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The power of the Pioneer Challenge 

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Did you ever have an idea for a product or service you’d love to develop but never had the budget or resources to turn it into reality? Well, this could be your big chance to bring that vision to fruition.

We’ve once again teamed up with tech giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide you with the means and the budget to bring your ideas to life! If your team has a plan, a scheme, a vision for your organisation’s ICT services which is going to make people’s heads spin in awe and delight, then you are ready for Socitm’s Pioneer Challenge!

The amazing AWS package – including $20,000 of credit for use on the AWS platform, monthly business reviews, free online training resources, and more – will be provided to you for free. We repeat: for free.

Chorley Council, a local authority in central Lancashire, is already reaping the benefits of being a Pioneer Challenge winner. It successfully applied for a similar AWS package earlier this year to help deliver an innovative, cost-effective back-up and disaster recovery (DR) solution never tested before in local government.

The council has chosen to deploy a new data centre at its civic offices, which will have virtual servers replicated to AWS providing low cost data storage for DR. The AWS package is being used to fund consultancy, setup and running of resources for a full DR test followed by a full active failover to AWS.

“As a council, we intend to be far more efficient and a lot more secure with our data and to get to a point where in the event of a disaster we can rely on our back-ups at AWS to continue providing vital day-to-day services to customers,” explained Asim Khan, director of customer and digital.

Khan added: “The free AWS credits we won through the Socitm’s Pioneer Challenge arrived at a critical point in our journey which has helped modernise our digital infrastructure by enabling practical testing of our DR plans.

“The application process was simple to follow and we got help throughout the process.”

Chorley Council has been working closely with AWS on the project, with Khan describing the relationship between the authority and the vendor as very positive.

“Working with AWS has been very straightforward,” said Khan. “We’ve had no issues with them. It’s been a great experience.”

If you’re interested in entering, please visit the Pioneer Challenge webpage to find out how to submit your pioneering idea. Hurry, the deadline is 31 October.

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