Red Hat and IBM Tapped to Modernize U.S. Department of Education's G5 Grants Management System

IBM and Red Hat have announced they are part of a 5-year collaboration to modernize the U.S. Department of Education's G5 grants management system with open hybrid cloud technologies.

The joint effort, led by Innosoft Corp. and including technology from Red Hat and Amazon Web Services (AWS), with industry expertise from IBM, will replace the current G5 system 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. Using open, hybrid cloud technologies, the department will be able to modernize its operations while reducing complexity.

According to the companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed increased grant spending by federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education. Its G5 grants management system supports the lifecycle of the department's critical grant-making business process, servicing end-to-end grants management activities and processing payments for Federal Student Aid programs, such as Pell Grants and campus-based aid. The goal of modernizing the G5 system is to allow the department to further refine its grants management process, by helping to improve the experience for department staff, applicants, and grantees and make it easier to communicate and manage grants, monitor performance, and review outcomes.

In addition, the new modularized grant platform aims to: 

  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of grant programs and management by streamlining related processes and minimizing disjointed grants systems agency-wide
  • Enable more informed decision making by offering advanced applications and collaboration tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Promote useability by leveraging user-centered design and Agile methodologies
  • Facilitate incorporation of future technology advancements and compliance requirements

"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 the U.S. Department of Education. "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." 

Working with Innosoft, IBM Consulting will serve as the technology strategist and architect of the project, helping consolidate and migrate data and critical grants management processes from the existing G5 system to AWS. The new system will be built on Red Hat OpenShift, providing the department with a consistent foundation for developing and deploying applications across hybrid cloud environments.