Every year, AWS recognizes and awards local and regional governments who are serving as hubs of innovation in three categories: Best Practices, Partners in Innovation, and Dream Big as part of their AWS City on a Cloud competition. The winners receive AWS promotional credits to start or continue their projects — making it easier for them to deliver great and important services to their citizens. This year, the New York Public Library, South Central Planning and Development Commission, and Utility, Inc are a few of the contest winners.
The New York Public Library is using the AWS platform to store and share over 680,000 digitally archived items. “Our mission is to provide free access to our items to everyone,” explained Jay Haque, Director of Development Operations at the New York Public Library. Haque said switching over to AWS a few years ago was a “no brainer” due to AWS’ culture of experimentation, their velocity, and their affordability. The New York Public Library has over 53 million items in their collection, and they want to continue to make more of those items available online not just for a few years, but forever. “We are huge users, and to accomplish our goals, we want to use AWS even more,” said Haque.
Utility, Inc’s partnership with AWS greatly assists local law enforcement. Utility, Inc developed BodyWorn™, a body camera system used by police departments. The recorded body camera footage is automatically uploaded in real time to the AWS cloud. “For our customers,” explained Utility, Inc CEO Bob McKeeman, “security of information is paramount because it is legal evidence. AWS is very reliable and secure.” And, due to this large volume of video intake, McKeeman is glad they don’t have to manage their own data center. “Amazon does that better than anyone in the world,” he said. “Nobody else has the breadth or the depth of AWS to provide what we need.”
Ryan Hutchinson, the Chief Technology Officer at South Central Planning and Development Commission, explained that after Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana got a lot more serious about building codes. Hutchinson developed a complex software system to help architects, engineers, and contractors make sure expectations were met, and to prove those inspections were happening. That software runs on AWS servers. “With Amazon, we can experiment and innovate in minutes, without losing money,” explained Hutchinson. “We never could’ve expanded our services so competitively to 6 different states had it not been for AWS.”
With their thousands of AWS promotional credits, each award recipient will continue to think big and innovate on behalf of their citizens. The New York Public Library and Utility, Inc plan on continuing to experiment and expand their projects. South Central plans to incorporate drones into their software so that building inspectors don’t have to climb onto precarious roofs to carry out thorough inspections.
Learn more about the ‘City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge winners.