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Agencies focus on the user amid pandemic

The agencies that have been most successful in responding to COVID-19 already had a strong technological foundation with ongoing modernization efforts and have focused on putting the user at the heart of their solutions, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Microsoft. In particular, one of the biggest lessons learned, the report says, is the importance of user-centered design in technology solutions. The report's authors hope that agencies can use the common lessons learned to adapt to the "new normal." "When governments look to use technology in the future, the goal shouldn't be a return to the pre-pandemic status quo," said Peter Kamocsai, project leader for the report. Sara Wilson has the story.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Air Force looks to Google for help on flight simulators

Google Cloud has partnered with the Air Force to support new flight simulators used to train pilots. The Joint Immersive Training System (JITS) has a consistent interface for several types of planes the Air Force trains on, as opposed to one-off systems that model specific planes. The Defense Innovation Unit acquired the technology on behalf of the Air Force. Jackson Barnett has more.

FBI's $92M FirstNet deal

The FBI entered into a new deal with AT&T to provide FirstNet capabilities. The FBI’s new agreement with AT&T represents the largest commitment to FirstNet by such an agency to date, securing FirstNet Ready devices like smartphones, air cards and modems. Dave Nyczepir has this one.

Small business GWACs moves coming soon

Next year will be big for the General Services Administration's work to support small businesses through governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs). The $50 billion STARS III solicitation for small IT businesses closed in August and will be awarded in fiscal 2021. And a draft request for proposals for Polaris, a second small business GWAC geared toward emerging technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence, is coming soon. Dave has this too.

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