Trump open to talks on U.S.-Swiss free trade deal: Swiss president

Reuters | May 17, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump is keen to advance talks with Switzerland on a free trade deal, Swiss President Ueli Maurer told reporters in Washington after the first visit by a Swiss president to the Oval Office. Maurer described the meeting with Trump as constructive and said the U.S. president was “positive” about work on a free trade deal, but wanted to get it done “more quickly than with the EU (European Union).” Specific details were not discussed, he said. “He thinks we should accelerate the issue,” Maurer told reporters after the meeting. The United States and the European Union are working to launch trade negotiations but the process has taken longer than expected. Switzerland, the seventh largest foreign investor in the United States with $309 billion, is keen to expand economic ties with the United States, said Maurer, who is also finance minister.

Spotlight

When the government decides to stop a business from contracting with the federal government, it either temporarily or indefinitely “suspends” the business, or it hands down a “debarment” for a specific time period. The details and authority for suspension and debarment are laid out in FAR Subpart 9.4. The stated purpose of suspension and debarment is for the protection of the government against disreputable businesses.

Spotlight

When the government decides to stop a business from contracting with the federal government, it either temporarily or indefinitely “suspends” the business, or it hands down a “debarment” for a specific time period. The details and authority for suspension and debarment are laid out in FAR Subpart 9.4. The stated purpose of suspension and debarment is for the protection of the government against disreputable businesses.

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Accenture Federal Services | October 18, 2021

Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has launched a new report, Futureframe: Human-Centered Design at Societal Scale, which unveils specific steps for federal agencies to deliver improved customer experiences and outcomes. Futureframe helps agencies define a “future vision” of what an optimal federal customer experience looks like and creates the building blocks to bring those experiences to life. The Futureframe approach links elements of human-centered design, systems design, futurism, and ethnographic research to help agencies implement transformative change and sustainable improvements across complex programs. The report showcases a wide range of use cases and walks through how this framework can be applied to a common use case that crosses many missions and agencies: federal benefits, assistance, and insurance programs. “The pandemic increased demand for government services while simultaneously raising expectations for federal government customer experience. Additionally, agencies are being tasked with growing calls to ensure equity in meeting citizen needs so all customers have equal access to services,” said the report’s co-author, Elaine Beeman, Senior Managing Director, Civilian Portfolio Lead. “To meet the moment, federal leaders must accelerate the shift to digital to ensure customer experience with the federal government meets, or even exceeds, the experience they have with their favorite brands and serves a diverse customer base, including underserved and hard-to-reach populations.” The release of the report commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Accenture Federal Studio, which is part of AFS’s growing network of spaces that links commercial innovation with mission experience to help the federal government tackle its most pressing challenges. The Studio serves client mission areas across defense, national security, safety and citizen services, and health. “Since the Studio opened in 2016, it has become a leading innovation partner helping to create value for customers and employees alike across all sectors of the government. By integrating human-centered design with emerging technologies such as mixed reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and quantum computing, the Studio helps our clients move ideas confidently from vision, to prototype, to pilot, to impact at-scale.” Tim Irvine, Managing Director and Lead for Accenture Federal Studio AFS taps into leading insights, talents, capabilities, and commercial approaches within the Accenture Innovation Network, a global network of research, design, and technology centers that brings disruptive innovation to clients. Accenture Federal Services is a subsidiary of Accenture (NYSE: ACN). About Accenture Federal Services Accenture Federal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, is a U.S. company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Accenture’s federal business serves every cabinet-level department and 30 of the largest federal organizations. Accenture Federal Services transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations. About Accenture Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 624,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing Platform is Now FedRAMP Compliant

