers facing issues from COVID-19, the AWS Partner Network (APN) is launching a new partner solutions webpage that lists ready-made solutions for remote work, contact centers, and more.

APN Partners have been addressing customer and their citizens’ needs quickly. Accenture stood up a virtual contact center for the state of New Mexico in two days. In only seven days, Deloitte went live with a custom chatbot for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The chatbot is helping Montanans apply more quickly for food, medical, and cash assistance. APN Partners interested in including a solution on the site should contact their AWS account executive.

Celebrating customer successes

“Virtual care is the future, and the future is now”: Ontario Health, OTN

Demand for virtual care continues to grow, with a rapid influx over these past few months following the global pandemic. Ontario Health, OTN, a virtual care network, has seen a 1,500% increase in active users on its OTNhub since 2018 and experienced an exponential increase in March as a result of COVID-19. Sharon Baker, vice president of technology services at Ontario Health, OTN, shared how the cloud has helped them respond to this demand and continue to provide world-class care. With their migration, they were able to increase system availability with little to no downtime, eliminate environmental bottlenecks, and improve security. Most importantly, their members have been able to access reliable, quality service during a critical time of need. Read more about OTN.

Migrating “creaky legacy systems” virtually overnight: Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT)

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of people to file for unemployment insurance, shattering records and testing state legacy IT systems. Scott R. Jensen, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), discussed how Rhode Island DLT took a mission-first approach to IT innovation, working backwards to create the right IT solutions to help them meet this spike in demand and help their constituents get connected to resources and relief during this challenging time. In just ten days, Rhode Island DLT was able to replace legacy systems, increasing the volume that their call center can handle from 74 calls simultaneously to now more than 1,000. Learn more about Rhode Island DLT.

Migrating at the speed of the mission: Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Long before COVID-19, Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) was accelerating their migration to the cloud. Navy ERP, the US Department of the Navy’s financial system of record, had dated, unreliable on-premises enterprise systems, but needed a solution that was highly available and reliable to serve commanders around the world. By questioning their own assumptions about the time and cost of migrating to cloud, they were able to deploy cloud-based solutions to over 70,000 customers around the globe—in nearly half the expected time and with minimal downtime. Edward E. Quick, program manager of the Navy Enterprise Business Solutions Program, discussed how Navy ERP migrated to AWS GovCloud (US), improving security, reliability, and availability, and their lessons learned along the way. Read more about Navy ERP.

Get counted: The US Census goes online

In 2020, the US Census is being conducted for the first time online. By building their website 2020census.gov on AWS, the US Census Bureau has been able to accept Census responses online and was able to continue collecting responses without delay when COVID-19 struck. Despite the pandemic, more than 60% of households have completed the 2020 Census—and more than 80% of those respondents completed the Census online. US resident who haven’t already completed their Census can visit 2020census.gov to complete their Census today.

Setting new expectations for government

AWS is helping federal, state, and local governments meet their mission via the cloud. In the United States alone, AWS helped nine federal agencies scale new services and adjust to new work arrangements, and 14 states launch unemployment insurance call centers to quickly support individuals in need in the wake of COVID-19.

For example, the state of West Virginia saw a spike in call volume to their unemployment insurance hotline, with more than 77,000 calls per day in the second week of April. The state worked with APN Partner Smartronix to stand-up a cloud-based call center in just 72 hours. A week later, the new call center processed a record 61,252 calls in one day. Hear more about West Virginia and Smartronix on this episode of the Fix This podcast.


Thank you to everyone who attended the AWS Public Sector Summit Online in real-time. It’s not too late to register to access sessions available on-demand.