Microsoft: Web Services Key to Homeland Security

Officials with the Microsoft Public Sector on Tuesday said that Web services will help connect homeland security centers and bridge disparate government systems.

Microsoft Corp. is counting on its Web services strategy and product roadmap to pay off big in its effort to support the U.S.s Homeland Security initiative.

Tom Richey, director of homeland security for Microsoft Public Sector based in Washington, told eWEEK that the interoperability afforded through Web services will help integrate disparate systems across governmental entities to benefit homeland security.

"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 needs," Richey said.

Michael Byrne, director of justice and public safety for Microsoft Public Sector, said he believes Web services, .Net and Microsofts Trustworthy Computing strategy can be successfully applied to public safety.

Richey said what sets Microsoft apart from competitors in assisting with the homeland security challenge is "our future product roadmap is really driven around Web services and our ability to drive across legacy systems in a scalable, repeatable and affordable way."

According to Richey, the build-out of an interconnected national response system is at the heart of the companys strategy with homeland security. For example, "... when an operational commander at [the U.S. Department of Homeland Security] is on-site in downtown New York and [he or she] has to access all these huge databases in order to make well-informed and best-informed decisions. Were a far cry from being at that point."

In addition, Richey noted that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has, in speeches, talked about a 10-year window for completely enabling government systems to support all the facets of homeland security. That jibes with Microsofts product plans, Richey said.

"That aligns pretty interestingly with our product roadmap in the sense that our future is based on not taking all that stuff in those silos and dumping it into a huge data silo and then figuring out how to pull it out and what to do with it, its exposing those legacy assets to web services and doing analytics and business rules on top of it to pull that information out when you need it, at the right time to any device," Richey said.