Ephesoft | November 16, 2021

Ephesoft Inc., a leader in intelligent document processing, automation and data enrichment solutions, today announced that its Ephesoft Transact platform is now available as a FedRAMP moderate compliant cloud service. Deployed on Project Hosts Private Cloud FedRAMP Authorized platform built on Microsoft Azure Government, Ephesoft Transact complied with all additional security controls and has a System Security Plan (SSP) in place to greatly accelerate the compliance verification and Authorization to Operate (ATO) process. "Automation and AI are major change drivers for government organizations and we are excited to be part of this journey. The availability of the Ephesoft Transact in a FedRAMP SaaS-compliant cloud paves the way for federal agencies to modernize critical processes, take advantage of the cloud and, ultimately, do more with less. Being FedRAMP compliant assures all federal agencies that Ephesoft Transact is fully vetted and highly secure, saving time and money on implementation." Kevin Harbauer, chief technology officer at Ephesoft Ephesoft Transact is already being used by many government organizations, including 14 federal agencies in multiple departments, to automate document-centric processes and drive operational efficiencies. Turning high volumes of documents of any type into structured, actionable data, the platform not only digitalizes previously laborious processes and eliminates manual data entry but also enables digital transformation downstream by making the data available to other workflows and systems. The U.S. Air Force, for example, currently uses Ephesoft Transact and its Web Scanner feature, which is Air Force Network Integration (AFNIC) certified, at over 100 scanning stations at Air Force bases worldwide to streamline travel voucher processing. Since the USAF began using Ephesoft Transact, they have accelerated their document processing setup by about 94% and have seen a throughput rate of 95%. Accelerated by the OMB and NARA's Memorandum M-19-21 mandate, government agencies put a concentrated effort into modernizing their operations through AI and automation technologies. As many processes primed for modernization are paper and digital document-based, Intelligent Document Processing is going to be an integral part in the agencies' technology stack. As a result of Ephesoft Transact's FedRAMP compliance, the ATO process is now much easier and accelerated so agencies can take advantage of its benefits faster. Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing platform is available to federal agencies on GSA MAS GS-35F-0858N. About Ephesoft Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) platform and data enrichment solutions automate document-centric processes to maximize operational efficiency and human productivity for enterprises and the public sector. Using AI, patented machine learning and proprietary classification models, Ephesoft's customizable and scalable platform turns any document type into structured, actionable data to accelerate business processes and data-driven decisions. The platform's APIs and iPaaS connectors allow for fast integrations into other business systems for seamless end-to-end automation. Working with a vast partner ecosystem, Ephesoft has been deployed in the cloud and on-premises to customers around the globe saving costs, improving data accuracy and fueling their digital transformation journey towards hyperautomation. Ephesoft is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with regional offices throughout the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific. About FedRAMP The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a "do once, use many times" framework that saves an estimated 30-40% of government costs, as well as both time and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments. FedRAMP is the result of close collaboration with cybersecurity and cloud experts from the General Services Administration (GSA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council and its working groups, as well as private industry.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

AT&T Cybersecurity Launches New Managed Solution to Help U.S. Federal Agencies Modernize and Protect their IT Infrastructure

AT&T | November 18, 2021

What's the news? AT&T* has launched an integrated, managed cybersecurity solution to help U.S. federal agencies modernize and protect their IT infrastructure in compliance with Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) 3.0 cybersecurity guidance. AT&T Government Trusted Internet brings together software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology, security capabilities and fiber connectivity in a 24/7 managed solution through a single provider. The comprehensive, scalable solution integrates with the AT&T Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service, extending highly secure remote access to federal agency workers and branch offices. Why is this important? As federal agencies increased their adoption of mobile and cloud technologies in 2020 to support telework, cyber risks and requirements changed. These changes prompted new TIC 3.0 guidance from the federal government's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to protect federal data and networks and provide visibility of cloud and remote users. The need for federal agencies to modernize their IT infrastructure also increased this year with the White House Executive Order (EO) on Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity in May. The EO calls for bold changes and investments to improve the cybersecurity posture of the federal government including moving to Zero Trust. Zero Trust is a security framework requiring all users, whether in or outside the organization's network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or keeping access to applications and data. What makes this new cybersecurity solution different? AT&T is a trusted network provider to U.S. federal government agencies, helping them maximize network efficiency and performance no matter where they are on the network transformation continuum. AT&T Government Trusted Internet meets federal agency requirements for highly secure remote connectivity supporting remote users and branch offices. The solution optimizes network performance while allowing government agency users to connect directly to the internet to access cloud-based applications in a highly secure manner. It provides centralized network visibility across users, devices, and locations to monitor users whether they are on or off the network to reduce security risks. These capabilities allow federal agencies the flexibility and speed they require as they modernize their IT infrastructure. AT&T Government Trusted Internet delivers threat analysis and correlation through the AT&T Security Operations Center and AT&T Alien Labs Open Threat Exchange® global threat sharing community to help federal agencies monitor and reduce ongoing cybersecurity risks. The solution includes additional capabilities such as Zero Trust Network Access to provide highly secure remote access to applications, data, and services based on clearly defined access control policies. When will this new cybersecurity solution be available? AT&T Government Trusted Internet is immediately available to U.S. federal agencies. Chris Kissel, Research Director, Tier 2 SOC Analytics, IDC "Federal agencies want to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats and comply with TIC 3.0 and the Executive Order, but they also want as little friction as possible. What I see as compelling about AT&T Government Trusted Internet is it considers all of the possible use cases including remote workers and the practical implementation of Zero Trust. Additionally, the AT&T Security Operations Center and AT&T Alien Labs Open Threat Exchange provide monitoring and security insights." "The shift to telework and increased cyber threats have created urgency for federal agencies to enhance the security of their IT infrastructure. AT&T Government Trusted Internet helps federal employees to efficiently connect to remote agency networks and cloud environments in a highly secure manner while continually managing risks." Brandon Pearce, AVP, Product Marketing Management, AT&T About AT&T Communications We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we @ATT innovate to improve lives.

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