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Powered by the People: The New Era of Federal IT

- February 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I still grin when I recall President Ronald Reagan jokingly say this. I was in junior high, and learning about the purpose and inner-workings of government. That quote has stuck in my mind ever since.

If we’re honest, we have to admit there may be some truth to that from time to time. But that’s okay. That’s history. And history, as they say, is written by the victors.

Now that we’re in the digital era, we’re shaping a new narrative where tech plays a leading role. This new story, a kind of future history for our nation’s government, is being written by everyday people who have dedicated their careers, and in some cases their lives, to protect, serve and educate our nation. Recently, I had a chance to learn more about a few of them and how they are using technology to improve the way federal agencies are serving Americans.

US Army Hurricane ITCommand Chief Warrant Officer 5 William L. Robinson of the 7th Signal Command, U.S. Army. During the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, Will led the adoption of GAIT (Global Agile Integrated Transport) that allowed deployment of tactical assets through the Warfighter Information Network–Tactical, (WIN-T). This ensured that the Army’s tech could seamlessly execute, even in an environment suffering widespread, catastrophic destruction.

VA ITDavid Siegrist, Technical Lead for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). David is helping America’s veterans communicate their needs more quickly and openly to the VA via a new White House Call Center. He did this by driving deployment of an innovative technology solution that lets the VA respond faster, use data better, and improve the quality of service. But most impressive, David got the entire solution fully deployed within just 30 days.

Stephen Rice, Deputy CIO at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Stephen has been a key part of the DHS since its creation shortly after September 11. So he understands the threats our nation faces, especially from cybercriminals and nation-states. This led him to successfully push an end-to-end cybersecurity solution to secure the agency and to also enhance their network infrastructure. Thanks to Stephen’s work, the DHS can secure and deliver their most important asset, information, and get it to the right people at the right time.

medicare IT ciscoWade Zarriello, Unified Communications Project Manager for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although small, CMS impacts Medicare and Medicaid services for over one-third of all Americans. So Wade understood the need to deploy innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience—while also reducing cost and increasing efficiencies. Through his work, Wade is helping CMS customers benefit from faster response times and improved services. This directly translates to a better quality of life for a large number of Americans.

Every day, innovative technologies are enabling these and other federal agencies to better protect, serve and educate the citizens of our nation. At Cisco, we’re excited to play a key role in this revolution in governance. One that simplifies, secures, and optimizes processes, solutions and services so that our federal government (to paraphrase President Lincoln) is powered by the people, influenced by the people, and better serving the people.

And if President Reagan were alive today, I think he might just change his line from “the nine most terrifying words” into “the nine most hopeful.”

Welcome to the new era of government.


To learn more about improving the processes of government to better protect, serve and educate the people of our nation, check out:

Why Cisco for Federal IT:

Cisco Solutions for Government:

Federal IT in Transition:


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