Meetup replay: Gov IT modernization in the era of COVID-19

Karina Homme

Our April Microsoft Azure Government meetup featured innovative demos and influential speakers in the federal space from the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), CGI Federal,, and Microsoft discussing strategies, challenges and tools for driving government IT modernization along the impacts COVID-19 brings to these efforts.

Microsoft’s Nicholas DiCola kicked off the meetup with a demo of Azure Sentinel, then CGI Federal’s John Blandin teamed up with Microsoft’s Reynaldo Martinez and Anthony de Lagarde to share a digital modernization customer story in the federal landscape. The meetup culminated in an engaging panel discussion with DIU’s Mike Madsen,’s Nikhil Krishnan and Microsoft’s Kent Cunningham on how COVID-19 has impacted government IT modernization.

We invite you to watch the full meetup by viewing the Gov IT modernization in the era of COVID 19 playlist on our Azure Gov Meetup YouTube channel.

Below you’ll find direct access and brief descriptions of featured demos, presentations and panel discussion from last month’s Microsoft Azure Government DC Meetup:

Image April2020 Meetup Covid19Welcome Thumbnail Gov IT modernization in the era of COVID 19 – Welcome – with Karina Homme
Image April2020 Meetup SentinelDemo Thumbnail Azure Sentinel Demo – with Nicholas DiCola
Image April2020 Meetup DigitalModernizationFedLandscapeSpeakers Thumbnail Digital modernization for customers in the federal landscape – with John Blandin, Reynaldo Martinez and Anthony de Lagarde
Image April2020 Meetup Covid19Panel Thumbnail Panel: Gov IT modernization in the era of COVID 19  – with Nikhil Krishnan, Mike Madsen, Kent Cunningham and Karina Homme


Microsoft Azure Sentinel Demo

Nicholas DiCola, Principal Group PM Manager, C+AI Security Experience Engineering Team, Microsoft

In this segment, get a tour of Azure Sentinel and learn key aspects from how to get data into you system using data connectors, to how process information and extract actionable data that can be visualized using workbooks. Azure Sentinel is a scalable, cloud-native, security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution.

Learn more:

Digital modernization for customers in the federal landscape

John Blandin, Director Consulting Services, CGI Federal Reynaldo Martinez, Senior Account Executive, Microsoft Anthony de Lagarde, Principal FastTrack Engineer, Microsoft

In this segment, John, Reynaldo and Anthony share a transformational story for one of their mission partner’s customers in the defense aerospace industry. The customer faced several common challenges such as accumulated technical debt, insufficient resource bandwidth, no encryption for the last mile and in-existent inventory of dataset to migrate. This presentation walks through this transformation project from project discovery, approach, outcomes, and lessons learned.

Panel discussion: Gov IT Modernization in the era of COVID-19

Kent Cunningham, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Federal Civilian Mike Madsen, Director, Strategic Engagement, Defense Innovation Unit Nikhil Krishnan, Group Vice President, Products, Karina Homme, Senior Director, Microsoft Azure Government (moderator)

Our panelists provided insights on their definition of IT modernization in government in this time where 80 percent of the budget is allocated to legacy tech. They spoke to challenges, various types of modernization, and top priorities. We also discussed COVID-19’s impact on modernization strategies and priorities along with the emphasis on technologies that enable telework, remote access, network security (Zero Trust model), and automation.

Thank you again to all our speakers and the Azure Gov Meetup community! Make sure to RSVP today to join us for our next virtual meetup on May 27: The rise of DevSecOps in gov software initiatives.




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