Salesforce.com launches government cloud, app exchange

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated April 25, 2012, with a title correction for Dan Burton.

Salesforce.com has unveiled a multitenant cloud that will let government agencies deploy and share new social and mobile technologies.

The Government Cloud will include a dedicated, multitenant instance of Salesforce.com's cloud infrastructure compliant with Federal Information Security Management Act requirements for federal, state and local agencies. 

It also includes AppExchange for Government, a new app marketplace for the public sector where government agencies can find, try and deploy cloud apps that meet their needs.


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The Salesforce.com government instance will be composed of dedicated databases and supporting infrastructure designed to meet the regulatory and compliance needs of U.S. government customers.

The move to a dedicated cloud for government is the result of conversations with government agency managers who have unique privacy requirements, said Dan Burton, senior vice president global public sector for Salesforce.com. In fact, many public cloud providers have moved to provide dedicated government clouds, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

A lot of discussion in the government sector has revolved around the private cloud, but from Salesforce.com’s perspective, if the cloud infrastructure is not a part of a multitenant architecture it loses the benefit of cloud computing, Burton said.

“Salesforce.com is going to disrupt and transform the public sector,” with AppExchange for Government, Vivek Kundra, the company's executive vice president of emerging markets, said in an interview with 1105 Media editors.

AppExchange is the answer for agencies and regional governments that are looking for ways to share services, Kundra said. For instance, the county of Arlington, Va., can build an application for permit systems that could be used by the county of Arlington, Texas, or Chicago could build an app that could be used by Boston.

Additionally, AppExchange will “unleash the innovation and energy of small businesses,” that have innovative technology but might not have been able to offer their solutions in the government marketplace, Kundra said. And for agencies, this means they can deploy solutions the day they purchase them, not having to wait for years for systems to go through lengthy project cycles before they can benefit from them.

AppExchange for Government is a one-stop shop for everything from help desks and asset management, program and project management, constituent relations and more. AppExchange is launching with more than 60 apps selected specifically for government and public-sector agencies. 

One of the applications is BasicGov, built on the Force.com platform, that allows cities, counties, state governments and government agencies to streamline permitting and inspections, code enforcement, planning, licensing and citizen access. Another application is DocuSign, an e-signature application that helps organizations streamline workflows to accelerate transactions, reduce costs, and store documents in the cloud.

AppExchange for Government builds on Salesforce.com's AppExchange, which currently has more than 1,400 cloud apps that have been test driven or deployed by organizations using Salesforce.com.

Additionally, the Government Cloud includes the Salesforce Government Partner Accelerator Program, which will train an army of 1,000 integrators by the end of 2012 to rapidly transform government IT with Salesforce.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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