With the widely-publicized troubles of the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare.gov website dominating the news for the past month, key employees of industry heavyweights including Google, Oracle and Red Hat are part of the cavalry charge to help the beleaguered website.
According to the Obama administration, Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer on leave from Google, and Greg Gershman, innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo, are key players in the so-called “Tech Surge.” Julie Bataille, spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says: “They are working through the analytics of what happens on the site to prioritize what needs to be fixed.” The project’s management has since been reorganized, with United Health Group’s Quality Software Services unit now overseeing the entire operation, whereas previously the project did not employ a lead contractor to coordinate the effort of the many contractors and agencies involved in the implementation and deployment of the site.
While the Affordable Care Act is something of a political hot potato, Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, took a non-partisan stance when questioned about his company’s participation in the Tech Surge at a recent shareholders meeting, stating: “We think it’s our responsibility as a technology provider to serve all of our customers, and the government is one of our customers” he said. “We are helping them in every way we can. I will refrain from editorial comments about what has happened there. I think most of us want to see our government operating effectively.”
About 8.6 million people visited healthcare.gov in the site’s first week of operation, and exposed a number of software flaws and many experienced long waits that prevented many from even getting registered. The site has been taken offline multiple times over the past month for software upgrades and the Obama Administration insists that capacity is being added to the system to handle the traffic it is seeing. Getting the site up and running smoothly, quickly is a top priority, not only for political reasons, but is also critical for the users of the site, who will potentially face fines if they haven’t chosen a health insurance plan by March 31st of this year.
The technological debacle goes beyond any political debate and serves as a shining example of the fact that having the right infrastructure and talented team of technologists in place is essential to creating any significant internet property. There is simply no substitute for building and launching your website the right way the first time, and NationalNet experts are always here to help you.