RALEIGH – Red Hat and IBM will collaborate with other partners on an effort to modernize the U.S. Department of Education’s G5 grants management system.

That modernization will rely on hybrid cloud technologies, according to a statement issued by IBM this week.

While the effort will be led by Innosoft Corporation, it will leverage technology from Red Hat as well as Amazon Web Services, to replace the existing platform with an “open and flexible cloud-based system in line with the department’s mission to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”

According to the statement, the use of hybrid cloud technologies will have a supplemental benefit beyond the modernization of its operation: reduced complexity.

The federal government is investing in grant-making, in part due to the onset of and the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education have increased grant spending, according to a statement.

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Modernizing system to yield better outcomes

The existing system supports the entire lifecycle of grantmaking, including servicing end-to-end grants management activities and processing payments for federal student aid programs like Pell Grants or campus-based aid.

“As we carry out our mission, it’s imperative that we have the technology to support the best outcomes for our grant programs,” said Drew Sanzenbacher, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business Operations at U.S. Department of Education, in a statement. “By working with IBM, Red Hat, AWS, and Innosoft, we’ll now have the ability to uncover opportunities for performance improvement and execute best-in-class grant program management.”

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According to the statement, IBM Consulting will work with Innosoft Corporation and serve as technology strategist and architect of the project.  The new system will be built on Red Hat OpenShift, the statement notes.  The project is expected to be complete in five years.

“Modern, scalable, and open technologies are central to helping organizations streamline operations and reduce complexity,” said Clara Conti, Vice President and General Manager, North American Public Sector at Red Hat. “With Red Hat OpenShift as the underlying platform for their modernized grants management system, the U.S. Department of Education will have one unified method for developing and deploying applications across hybrid cloud environments, enabling the department to deliver great digital experiences with flexibility and speed.”

IBM released earnings this week, beating expectations.

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