It always happens this time of year. Microsoft, which spends most of the time locked tighter than a clam, suddenly opens up and starts giving out news bites like a leaky cauldron. It’s the prologue to the Worldwide Partner Conference and Microsoft can’t seem to stop giving.
Yesterday it announced a whole bunch of productivity and synching releases for the private sector. It also announced a bunch of public sector releases that nearly slipped under the radar, including the fact that as of the beginning of next year, Dynamics CRM Online will be available as a separate instance for US federal, state and local governments.
The new Dynamics CRM instances will also comply with the FedRAMP standard. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.
Any development around Dynamics CRM is a big deal, but this one looks particularly juicy. In a blog post outlining the developments and in a related but a separate announcement about Azure public cloud, Curt Kolcun, vice president, US Public Sector also pointed out that Microsoft public service data centers have all been construct red close to government centers and separate from the Azure public cloud.
If the fact that vendors like Microsoft, or IBM, have been developing a wide network of data enters around the world is not new, what is interesting here is that Microsoft is making much of the fact that its data centers geographically distributed to support federal continuity scenarios.
In other words, Microsoft is offering public bodies the possibility of storing their data in a geographically compliant data center. In doing so, it is tackling one of the biggest obstacles at the moment to government adoption of cloud services.
With compliance regimes getting tougher and tougher, there is huge pressure on data storage providers to locate the data centers in geographies that are considered compliant under specific regimes.
Dynamics CRM for Government
That’s all by the by. The big public sector announcement from Microsoft is the Dynamics CRM for government cloud.