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Riverbed + Microsoft: A Force Multiplier for Public Sector Mission Success

Shaun Bierweiler
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The public sector is built on collaboration. The vast services of the nation would cease to exist if it weren’t for the collective effort between the public and the private sector to rally around the mission of governing.

This unique dynamic is something that the Riverbed Public Sector Team thrives off because it forces us to be extraordinarily collaborative and creative in both our approaches and solution offerings. Public sector networks are some of the most complex in the world. There is no downtime and often the words life or death have very real implications.

This has taught us to look beyond the network needs and strategically approach customer engagements with partners like Microsoft who bring complementary solutions to bear and ensure our public sector customers have the network and applications needed to drive their missions forward. In short, we’re better together.

This is critical because agencies and organizations throughout the public sector are in the middle of massive digital transformation initiatives, either planned or brought on by the pandemic. They’re modernizing legacy infrastructures, adapting how they deliver and deploy IT resources, and moving staggering amounts of data, workloads, and applications into the cloud.

This transformation was accelerated at a breathtaking pace during the pandemic. The entire public sector displayed incredible resilience in adapting their networks to ensure that their dispersed users could continue to provide, and in many cases expand, critical services here at home and across the globe.

As Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, recently said, “organizations underwent two years of digital transformation in two months.”

Ensuring mission success requires partners that share a unified vision of what it takes to help agencies accelerate out of the pandemic, build on silver-lining successes, and transform from where they are now to where they want to be tomorrow. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have an active and engaged partner in Microsoft in this endeavor. I think a lot of our experiences over the past year could serve as valuable lens to look through in other customer engagements across both Riverbed and Microsoft.

Partnerships Proven by the Pandemic

Almost overnight, entire public sector agencies were accessing networks through TICs designed for fractions of users, laying bare the inefficiencies of legacy network environments.

While agencies were able to nimbly adapt and leverage Microsoft’s SaaS-deployed Modern Workplace, Collaboration, and Cloud solutions, many quickly discovered that those solutions were only as capable as the networks they traverse. Networks that hadn’t been designed for SaaS or cloud suffered from reduced visibility, network congestion, latency, poor application performance, and poor user experiences.

This is where our partnership and telework solutions, including Unified NPM, SteelHead, and Client Accelerator, were able to act as a force multiplier for success. We were not only able to give agencies crucial visibility into their network, applications, and users, but we allowed them to unlock desperately needed capacity on their overburdened networks so they could optimize the performance of their Microsoft solutions.

If you want to dive deeper into some tangible examples of this partnership in action, I encourage you to view our Pairing IT Investments Webinar: How Riverbed and Microsoft Create Greater Value for Public Sector Networks where public sector leaders from both Riverbed and Microsoft outline the strengths of our partnership and how our complementary solutions have prepared federal agencies for post-pandemic realities.

Jointly, we’ve enabled our public sector customers to not only respond to crisis in front of them, but helped them reimagine telework in the future and the role of the network as a driver of mission success.

The Government-from-Anywhere is Here to Stay

So what is next?  Whether public sector employees continue to work-from-anywhere, return to the office in reduced capacity, leverage hoteling and collaboration spaces, or a combination of all, it’s safe to say that a hybrid environment is here to stay.

This is truly a paradigm shift in the public sector because the benefits of telework are not just anecdotal, the data is clear. The public sector was not only more productive teleworking during the pandemic, but they were more engaged, collaborative, and content. So how do we pivot from the short-term strategies that got the job done, to long-term solutions that are sustainable, capable, and easily implementable?

Recently, we gathered leaders from across the federal landscape at Riverbed’s Network Transformation Summit where we dissected this very question. The consensus among the federal CIO, CTO, and CISO speakers was that even with the rapid onset of the pandemic and shifting demands of agency networks, the public sector workforce not only survived, but thrived!

The benefits of telework are simply too large to ignore. It allows a for agencies to reduce costs, improve delivery of services, recruit and retain a modern workforce, and create new avenues for citizen engagement.

Even the Department of Defense, an agency that has historically been risk adverse to telework, conceded during a Panel Session with Javier Vasquez, Microsoft’s GM of Technology and Solutions, that it is looking at telework as a permanent part of the agency’s operational plan.

It should be noted that a reimagining what it takes to ensure mission success, isn’t just being discussed at the federal level. We recently co-hosted a Government Technology Webinar with Microsoft where we examined how SLED organizations fared responding to the pandemic. Their challenges and outlooks were extraordinarily similar to their federal counterparts. As they prepare for this next stage of the pandemic, they too are evaluating what worked, what didn’t, how their networks can adapt, evolve, and improve delivery of services to users and citizens alike.

Better Together

As agencies redefine and reimagine operations for a post-pandemic reality and look beyond the network needs to ensure mission success, it’s more critical than ever to maximize current IT investments and to proactively deploy solutions that enable the peak performance and productivity of the network, applications, and users alike.

For over 12 years, Riverbed and Microsoft have worked together to deliver seamless network and app performance, visibility, security, and the successful convergence of legacy architectures and the cloud. We’re stronger together and we’re fortunate to have the honor of providing innovative public sector solutions to reimagine Government-from-Anywhere and ensure mission success.

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