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Texas Cloud Computing Lessons Learned

Transformation Infrastructure

By pwsadmin | September 26, 2020

Hybrid IT enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators need to physically configure hardware to support a specific software application, which describes the function of a composable architecture. This type of transformative infrastructure is foundational…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 25, 2020

A survey of 2,000 executives conducted by Cognizant in 2016 identified the top five ways digital transformations generate value:      Accelerating speed to market      Strengthening competitive positioning      Boosting revenue growth      Raising employee productivity      Expanding the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers   Digital transformation is also a cultural change. Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation Since cloud…

Embrace Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 22, 2020

From a business perspective, differentiating business processes and quality customer service are central to overall success. Business leaders must therefore clearly identify and measure how information technology contributes to the value of every key business process. They must also know how to most cost effectively use IT when the task is merely the management of…

Computer Vision Advances Zero-Defect Manufacturing

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

by Kevin L. Jackson Electronics manufacturers operate in a challenging environment. It’s hard enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating rate of change in the industry. Now customers want increasingly specialized product variations in less time and of higher quality. Meeting this demand for increased product variation can seriously impact the bottom line. Such variability increases…

Real-Time Analytics Power the Roadway of the Future

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

By Kevin L. Jackson The complexities of citywide traffic are pushing the limits of existing transportation management systems. Outdated infrastructure is based on proprietary, single-purpose subsystems, making it costly to acquire, operate, and maintain. And current roadways are simply not prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles. Enter the SPaT Challenge, an initiative encouraging cities and…

Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges…

SourceConnecte! Marketplace With A Mission

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Earlier this year, GC GlobalNet launched a new breed of B2B e-commerce sites. Curated by Kevin L. Jackson, SourceConnecte (with an “e”) went live with three strategic goals in mind: Efficiently leverage modern social media technologies to facilitate value-based interactions between enterprise buyers and vetted suppliers; Establish a protected interactive environment capable of supporting high-value B2B e-commerce negotiations…

Potential vs. Reality: Is Edge Computing Real?

By pwsadmin | January 19, 2020

Edge computing provides compute, storage, and networking resources close to devices generating traffic. Its benefits are based on an ability to provide new services capable of meeting stringent operational requirements by minimizing both data latency and the need for bandwidth. Based on Google trend data, searches for the term has also grown substantially over the…

Enabling Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | December 22, 2019

Digital transformation integrates technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundamental purpose is to create and deliver innovative and industry-changing products and services to a global customer base. This outcome requires the seamless two-way flow of data and information between internal business processes and external processes that interact with customers, business…

The ThinkShield Story Part 1: The Challenge

By G C Network | October 24, 2019

The cybersecurity challenge seems to be growing daily. Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are becoming more destructive while the corporate world’s response seems to resemble a deer in headlights. Recent examples of this dangerous state of affairs include[1]: A data breach of a US Customs and Border Protection surveillance contractor that led to…

Late last week  the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) released an important whitepaper that reviewed it’s multi-year Pilot Texas Cloud Offering (PTCO). This project was designed to allow a small group of agencies to choose a virtual private cloud-based infrastructure as a service from a marketplace of service providers made available by a cloud broker. For this project, Texas DIR selected Gravitant and it’s cloudMatrix technology. Gravitant’s self-service web portal, Texas Cloud Self-Service Portal (TCSP), allowed participating agencies to manage and support all phases of the engagement from solutioning to provisioning, operations and capacity management, and decommissioning. Gravitant also provided extensive architecture and solution support. Gravitant, as the cloud broker, established, negotiated, and governed the reseller agreements with the individual cloud service providers. They maintained a catalog of services, line items, and prices associated with each provider, which enabled them to facilitate cloud provisioning across multiple providers—a key feature for government agencies.

This approach was selected as it maximized the opportunity to produce the broadest spectrum of experiences for customers. The cloudMatrix software helped to normalize the multiple services available, creating an “apples-to-apples” comparison in pricing and functionality as much as possible. In addition, this solution provided a single, unified web interface for end users to design, procure, provision, monitor, and govern the services. The PTCO allowed DIR and the pilot agencies to a gain a greater understanding of cloud infrastructure offerings for state government and document options and issues with provider selection, pricing, access security, data security, credentialing, provisioning time frames, service levels, service remedy options, terms of use, billing models, interoperability, mobility, scalability, capacity management, provider compliance, and monitoring and licensing.

As far as I know, the PTCO represents the only proven operational model of the cloud brokerage concept deployed within a government setting. Among the lessons learned, this project showed that the use of a cloud broker can:

  • Help government agencies screen their applications for cloud feasibility and prioritizing cloud migrations accordingly;
  • Address the challenges of cloud model comparisons due to the variables in product offerings, including the business models, service levels, and package inclusions;
  • Translate capacity requirements into provider line items, thus allowing for accurate estimation of cloud cost;
  • Provide a cloud service order review or approval workflow facility, a function not normally provided by cloud service providers; and
  • Provide a means to regulate payment across multiple government entities.

If you are interested in learning more about the results of this pilot project, download the complete report at https://www.slideshare.net/kvjacksn/pilot-texas-cloud-offering.

NJVC is partnering with Gravitant to bring this advance cloud brokerage technology to the federal marketplace.

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14 Comments

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