Government Doesn’t Close: Gov IT Industry Responds to Pandemic

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reverberate through all aspects of daily life, many are asking the same question: How can I help?

Federal, state, and local government IT teams are supporting enormous numbers of employees teleworking for the first time as they work to deliver essential services – and facing bandwidth challenges, the need to securely connect teams to needed apps and data remotely, new cyber threats, and more.

The Federal IT industry community is rising to support government, with many providing fast, free, new, or discounted solutions and services. Plus advice and lessons learned to help solve the unexpected, and experts willing to brainstorm.

Yes, there are challenges to work through. And, yes, the impact of legacy infrastructure in need of updating is more clear than ever. But there are also success stories where modernization efforts are paying off, and where IT teams pivoted quickly and creatively to meet new needs.

While there are many more out there – here are a series of examples of the Federal IT tech industry community’s response to “how can I help?” over the past weeks, plus two additional resources for government teams.

WFH Resources and COVID-19 Support

Company: Dell Technologies

What: Comprehensive COVID-19 support for communities and customers, including resources to support organizations scaling WFH strategies featuring Dell executives with tips, best practices, and important lessons learned from managing a 10-year remote work journey.

Visualization and Analysis

Company: Esri

What: To help public health agencies and others jump start their response to COVID-19, Esri is providing the ArcGIS Hub Coronavirus Response Template at no cost along with a complimentary six-month subscription of ArcGIS Online with ArcGIS Hub Basic. ArcGIS is a framework to build a website to visualize and analyze the COVID-19 crisis in the context of your organization’s or community’s population and assets.

WFH Community and Technology Resources, Support

Company: Microsoft

What: Provide programs and services in support of COVID-19 to help government agencies, including recommendations, resources , and areas where Microsoft can provide immediate support for Federal and state and local agencies. In addition, Microsoft is providing solutions at no additional cost including: a free 6-month Office 365 G1 Trial (including Microsoft Teams); a free 6-month trial of our Microsoft Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Apps Portal, and Power Virtual Agents to support solutions in response to COVID-19; and a package of assets customers can use to develop and deploy Covid-19 informational chatbots in a single day. Microsoft FastTrack is available to assist organizations setting up remote work and learning in response to COVID-19.

Genome-Sequencing for COVID-19 Researchers

Company: NVIDIA, with support from Parabricks

What: Free 90-day Parabricks license (uses GPUs to accelerate by as much as 50x the sequence data analysis) for any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight COVID-19, reducing the timeframe of getting results from days to hours.

Identity Management

Company: Okta

What: Free Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) and Okta Multi-Factor Authentication for 5 applications; access to Okta’s remote work best practices guides and community access toolkit to improve the teleworking experience

Enhanced Critical Storage Infrastructure

Company: Pure Storage

What: Expanded services for new and existing customers involved in the fight against the pandemic – plus quick shipments and remote installation options to enhance the infrastructure for key applications and services needed in this unique time. Read the Pure Storage COVID-19 Outbreak Response.

Emergency Response Applications

Company: ServiceNow, with support from Accenture, Deloitte, DXC Technology, EY, and KPMG

What: Free applications to manage emergency response operations, enable emergency outreach, self-reporting and exposure management developed in conjunction with Washington State’s Department of Health.

DNS Protection for Work from Home Users 

Company: Infoblox Federal

What: Free 90-day license to BloxOne Threat Defense-Cloud offering – a configurable cloud-based DNS resolver with built-in firewall and DNS exfiltration prevention for Work from Home users.

Cloud-based Remote Support Software

Company: SolarWinds

What: Free 90-day trial of Dameware® Remote Everywhere (DRE), a cloud-based remote support software that allows IT pros to quickly respond to the needs of their end users as government agencies adjust to remote work. DRE allows IT teams to connect to remote workers and provide them with safe and secure support.

Workforce Preparedness and Engagement Applications

Company: Qualtrics

What: Free Remote Work Pulse solution to help organizations understand if they are prepared for a remote workforce, and if employees have what they need to succeed in this new environment. Additional COVID-19 solutions to get started and continue to support remote work, include Healthcare Workforce Pulse, Remote Educator Pulse, and more.

IT Security and Operations Information and Resources

Company: Tanium

What: A WFH Community Portal with resources for handling common IT, security, and infrastructure issues to help IT teams manage increased incoming traffic securely, and with minimal disruption.

Cybersecurity

Company: Trustwave

What: Trustwave is providing a number of complimentary services and resources, including vulnerability scanning, managed detection and response services, and consulting resources to help organizations as they navigate remote worker security and build and execute on their business continuity security plans. Learn more about Trustwave’s complimentary services during COVID-19.

Business Continuity Resources

Company: Zscaler

What: A business continuity program and resources for WFH needs. The program helps organizations deliver fast, secure, reliable access to applications and services, and includes free access to professional services to help deploy Zscaler’s zero trust cloud access service quickly, connecting users to applications without placing them on the network. Learn more about Zscaler’s WFH solutions.

Training and Technology

Company: Red Hat

What: Red Hat is providing free resources to help government teams meet new needs, including the Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience; a 60-day trial of the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform; ability to ask an expert about automation efforts; and free virtual courses on Openshift Applications, the basics of Agile IntegrationAnsible Automation, and how to deploy Containerized Applications.

More Resources:

U.S. Digital Response for COVID-19

What: A site launched by a former Facebook executive and three former U.S. deputy CTOs offers help to state and local governments for managing pandemic response, noting they have more than 5000 qualified volunteers with experience in technology, data, design, and operations who have worked in all levels of government – ready to help. Read more about the pro bono support offered by U.S. Digital Response.

The COVID-19 National Response Team

What: As part of the COVID-19 National Response Team’s effort to combat COVID-19, the Department of Defense has created an industry portal as a one-stop shop for defense industry, commercial companies and academia to share creative ideas with federal agencies to combat the virus. They welcome resources and solutions from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more.

Do you have more examples and resources? We want to hear about them. Email info@meritalk.com.

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