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Microsoft is expanding its pitch to the US public sector

Microsoft is expanding its pitch to the US public sector

Microsoft is looking to deliver a government-friendly version of its cloud-based Dynamics CRM platform in a bid to bolster its presence in the public sector. The move follows the company’s recent expansion of its preview of Azure for government.

Microsot’s vice president of public sector Curt Kolcun said the platform, available in early 2015, will be a separate instance for government customers and will comply with FedRAMP, the US government’s cloud certification scheme.

It will largely be based on the existing architecture of the Dynamics CRM solution, and will be offered as part of the Office 365 portfolio moving forward.

“The service will allow customers to leverage their existing Microsoft investment on premises and in the cloud through hybrid cloud capabilities including integration with the Azure and Office 365 government community clouds,” Kolcun said.

Microsoft also said that it would expand the preview of Azure for Government, which it announced earlier this year. The service will compete with other infrastructure as a service platforms built specifically for government like Amazon’s GovCloud. It will be hosted in FedRAMP-compliant environments, and the company has not specified when these platforms will be expanded internationally with relevant certifications.

“Microsoft has specially constructed datacentres in the regions closest to government customers. Further, the datacentres are isolated from the Microsoft Azure public cloud, and are geographically distributed to support business continuity scenarios.”

“As a company dedicated to the cloud in the government space, we are committed to the breadth and depth of regulations that our customers require.”

Government-specific versions of Office 365 and the recently announced Dynamics CRM will be offered from these datacentres, and Kolcun said the company’s renewed push into the public sector comes as a result of the strong momentum it’s seeing at the US federal and state levels.

“More than 2,200 federal, state and local government customers in the US have selected Office 365. In the last 90 days alone, more than 750 state and local governments and more than 60 federal government agencies have purchased seats of Office 365,” he said.

The move comes as big cloud rivals like IBM and Amazon look to bolster their visibility in the public sector.

Amazon and IBM were recently locked in a bitter dispute for a massive CIA cloud contract, which was eventually awarded to the former, and earlier this month IBM responded by announcing it would release more government-focused cloud services.

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