Microsoft Eyes Homeland Security Role

Microsoft says it is well-positioned to aid the U.S. homeland security initiative.

Microsoft Corp. is counting on its Web services strategy and product road map to pay off in its effort to support the nations homeland security initiative.

Tom Richey, director of homeland security for Microsoft Public Sector, in Washington, told eWEEK that the interoperability afforded through Web services will help integrate disparate government systems across government 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 that what sets the Redmond, Wash., company apart from competitors in assisting with the homeland security challenge is "our future product road map is really driven around Web services and our ability to drive across legacy systems in a scalable, repeatable and affordable way. Thats at the heart of our strategy with homeland security because if you try and build out a national response system and connect all these huge legacy silos that have to connect when an operational commander at DHS is on-site in downtown New York and 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 said that U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has, in speeches, talked about a 10-year window for completely enabling government systems to support all facets of homeland security. That jibes with Microsofts product plans, according to Richey.

"That aligns pretty interestingly with our product road map 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," Richey said. "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 that Microsofts goal 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."