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FCW : March 30, 2013
People used to think of Amazon as a place for online shop- ping, and it certainly still lls that role. But the company has emerged as a leading cloud provider for businesses big and small, and it is fast becoming a major player in the federal IT space as well. That last evolution is due in large part to the leadership of Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services. Under Carlson s guidance, AWS GovCloud effort con- tinued to expand in 2012, allowing a growing number of agencies and customers to move workloads to the cloud while meeting federal security and compliance requirements. AWS also delivered 149 new services, features and appli- cations to its more than 150 government customers and 1,500 educational institutions, responding rapidly to agency leaders and ultimately helping agencies be more ef cient with their spending. Those numbers will likely continue to grow because the General Services Administration s Infrastructure as a Serv- ice blanket purchase agreement allows agencies to easily buy AWS offerings. "2012 was an awesome year for federal IT. You see the government making drastic changes in how it is utilizing and re-envisioning federal IT from a mission-driven perspective," said Carlson, who left Microsoft for AWS in December 2010. In 2012, NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory used AWS to stream images and video from the Mars Curiosity rover to millions watching back home. AWS also transformed 200 terabytes of gene sequencing data into a publicly available dataset through the 1000 Genomes Project with the National Institutes of Health. And AWS entrenched the Obama for America Campaign and the Presidential Inauguration Com- mittee rmly in the cloud. Although the bulk of Carlson s contributions to the federal IT community came via AWS and making cloud services more mainstream, she also helped drive the TechAmerica Foundation s Big Data Commission, which released a report on big data and federal agencies in late 2012. "She lined up Amazon s resources and worked across several companies to deliver data that highlighted the big promise of big data," said Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government and a Federal 100 awards judge. Carlson co-led the writing of the report, which provided use cases of big data in action to government agencies still grappling with what big data is and what to do with it. The government is the largest producer of data in the world, she said, and while helping agencies cash in on potentially hidden treasures within billions of lines of code is good for business at AWS, it is also good for taxpaying citizens. "The thing about big data is that tools like this can affect the government in a massive way," Carlson said. And while "big data" remains a vague buzzword to some agencies, Carlson noted that just a few years ago, the term "cloud" generated similar confusion. Now it s widely rec- ognized as an ef cient way to do business. With private-sector support, continued collaboration and new partnerships in the public sector, Carlson said big data might be another way to "transform the govern- ment through more ef cient practices that help move the government forward." ■ Teresa Carlson Changing the game for cloud services 2013 EAGLE WINNER BY FRANK KONKEL March 30, 2013 FCW.COM 13 ZAID HAMID
March 15, 2013
April 15, 2013