This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C. to see our CEO, Bill Ballhaus, take center stage. The annual event brings together government, education, and nonprofit technology leaders from around the world to interact with innovators who are changing the world with cloud computing.

During the event, Bill delivered a customer keynote address that highlighted Blackboard’s journey to the cloud and how our partnership with AWS is benefitting our clients around the globe. In sum, it enables us to focus our time and energy on developing and delivering great products, creating a terrific user experience, and innovating to drive student and institutional success.

At the Summit, AWS also presented Blackboard with its inaugural Education Competency Award, an award that recognizes Blackboard’s expertise in the area of education and our commitment to delivering world-class products on the AWS infrastructure. Blackboard is one of only 19 companies to receive this award.

From the Amazon team, Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO and Teresa Carlson, AWS’s VP of Worldwide Public Sector, made a number of important Amazon announcements including:

  • AWS GovCloud (US) Heads East – New Region in the Works for 2018
  • Amazon Rekognition Available in AWS GovCloud (US-West)
  • City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge
  • AWS Education Competency
  • California Polytechnic State University Goes All-In on AWS

A number of other speakers also took the stage to share the impact of cloud migration on their organizations. One of my favorite speeches was from John Edwards, the CIO at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He shared the journey the CIA has undertaken over the last four years in migrating to the cloud and highlighted six of the “superpowers” the organization can now recognize as a result of the migration:

  1. Speed: Infrastructure at the speed of mission
  2. Power: More powerful than the toughest mission challenges
  3. Scalability: Able to scale vast infrastructures in seconds
  4. Strength: Secure services with insight into configurations and infinite audit
  5. Durability: Assured resilience and integrity with high performing availability
  6. Truth: Advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine insights

John Edwards’ speech resonated with me as Blackboard’s transition to AWS has allowed us to deliver many of the same benefits to our clients across all markets. Additionally, for our government clients specifically, our availability on AWS GovCloud ensures that our clients can now continue to deliver their mission-critical online learning programs within a more secure cloud environment. I look forward to our continued partnership with AWS and the opportunity it offers us to continue our 20 year tradition of developing and delivering world-class learning and development solutions.

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