Federal 100’s cloud champions
Cloud computing played a vital role in helping the government adapt to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies leaned into cloud computing and network infrastructure to power remote work, secure agency systems and facilitate collaboration on virus research and vaccine development and distribution.
Many of the individuals who drove these cloud-based initiatives were among the honorees celebrated at the annual Federal 100 Awards gala on Aug. 27.
Among the 100 members of the federal IT community who were celebrated was Carahsoft’s Craig Abod, who was honored with the 2021 Industry Eagle Award.
IT acquisition is dauntingly difficult for government customers and would-be vendors alike — so much so that innovative technology firms sometimes steer clear of the public sector entirely. For 17 years, Craig Abod and Carahsoft have been working to make those purchases easier and more effective.
The latest example of Abod's career-long commitment to helping government learn about and procure effective IT solutions is Carahsoft's Cloud Purchasing Program. Launched in 2020, the CPP dramatically simplifies the cloud procurement process and covers services from more than 90 vendors. Government customers can acquire cloud products and services from multiple vendors through a single SKU.
There were 94 CPP awards made in the first 12 months, and the Department of Defense's Cloud Computing Program Office picked CPP to modernize its infrastructure, noting that it was the only solution found that "met the CCPO requirements for providing flexible and rapid access to a wide variety of clouds to support real-time operations."
CPP's combination of customer service, aggressive pricing and extensive education and training is typical of Abod's approach to business, and his commitment to connecting as many customers and companies possible in order to help government perform better.
Other cloud champions honored with Federal 100 awards include:
Ron Bewtra, CTO, Justice Department
Bewtra devoted tremendous time and energy to advancing governmentwide initiatives related to network infrastructure design. He serves as co-chairman of the CIO Council’s Innovation Committee and chairman of the Federal IPv6 Task Force, where he provided strategic vision, tactical recommendations and operational insight to accelerate adoption of the next-generation protocol.
Frank Dimina, Vice President, Americas and Public Sector, Splunk
To help agencies pivot to remote work, Dimina helped rapidly develop and deploy Splunk Remote Work Insights as a free tool to support the safe, effective transformation of agency operations online by provisioning IT capacity, comprehensively monitoring infrastructure and securing the new attack surface.
Matt Huston, Chief Information Security Officer, Platform One, Department of the Air Force
Huston helped ensure the successful launch of Space Camp and Platform One, which is now the Defense Department’s preferred enterprise DevSecOps services provider. He also played a key role in building and securing Kubernetes-based infrastructure as code.
Col. Robert J. Mikesh, IT Lead, Operation Warp Speed, Defense Department
As part of Operation Warp Speed, Mikesh was responsible for developing logistics systems to track vaccine orders, so he developed an IT infrastructure that integrated data streams from federal entities, states, localities, vaccine manufacturers, logistics companies and others to create a unified tool.
Andrea Norris, Director of the Center for IT and CIO, National Institutes of Health
Under Norris’ leadership, NIH’s Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation and Sustainability Initiative facilitated global access to NIH-curated data to drive COVID-19 research. She directed the use of cloud products to host a repository of next-generation sequence data that was crucial to understanding and responding to the current and future pandemics.
Rick Wagner, President, Microsoft Federal
Thanks to Wagner’s leadership, Microsoft Federal played a key role in the government’s response to the pandemic by ensuring network resiliency, supporting Operation Warp Speed, responding to the SolarWinds hack and other challenges by advancing critical cloud technologies and positioning Microsoft Azure as a mission-focused cloud offering.
Click here for the full list of Federal 100 winners.
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