There has been much confusion about PaaS in that many vendors call their offerings PaaS, but they can be very different in their approach. We are looking at PaaS through the lens of building enterprise and mission applications for the federal government. Some of the key distinguishing characteristics of a PaaS offering we look at closely are how well integrated their offering is and how easily you can build applications by focusing on your specific business logic and leveraging sophisticated software to handle things like case management, analytics, and collaboration. Some PaaS offerings allow you to provision many different combinations of software layers. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are examples of this. Others, like Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform provides one pre-integrated service that puts emphasis on pre-built functionality and easy of building new applications, where you focus on your business logic.
The Federal Government is adopting new approaches to IT at a historic pace. The long-standing trust in the large software and services vendors is vanishing rapidly under the realization that the Government was oversold licenses they didn’t need or use, and is now being burdened by massive operations and maintenance costs for armies of resources running stacks of hardware and software. This is leaving almost no funds for true modernization and has driven an upsurge in interest and guidance on new approaches to IT. Two areas that are gaining significant traction are PaaS and Open Source Software. Which is the right answer to solving these longstanding problems? In this FAQ I tackle the biggest issues: Cost and Security.
As the Federal IT community embraces FITARA and the modernization of Federal IT, the GSA moved to support Agencies by establishing a groundbreaking contract for Salesforce related services. Six awardees, including Phase One, were named by GSA to the $503M Salesforce Implementation, Integration, and Support Services (SIISS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). This multiple-award, government-wide BPA consolidates the government’s Salesforce technical development, operations and maintenance, and implementation strategy requirements into one procurement vehicle.
The state of Federal IT is untenable...just ask Tony Scott, Federal CIO. Agencies are drowning in the unbelievably high percentage of their budgets that go to just keeping the IT lights on. This category of "operations and maintenance" or "O&M" is projected to be over 77% of the overall Federal IT budget. In seven major Federal Agencies, this O&M number is over 90% of their respective IT budgets. In many instances, these applications are aging, high risk, riddled with security vulnerabilities, and don't adequately support the Agency's missions. How can Agencies deliver better IT solutions for their missions, when they can barely afford their legacy solutions?
Phase One is excited to announce that we have reached Gold Level Salesforce Consulting Partner Status. This catapults Phase One into a small handful of companies with this status and similar expertise in the federal sector. This achievement is the direct result of everyone’s hard work across the firm, and we would like to thank everyone involved. With this new status, we are even more prepared to bring platform as a service (PaaS) solutions to our current (and new!) customers. Phase One has been investing in our capabilities with PaaS for several years—most recently with Salesforce—and it’s great to see these investments pay off.
According to Thomas Charuhas, Chief Solutions Officer, “Our focus has been on using the power of the Salesforce platform to modernize real mission-execution areas for our federal customers, and this Gold Level certification is a natural extension of that. Reaching Gold shows our partners that Phase One has a unique mix of management consulting and technical expertise to provide full-lifecycle solutions."
In our long history as trusted advisors to federal executives at over 40 agencies, we have been asked many questions pertaining to new technology products and trends. It is no secret that we are advocating platform as a service (PaaS) as a future for modernizing legacy applications and achieving significant return on investments. We are helping our clients move to a new era of much lower O&M costs, rapid solution delivery time, and improved user experience. Salesforce is an industry leader in the PaaS world, and we are wholeheartedly advocating for and implementing Salesforce solutions.
However, the PaaS world can seem like a radical departure from the traditional, legacy way of building and running systems and has raised questions that we have seen time and again by our federal IT executive clients wanting to embrace the new world while avoiding any potential pitfalls.
Here are some of the questions that are frequently asked around the Salesforce.com platform pertaining to customer data stored in the Salesforce cloud.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Phase One (www.pocg.com) announced today that Raymond J. Vogel, Jr., M.H.S.A., has joined the global IT firm as the Director of Healthcare Development to support new and existing healthcare clientele in both government and private sectors. Vogel leaves the Department of Veterans Affairs as Deputy Director for Development within eBusiness Solutions, VA's eCommerce unit, which conducts more than $3B in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Transactions.
"For his entire career, Ray has driven strategy and solutions in support of population health management -- his experience and track record across key segments within the industry allows us to expand our ongoing focus on healthcare," says Jerad Speigel, CEO of Phase One.
In 2014, the newly created US Digital Service published the US Digital Services Playbook (DSP) because “the U.S. Government needs a new approach…[t]o increase the success rate of these [digital services] projects.” The DSP comprises “13 key plays drawn from successful practices from the private sector and government that. if followed together [italics added], will help government build effective digital services.” The question, of course, is why we should believe that the DSP will have better success than any other “best practices” approach promoted in the history of federal IT.
My graduate study was on innovation management, so I tend to see IT development first and foremost as an innovation management challenge. Thus, to answer the digital services question for myself, I borrowed from the classic study in the innovation field, Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations.
Early in his book, Rogers lists five important characteristics of successful innovations:
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Phase One (www.pocg.com) announced today that Malcolm Jackson has joined the global IT firm as the Vice President of Private Sector to increase its presence in the commercial arena and expand its strategic offerings. Jackson was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information and Chief Information Officer.
"Malcolm is a renowned IT executive, and a wonderful addition to Phase One's executive team. Malcolm's experience, wisdom, and significant industry knowledge will help him lead our efforts to revolutionize how IT is designed and deployed to serve our private sector clients," says Jerad Speigel, CEO of Phase One.