Carahsoft Government IT Solutions Provider Announces Microsoft Azure Services Now Available to U.S. Government Customers

Carahsoft | August 28, 2020

Carahsoft Government IT Solutions Provider Announces Microsoft Azure Services Now Available to U.S. Government Customers
Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced that Microsoft Azure services are now available to U.S. government customers through its NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contracts, The Quilt National Consortium Contract, and DevSecOps Software and Cloud Services basic ordering agreements (BOAs) and through the Carahsoft reseller partner network. Carahsoft is now authorized to distribute Azure, including Azure Commercial Cloud, Azure Government and Azure Government Secret. Azure Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings allow public sector agencies to build, manage, and deploy applications in the cloud. Carahsoft will also offer Azure-based solutions including Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and the Microsoft Power Platform. Partners can work through Carahsoft to educate, promote, and sell their Azure-based solutions, and Azure enables customization and security while permitting choice of languages, frameworks and infrastructures.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Merck and Ridgeback Announce U.K. Government to Purchase Additional 1.75 Million Courses of Molnupiravir

Merck | December 22, 2021

Merck , known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics today announced that the United Kingdom Government will purchase an additional 1.75 million patient courses of molnupiravir (MK-4482), an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine. In the U.K., LAGEVRIO® is the planned trademark for molnupiravir; the trademark for molnupiravir in other countries has not been approved. With this additional procurement agreement, which follows a previously announced agreement for 480,000 courses of treatment, the U.K. Government has now committed to purchase a total of 2.23 million courses of molnupiravir. In early November, molnupiravir received conditional marketing authorization in the U.K. for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults with a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test and who have at least one risk factor for developing severe illness. Molnupiravir is currently available in the U.K. and patients have started to receive treatment. An application for Emergency Use Authorization for molnupiravir is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Merck has entered into advance purchase and supply agreements for molnupiravir with governments of more than 30 countries worldwide, including 21 agreements with countries in Europe. About Merck’s Global Efforts to Accelerate Access to Molnupiravir Following Regulatory Authorizations or Approvals Global access has been a priority for Merck and Ridgeback since the inception of their molnupiravir collaboration. The companies are committed to providing timely access to molnupiravir globally through our comprehensive supply and access approach, which includes investing at risk to produce millions of courses of therapy; tiered pricing based on the ability of governments to finance health care; entering into supply agreements with governments; and granting voluntary licenses to generic manufacturers and to the Medicines Patent Pool to make generic molnupiravir available in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries following local regulatory authorizations or approvals. Supply: In anticipation of the results from MOVe-OUT and the potential for regulatory authorization or approval, Merck has been producing molnupiravir at risk and expects to produce 10 million courses of treatment by the end of 2021, with at least 20 million courses to be produced in 2022. To date, Merck has shipped molnupiravir to 12 countries; in countries where it is approved or authorized, patients have begun to receive the drug. Supply agreements: Merck entered into a procurement agreement with the U.S. Government under which the company will supply approximately 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir to the U.S. Government, upon Emergency Use Authorization or approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Merck has entered into advance purchase and supply agreements for molnupiravir with governments for over 30 countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States, pending regulatory authorizations, and is currently in discussions with additional governments. Merck plans to implement a tiered pricing approach based on World Bank country income criteria to reflect countries’ relative ability to finance their health response to the pandemic. Voluntary licenses: As part of its commitment to widespread global access, Merck previously announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase broad access for molnupiravir in low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, Merck previously announced that the company has entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with established generic manufacturers to accelerate availability of molnupiravir in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries following approvals or emergency authorization by local regulatory agencies. Merck continues to discuss additional measures and collaborations to accelerate broad, global access to molnupiravir. About Molnupiravir Molnupiravir (MK-4482) is an investigational, orally administered form of a potent ribonucleoside analog that inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Molnupiravir has been shown to be active in several preclinical models of SARS-CoV-2, including for prophylaxis, treatment, and prevention of transmission. Pre-clinical data suggest that molnupiravir has a high barrier to the development of resistance.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

