Microsoft: Committed to Homeland Security
Microsoft execs Tom Richey and Michael Byrne, a former DHS official, discuss the company's homeland security strategy, how its products play into that strategy and how Web services will play a major role for Microsoft in the government space.Microsoft Corp. committed its expertise to the cause of homeland security when it named Tom Richey as director of Homeland Security for Microsoft Public Sector in November of 2002. Most recently, last month the software giant named former U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Michael Byrne as director of Justice & Public Safety for Microsoft Public Sector. Richey and Byrne spoke with eWEEK Senior Writer Darryl K. Taft about Microsofts homeland security strategy, how its products play into that strategy and how Web services stand to play a major role for the software giant in the government space. The interview was one of Byrnes first since joining Microsoft. Why is Microsoft in this space? Why do you have a Homeland Security office, and what are you doing? RICHEY: Our No. 1 goal at Microsoft is to help the president, the secretary of Homeland Security, various governors, mayors and county executives achieve all their goals around homeland security. And we feel that were in a good position to do that because we have a significant presence in the federal government with our technology and in state and local governments, No. 1. So theyve made a significant investment in us and in turn weve made a significant investment in their success. And so we share goals along those lines.
A second most important thing is that the future technology requirements that are needed in the world of homeland security, like other lines of business, is increased ability around collaboration. Thats the Microsoft product roadmap alignment. Thats our future and its our customers future. So theres great alignment there. So were excited about that. The last thing I would say is that its important to recognize that the country cannot continue to spend public dollars at the rate that weve been spending and investing in this. We have to find ways to invest smarter, invest wiser for the long term. And we believe that the Microsoft platform and our ability along the areas of Web services in connecting disparate infrastructures will be an incredible force multiplier thats consistent with the goals and challenges around funding the homeland security needsat the same time aligning with the federal governments goals around e-government in the business service model and the service reference model.