Salesforce Rolls Out Government Cloud Lightning Platform
CRM (customer relationship management) giant Salesforce.com has unveiled a new cloud service to help government agencies and contractors build their own proprietary apps. Called Government Cloud Lightning, the new platform will be part of Salesforce’s multitenant public cloud infrastructure, and will include support for app development for the desktop and mobile environments.
The company is pitching the service as an enterprise cloud platform designed specifically for federal agencies, government contractors, U.S. Department of Defense organizations, and state and city governments. The platform will also feature a drag-and-drop visual interface for app development aimed at making development more accessible to non-developers.
Bringing Private Sector Innovation to the Public
The idea behind the company’s new platform is to bring modern processes, design, and technology from private sector tools and repurpose them for the public sector.
“Private sector innovation has changed the way citizens expect to interact with their governments, so providing our customers with modern and secure tools is paramount to increasing citizen satisfaction and engagement,” said Vivek Kundra, Salesforce’s executive vice president, in a statement. “The launch of Government Cloud Lightning, along with extended compliance standards and enhancements, will empower agencies, the aerospace and defense market, and government contractors to digitally transform and connect with citizens in new ways.”
Government agencies have long struggled with legacy IT systems that are disconnected, inflexible and expensive to maintain, according to Salesforce. In fact, agencies spent approximately $58 billion of their $79 billion IT budgets in 2015 maintaining legacy systems, leaving little left over for new innovation, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Salesforce also announced that it has achieved compliance with two additional sets of government standards, DoD IL2 and NIST SP 800-171. The former grants Government Cloud security approval from the Defense Information System Agency, while the latter provides requirements for protecting unclassified data. Achieving those compliance standards should provide Salesforce with considerably more opportunities in the government sector.
New BPAs Rolling In
The launch of Government Cloud Lightning comes as Salesforce has experienced a significant uptick in public sector contracts through a series of blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) totaling more than $700 million. BPAs are purchase vehicles designed to make it easier for procurement officers to gain approval when purchasing new goods and services for the government.
Salesforce resellers and partners have been the beneficiaries of a number of such purchase agreements recently, including one for $503 million from the General Services Administration, another for $100 million from U.S. Health and Human Services, and a third valued at $100 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In addition to Lightning, the company said it has continued to add new functionality to the Government Cloud. Last year, Analytics Cloud was included in the Government Cloud FedRAMP Moderate Authority to Operate. which gave users the ability to explore data, uncover new insights and take action from any device, such as smartphones and tablets. Salesforce also recently added platform encryption to Government Cloud, providing agencies an additional layer of security when handling sensitive data.
Image Credit: Government Cloud Lightning Department of Defense solutions (pictured above) via Salesforce.
Read more on: Salesforce
, Customer Relationship Management
, Enterprise IT
, Cloud Computing
, Enterprise Software
, Customer Engagement
, Tech News