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When the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy requested ideas to help build smart cities, Microsoft jumped onboard. The result: our commitment to empower 10 U.S. cities with a year’s worth of our secure, leading-edge Microsoft Azure Government cloud platform as well as ongoing assistance.

Envision America, the smart cities initiative announced by the White House last fall, recently revealed the 10 U.S. cities selected to participate in 2016, including: Cambridge, Mass.; Dallas; Greenville, S.C.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; New York: Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and Spokane, Wash. We’re excited to work with these cities so that they can pursue the full breadth of new, creative cloud-based intelligent services to drive innovations in transportation, building management, public safety and other city services that citizens care about.

Our work with the 10 Envision America cities is due to kick off in January—but that doesn’t mean we’re just beginning our smart cities effort. Microsoft CityNext and our partners have worked w/en-us/citynext/default.aspxith countless U.S. cities on public safety, human services and citizen services projects. We are driving Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and open source data projects as well as other cloud-based initiatives that drive smart and sustainable communities.

Our goals for the 10 Envision America cities are to:

  • Accelerate innovation by providing access to a government cloud with intelligent systems services
  • Encourage rapid experimentation and development using those intelligent services
  • Ensure that this work is done in a safe and secure environment that meets the legislative and regulatory compliance requirements of our government customers.

With trust at the core of our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft differentiates itself from any other cloud provider with our secure, leading-edge Microsoft Azure Government platform. We’re proud to be the only hyper-scale cloud provider to offer our law enforcement customers a contractual commitment to the FBI’s rigorous Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy (CJIS)—and to be considered a trusted cloud leader, in compliance with the myriad of stringent government mandates.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reinforced how seriously we take security by recently announcing our new Cyber Defense Operations Center and the Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group. “Trust, for us, is central to our mission of empowering every person and organization,” Satya said. “We’re taking a principled approach, with strong commitments, to make sure that our customers can trust (the) digital technology that they use”. Satya’s powerful keynote from our fourth annual Microsoft Government Cloud Forum is available here.

We believe the cloud is the enabler for innovation in America today, especially among cities. We’re looking forward to working with the 10 Envision America cities to help them become more vibrant places to live and work. And to all U.S. cities, we welcome the opportunity to help you thrive with smart, secure cloud solutions!