GovOS Acquires Advanced Workflow Technology from Seliom

GovOS | January 14, 2022

GovOS, a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for local governments, announced today it has acquired Seliom's advanced business process automation and workflow platform in an asset purchase transaction. Seliom technology will be integrated into the suite of GovOS solutions so that local governments can use the highly customizable workflow processing functionality to enhance their digital capabilities and make life easier for employees and citizens. Seliom technology adds to the growing GovOS digital transformation platform with its elegant and detailed workflow automation capabilities. By replacing human-based workflows and rote decision-making, the product will effectively free government staff from routine, time-consuming tasks in lieu of tackling the more complex processes and decisions that require a human touch. "The ever-evolving landscape of local government requires the public sector to be more effective and more efficient in providing services to constituents," said Kevin Lafeber, President, GovOS. "As such, we continually evaluate opportunities that make GovOS solutions more useful for our customers. Seliom's next-gen workflow platform was an obvious product fit that will immediately benefit agencies using GovOS technology to accelerate digital transformation and effect real change in their communities." This new workflow functionality provides GovOS solutions with integrations to most popular ERP, CRM and HR systems, making it possible to maintain data continuity without replacing entire systems. The technology also enables validation of data/actions against a third-party data source, a next level solution integration requiring much less reliance on monolithic solutions. "We liked that Seliom was specifically engineered to streamline standardized and dispersed operations that consume time better spent elsewhere," said Chachi Camejo, Senior Vice President of Product, GovOS. "With these capabilities fully integrated, government staff can further automate processes to get more done with the same resources." GovOS workflow technology will become an integral part of the GovOS digital transformation platform, including Business Licensing, Online Civic Services, STR (Short-Term Rentals), Tax Filing, Records, Remote Applications, and much more. About GovOS GovOS is the leading digital transformation platform for local governments. Headquartered in Austin, TX, GovOS serves government agencies of all sizes across the United States. Through its secure and integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, governments can automate and streamline operations, provide seamless access to resources and information, and deliver cutting-edge digital services to businesses, residents and agencies.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

AT&T Offers Eligible Customers Low-Cost Broadband Through New Federal Program

AT&T Communications | January 10, 2022

What's the news? AT&T and Cricket Wireless opened enrollment today for the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which lowers the monthly cost of broadband service for eligible customers and will help close the digital divide. Congress recently created the long-term $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program, which replaces the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. This investment will help ensure that substantially more Americans can afford the broadband connections they need for work, school, healthcare and more. Why is this important? Affordability is one of the key roadblocks to narrowing the digital divide. The ACP will provide eligible customers with federal benefits that can be applied to home internet or wireless services from AT&T and Cricket Wireless. What's new? Under the ACP, the maximum monthly benefit will change to up to $30 per month for eligible households. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Existing EBB customers will continue to receive monthly benefits of up to $50 per month through March 1. Households will also have new ways to qualify for ACP such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can find all eligibility requirements at acpbenefit.org. When does this change take effect? New customers can confirm eligibility with the National Verifier and enroll in the ACP today. EBB enrollment ended December 30, 2021. I'm currently receiving the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). What do I need to do? Nothing right now. Your current benefit will remain the same through March 1. To receive ACP benefit after March 1, you may be contacted by the Universal Services Administrative Co. (USAC) to reverify your eligibility. If you qualified under the EBB COVID temporary loss of income criteria, the National Verifier will need to reverify your eligibility under different criteria prior to March 1. The main thing to remember is that the monthly subsidy will decrease from the EBB program's $50 maximum to up to $30 under the ACP on March 1 (there is no change to the Tribal benefit). I never participated in the EBB. How do I enroll in the ACP? Step 1 – You must first apply to the federal government's National Verifier at ACPBenefit.org to determine if you are eligible for ACP. Eligibility is determined by the federal government, not by AT&T. You may get approved online in just a few minutes, although it could take up to a few days if an application requires a manual review. Step 2 – Once approved, you will be able to order new AT&T Internet or prepaid wireless service, or have the benefit applied to your existing service. More details on the process will be available at att.com/acp. What AT&T and Cricket Wireless services are eligible for the benefit? You can find out details on which AT&T services are available by going to att.com/acp or to cricketwireless.com/ACP for information on Cricket Wireless plans. There you can find out about our home internet service, which is available in 21 states as well as our nationwide prepaid wireless services from Cricket Wireless and AT&T PREPAID. 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. AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc.

