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GovProcure™ – critical requirements and design choices

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GovProcure™ – critical requirements and design choices

We built GovProcure with several basic requirements in mind. It would have to meet tough federal government standards for the security and privacy of the data it contains. It would have to be massively scalable, capable of supporting tens of thousands of users within a single organization. It would have to be highly reliable, offering better than 99.9% availability – that is, less than 10 minutes of downtime per year, on average.

For us or our customers to build out and operate a hardware, systems software, and communications infrastructure capable of meeting these standards would cost tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars.

We also wanted to offer GovProcure to our customers at a total cost that is one-tenth or less than that of any comparable solution.

We knew that we would have to leverage the capabilities of a commercial cloud services provider if we wanted to meet these requirements.

We also knew from our 30+ years delivering and operating complex, administrative solutions for the federal government that if we used traditional methods, it would take up to two years and several million dollars to design and code the database schema, user interface, workflows, triggers, alerts, dashboards, document management, and other elements of GovProcure.

So we looked for a commercial cloud services provider that could meet our infrastructure requirements, and who could also provide us with a more modern, rapid development environment.

We found only one – Force.com, a service offering of Salesforce.com.

Force.com allowed us to build upon one of the largest commercial cloud infrastructures in the world, and so take advantage of the massive economies of scale that only large cloud service providers can offer.

Force.com also allowed us to take advantage of powerful, high level programming services that cut the level of effort and time needed to build out GovProcure by 75% to 80% compared to traditional java-based or .Net development. Force.com provided us with high-level constructs for rapid development of integration services, application logic, a custom user interface, database, reporting, and analytics.

Building on Force.com also allows us to develop and roll out enhancements in a fraction of the time required by traditional methods. Further, as a cloud-based solution, when we roll out new services, they are instantly available to every one of our customers – no separate distributions, installations, or updates are required.

We are extremely happy to be partnered with Salesforce.com in offering GovProcure. We have met every one of our original requirements, and so are able to offer a highly functional solution that is extremely secure, reliable, and scalable, at a total cost to our customers that is one-tenth or less than the cost of any comparable solution.

Government should not be in the IT business. With GovProcure, our customers can focus their resources on accomplishing their mission, and not on operating yet another data center.

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