An expanded Alliance Enterprises and Microsoft technology partnership is empowering vocational rehabilitation (VR) state agencies across the country to better serve people with disabilities in the quest for meaningful employment. Multiple state VR agencies are now on the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud – and the number is expected to grow – as more agencies recognize the cost predictability, higher network uptime, agile updates and overall efficiency gains that come with being on the Azure platform.

Alliance’s Aware software is the industry standard for vocational rehabilitation (VR) case management, data analytics and cloud services, and is used by more than 12,000 rehabilitation service professionals across 40 state VR agencies and 24 tribal nations.

Microsoft Azure Government is a cloud platform that employs world-class security and compliance services critical to the U.S. government for systems and applications built on its architecture.

“Being on the Azure Government Cloud has allowed Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation to serve individuals with disabilities in a more efficient and effective manner,” said Samantha Heckemeyer, director of client services at Missouri VR. “Our staff benefits from less downtime and ease of use of the system. The reliability, system performance, time saving in system testing and technology solutions have allowed MVR to devote more time to putting people to work.”

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services is also experiencing positive results. The Azure Government platform meets the most complex compliance standards critical to federal, state and local requirements. The Azure platform has enabled greater agility for state agencies as federal reporting standards change. For instance, in 2017 the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) changed its reporting requirements from annually to quarterly.

“It’s imperative that we move quickly to install the latest updates of Aware software, which we need to submit our RSA quarterly reports, and we’re able to do that on the cloud,” said Marlene Riggs, program specialist at the Louisiana VR agency. “Another great benefit is that our counselors are able to access Aware software from schools and in the field where they’re helping their clients.”

Microsoft to showcase Cloud and leading apps

Microsoft will showcase its cloud platform and leading technology apps at Alliance’s getAwareLive conference July 25-26 in Atlanta, an event that brings together rehabilitation, technology and business leaders to work on improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Microsoft will demonstrate a product line of Cognitive Services, hosted on Microsoft Azure, that deliver intelligent algorithms to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret user needs through natural methods of communication.

In 2017, Microsoft recognized Alliance Enterprises as a Digital Transformation Partner of the Year for delivering solutions that improved how people with disabilities are served by state agencies.

“Alliance is passionate about technology and we’re driven to deliver innovative solutions to the rehabilitation professionals that use our Aware case management software to help individuals with disabilities acquire new skills and gain meaningful employment,” said Alliance Enterprises CEO Chris M. Pieper. “We’re thrilled to have Microsoft’s participation at getAwareLive! because of their obviously strong commitment to accessibility and their increasingly impressive portfolio of apps and services that are changing lives for the better every day.”

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Link to press release.