- Microsoft’s government customers now have access to more cloud-based features under its Microsoft 365 Government platform, which hosts many of the same features used by its private-sector customers.
- Government customers now have access to instant messaging platform Teams; data analytics software Power Platform; and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, helping government agencies access applications like customer service, contact centers and task management. Microsoft 365 Government also received boosted security and mobile tools.
- “Right now, we’re seeing the evolution across U.S. government from a Cloud First approach — with an emphasis on just getting everything in the cloud — to a Cloud Smart approach — with a focus on embracing modern capabilities and equipping agencies with the technology tools needed in accordance with their mission needs,” Toni Townes-Whitley, Microsoft’s president of U.S. Regulated Industries, wrote in a blog post.
Government is notoriously slow to modernize its systems, leaving it open to security vulnerabilities and making it difficult for residents to get necessary tasks done, including applying for permits and paying bills. Cities have increasingly looked to technological advances from all corners, whether it be San Diego partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps on smart city technology, or Dubai looking to blockchain to help it reach its goal of going paperless by 2021.
It is part of a wider trend city leaders say is about putting people first, something London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned must accelerate, as government leaders cannot afford to be "sitting on their hands — while the tech revolution has happened around them."
To keep up with advances in technology, it is imperative that governments partner with private sector peers like Microsoft, as their pooled expertise will benefit everyone. Public-private partnerships (P3s) touch all areas of smart cities, from mobile transit fare payment to autonomous shuttles, so it behooves cities to buy into the innovation taking place.
And for the likes of Microsoft, which has made significant moves into the smart city space through partnerships with companies like Mastercard, working more closely with governments can help them have an even greater impact on people’s lives.