The Press Room

Amazon Web Services Announces 2016 City on Cloud Challenge Finalists

Spring 2016

From healthcare to utilities and from transit to city planning, local and regional governments are embracing innovation. Take a look at what these agencies and their partners are doing to move government forward on behalf of their citizens.

Winners will be announced from the AWS Public Sector Summit June 21st in Washington, DC.

FINALISTS – Best Practices Award (Large)

City of Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is positioning itself as a leader in sustainability and a model for other municipalities to leverage data to change their operations and environment. To accomplish this, the city partnered with Talisen Technologies and deployed an Enterprise Sustainability Platform integrating Building Automation Systems (BAS) and ARCHIBUS IWMS Systems to reduce energy consumption, increase asset lifespans, and improve efficiency. Leveraging the AWS cloud environment’s speed and capacity, data from over 100 facilities, 8,000 BAS points, 700 utility accounts, 32,000 work orders, and 10,126,086 square feet is now analyzed continuously to provide visibility into operations and potential energy reduction.

City of Los Angeles, California 
While the City of Los Angeles is known for sunshine and celebrities, it is also the largest cyber target on the West Coast. With the world’s sixth busiest airport (LAX), largest port in the western hemisphere, a high profile police department, and infrastructure supporting 4 million residents, the city must deploy innovative, world-class cybersecurity to protect digital assets, requiring it to collect, correlate, and analyze mountains of data on cyber threats. Against the backdrop of limited resources, the city implemented a unique, cloud-based enterprise security solution, known as the Integrated Security Operations Center (ISOC).The City of LA needed to proactively tackle the rapidly growing cyber-threats attempting to infiltrate digital assets. Given the limited resources, the City of LA implemented a unique, cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) solution for the Integrated Security Operations Center (ISOC), to help consolidate, maintain, and analyze security data across the city’s departments.

New York Public Library
The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections platform makes available 677,496 items spanning a wide range of eras, geography, and media, drawings, manuscripts, maps, photographs, rare books, videos, audio, and more. Encompassing the subject strengths of the vast collections of NYPL, these materials represent the applied sciences, fine and decorative arts, history, performing arts, and social sciences. While that’s a small fraction of the Library’s holdings, the aim of Digital Collections is to provide context for the digitized materials and to inspire people to use and reuse the media and data to advance knowledge and create new works. Cloud technology has simplified access to a part of the Library’s collection that otherwise would be difficult or impossible. The NYPL created not only an elegant user facing front-end, but also provided flexible search tools to make finding material easier. Users can search and browse NYPLs collections with ease compared to the various trips they would have had to make years before.

Multnomah County, OR
Multnomah County released its first in-house designed and developed app, Bridge Alerts. The app, available for iOS and Android platforms, provides alerts of scheduled and actual bridge lifts for the four county maintained drawbridges that serve tens of thousands of commuters each day into downtown Portland, Oregon. We also developed an open API to provide current state and lift history to third party developers, transit companies, and local government partners. The project team included interns from local IT vocational school, Epicodus, and leveraged Amazon Web Services to enable concept proofing, rapid prototyping, and scalable delivery. The county is also working with the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation to provide data on the bridges the county maintain, and receive data on roads and bridges that the city and the DoT manage.

DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority
DC Health Link is the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace created to support the federal health laws known as the Affordable Care Act. The website helps District residents, small businesses, members of Congress, and their staff obtain quality, affordable medical, dental, or vision coverage. To reach goals of sustainability, and become the first state where every resident has quality, affordable health coverage, DC Health Link moved mission critical IT into the AWS cloud, adopted an agile delivery model, and re-architected the website using open source technology. This approach achieved significant increases in enrollment, website performance, and cost savings.

Douglas-Omaha Technology Commission
Douglas Omaha Technology Commission was created via an Inter-Local Agreement between the City of Omaha and Douglas County to centrally serve the technology needs of the County and the City of Omaha. They started on a roadmap to migrate 140 plus websites and applications to AWS from their on- premises data center instead of spending resources buying and maintaining IT infrastructure.
The goal was to provide an environment that is more secure, flexible, and easier to manage. The transition has resulted in significant cost savings and the team can now focus on our core competencies of building and delivery new and better business applications instead of focusing on resource and hardware limitations. The scalability options are endless and they can easily implement POC without incurring large upfront costs. AWS provides services that drive innovation and by nature implement standards that are sometimes non-existent in their current environment.

OpenColorado provides a free, self-service, open data catalog for cities, counties, and other organizations to share data with the public. The data catalog provides the technology that governments need to easily share data, lowering the barriers to open data and open government. Their vision is to help every city and county in Colorado share data through the catalog. The data catalog has grown by almost 40% in the past year, and some of Colorado’s largest cities are sharing data. OpenColorado’s mission is to enable open access to government information and educate governments and citizens on how to create more transparent, participatory, and collaborative communities. This open data is a useful tool for citizens to learn more about their communities and governments, as well as to hold their governments accountable.

Portland Webworks
Live Better Idaho (LBI) is a statewide initiative to improve the delivery of social and health services to all citizens within the state of Idaho. Through lightweight means-testing, the LBI portal can connect people in need with state-based, faith-based, and non-profit community organizations that offer the help and services that will change their lives for the better. Support services for citizens in need are scattered across a range of organizations and are often challenging to find. This makes it hard for people to be aware of the options available to them, and how to take the next steps in seeking help. The Live Better Idaho portal is in the process of centralizing these services and breaking down the barriers to access. This will have a direct impact in the lives of families and individuals in need, and lead to more positive outcomes and overall reduced cost of care.

The Utah.Gov Driver License Practice Exam uses the Amazon Echo and Alexa voice technology to help drivers practice for the Utah driver license exam by reviewing questions while talking directly with the Alexa personal digital assistant. It is the first state government voice activated review test of its kind. Utah.Gov partnered with the Utah Department of Public Safety and Driver License Division to develop the practice exam for the Echo. Hosted on AWS, the voice activated practice exam is a new and convenient way for drivers to review the rules of the road in the comfort of their homes.