VA Strengthens Investment in Microsoft, Big Data under Sweeping Enterprise Agreement

12 July 2012 | Susie Adams, CTO, Microsoft Federal

​Microsoft has had a longstanding partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and today that partnership has been strengthened througha new enterprise agreement which will provide the VA with access to all of Microsoft’s current and emerging technologies. This agreement is so gratifying because it directly supports the services the VA is able to provide to our nation’s four million veterans and their families.


As part of the enterprise agreement, the VA is also continuing its investment in a groundbreaking data warehousing/Big Data analytics initiative called the “20 Domains in 18 Months Challenge.”  The VA houses the largest medical system in the United States and one of the largest healthcare organizations in the world. A quarter of the nation's population is potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans. The VA employs 180,000 medical personnel and operates 163 hospitals, 135 nursing homes and more than 800 clinics.


To help meet the agency’s goal of providing the best possible service to veterans, the VA has decided to apply advanced analytics to its big data through a combination of data warehouse and big data solutions.  Today’s agreement means the agency will continue its groundbreaking historic corporate data warehouse initiative, using Microsoft SQL Server database technology to consolidate its entire data environment under one roof. 


Within a new data security framework and a state-of-the-art analytic and scientific computing environment, the VA can now see data across its entire organization. It can easily cleanse datasets and conduct complex business intelligence functions to mine both structured and unstructured data utilizing big data techniques. This should result in improved patient safety, organizational performance and the discovery of new and better treatments for veterans.

The VA is now moving onto equally challenging issues like distributing enterprise-class Hadoop-based solutions on SQL Server. By integrating the solution into already existing business intelligence (BI) tools, including Microsoft Excel, the VA can perform BI on all of its data, further increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of its services.


The comprehensive agreement extends beyond big data to cover nearly all of our products and services. It includes Windows 7, Windows 8, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and Bing Maps for Enterprise. It also includes developer tools and numerous other products and services spanning the desktop, infrastructure, and mobile devices.

To learn more about what this means for VA, you can read the official press release here

Susie Adams
CTO, Microsoft Federal