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GOVERNMENT FINANCE

Pendulum Raises $5.9M to Help Companies, Government, and Organizations Predict, Track and Combat Harmful Narratives

Pendulum | January 07, 2022

Pendulum, an AI/ML powered platform for companies and government organizations to detect and understand harmful narratives on social media platforms and elsewhere, announced $5.9M in seed funding. Led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Cercano Management and others, Pendulum was spun out of Madrona Venture Labs, and will use the funding to build their team and expand the platform. Pendulum’s platform applies AI and Machine Learning to uncover threats and opportunities contained in narratives in the earliest days of their formation and track them as they spread online. By dissecting and categorizing the narratives in text, video, and audio, on social media platforms, Pendulum enables companies, government, and organizations to not only discover which narratives are developing into threats and opportunities in near real-time, but also see how they are evolving. Pendulum is building a platform that tracks narratives across any medium, and already analyzes audio and video from major video platforms like YouTube, unmoderated platforms like BitChute and Rumble, and podcasts. Pendulum was founded by CEO, Mark Listes and Head of Data Science, Sam Clark. Listes is a former national security leader who helped the U.S. Government combat harmful narratives and foreign election interference in 2016, and then went on to help lead the National Security Innovation Network, a U.S. Department of Defense innovation and venture engagement office. Clark is a machine learning expert, who used his expertise in natural language processing to pioneer the novel narrative tracking technology that powers Pendulum’s unique abilities and built the world’s most comprehensive video dataset of election-related misinformation narratives for the 2020 election cycle. The two met at Madrona Venture Labs where they worked with the team and with Madrona managing director, Hope Cochran, to further develop the company. Pendulum will have operations in Seattle, WA. “It is clear that social media has played a huge role in spreading harmful narratives that are driven by groups or individual creators. Corporations, individuals, and brands are often implicated in these narratives, but until now, they had no predictable way of catching the narrative before it was too late,” said Mark Listes, CEO. “By applying AI and ML to these complex mediums, we enable our customers to understand the growth of specific narratives and make data-informed decisions to stay ahead of the threats and opportunities.” “The rise of potentially harmful narratives that espouse a perspective at odds with reality and demand action have been dramatic and are real threats to our institutions and organizations,“ commented Hope Cochran, managing director, Madrona Venture Group. “Pendulum provides visibility that boards, corporate risk intelligence, government and other organizations need to identify and take quick action against the rising narratives in their nascent stages. The Pendulum team is uniquely suited to building a platform that will help provide these insights for a broad base of customers.” Today, narratives are created easily, rapidly spread, and inspire online and, increasingly, in person action. In today’s world, narratives can grow and emerge in an online community, before a company or target institution is even aware of it. Pendulum empowers customers to be proactive and informed early, and enables them to engage with creators and their audiences to better understand these narratives and their origins. Pendulum has already begun working with early customers to identify risks contained in harmful narratives that are impacting their companies, employees, and society. They plan to make the technology more broadly available to new customers later this year. About Madrona Venture Labs & Madrona Venture Group Madrona Venture Labs is the incubation arm of Madrona Venture Group--the leading venture capital firm in the PNW, which in the past 13 months raised $620 million for investing from the earliest days through the company’s journey. Together, they partner with founders from day one to build venture-scale companies. A 100% operator-led studio, MVL represents an integral part in Madrona’s continuum of Day One for the long-run commitment to founders.

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