With the Google Cloud Government and Education Summit around the corner, we wanted to highlight how clients in this space are leveraging Google Cloud to modernize their operations, ensure data security, and provide better service and experiences for their constituents, organizations, and teams. The benefits of Google Cloud for government and education are abundant, and as a three-time Google Cloud Reseller Partner of the Year, we’ve helped numerous organizations leverage its power to accomplish more at greater scale. Read on for 6 examples that showcase how customers are taking advantage of the benefits Google Cloud provides to unlock transformation.
1. State of Arizona: Leveraging VAST for virtual appointment scheduling; boosting productivity and saving millions with Google Workspace
The use of cutting-edge technology isn’t something that generally comes to mind when thinking of the public sector, but regarding information technology and innovation, the State of Arizona is a leader among U.S. states. In response to statewide shutdowns in March of 2020, Arizona’s unemployment rate skyrocketed. In late fall of 2020, Tim Tucker, Director of Workforce Development for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, began preparing for an influx of candidates re-entering the workforce. Tim knew in order to properly serve the citizens of the State of Arizona, he would need a tool allowing them to easily book appointments, upload corresponding documents and forms, and conduct career counseling virtually.
The state began working with SADA to deploy VAST, SADA’s Virtual Appointment Scheduling Tool powered by Google Cloud, to better serve its citizens. VAST speeds up the scheduling process, delivers Arizona’s constituents the information they need faster, and reduces the burden on the agency.
The State of Arizona, a 2021 Google Cloud Customer Award Winner, is also one of our Google Workspace customers. The decision to migrate to Google Workspace was driven by needs surrounding security, scalability, and ease of use. In addition, Arizona found other solutions were lacking when it came to meeting its real-time collaboration and face-to-face video conferencing needs.
“We were really impressed with the Google Workspace toolset, and we felt it would enable us to collaborate better. We recognized that Google Workspace would help change the way people interact and work, rather than merely shifting their old methods and workflows to the cloud.” – Doug Lange, State Chief Strategy Officer, State of Arizona
2. DOTComm leverages Google Workspace to improve public service
In Nebraska, the City of Omaha and Douglas County have been at the digital forefront by moving many services to a cloud-based delivery model. They’ve been honored for their efforts by consistently ranking in the Center for Digital Government’s top 10 leaders in government digital transformation. To accelerate digital transformation across their governmental agencies, the city and county combined their IT departments to create the Douglas Omaha Technology Commission (DOTComm), the joint public agency that serves their total IT needs. DOTComm provides technical support and consulting to more than 70 governmental entities in Omaha and Douglas County for 7,100 dedicated public servants to better meet the needs of local residents.
Originally a Microsoft Office shop, DOTComm and the government users they serve eventually experienced capacity limits to their email inboxes which made it impossible to do their jobs. To solve this problem, DOTComm turned to Google Workspace. As a result of the migration from Microsoft Office to Google Workspace, DOTComm users have as much email capacity as they need. Storage is no longer a problem, and searching within Gmail is fully supported.
3. University-affiliated research lab defends America from hackers with Google Cloud & SADA
News headlines often reflect the ongoing threat of hackers and nation-state actors to exploit computer vulnerabilities—with threats even extending to the silicon-chip level. To combat the cyberthreat to computer chips, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a US Department of Defense agency, awarded the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS), a University-Affiliated Research Center (UARC) based at the University of Maryland a four-year contract to independently verify and validate the technology to develop secure microchips as part of the Automatic Implementation of Secure Silicon Program (AISS).
ARLIS turned to SADA and Google Cloud to help bring AISS to life. As a result of leveraging Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the organization can develop secure microchips with a cloud environment that enables them to quickly run experiments designed to combat microchip cybersecurity issues.
4. New Mexico Judiciary: Enhancing productivity and security with Google Cloud
For nearly a decade, the New Mexico Judiciary utilized an open source product, Zimbra, for email and calendar functionality. It also used disparate resources for phone conferencing, video meetings, and document storage. None of these siloed offerings were connected or integrated with each other, and the Judiciary was in need of a more secure, efficient, and collaborative suite of tools to better serve the public.
SADA helped the Judiciary implement Google Vault with unlimited storage, for easily searchable, secure documents, as well as Gmail, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Slides, and more. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Mexico Judiciary has been using Google Meet to ensure citizen services continue without interruption. The Judiciary holds courtroom sessions remotely with judges, attorneys, defendants, and jurors joining Meet from various different locations. The system is hosting 1,100 meetings per month on average.
“The value we have received is amazing. With increased mobility, enhanced collaboration, and robust, government-friendly security and compliance, it’s just invaluable. The security features alone have made a world of difference—the accountability, the audit capability, the transparency that comes along with being able to share a document and view who’s seen it—to me, that’s worth every penny.” – Dick Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer, New Mexico Judiciary
5. Seattle Department of Transportation: Accelerating projects and saving millions with dotMaps
As one of the largest construction zones in the country, Seattle is in the midst of a growth spurt. But, managing this construction without undue disruption to the city’s transportation infrastructure—and people’s ability to get around the city—has been challenging.
The city is embracing technology to meet this challenge. dotMaps is a map-based coordination solution for public agencies enabling users to gain visual insight into citywide projects. Using dotMaps, developed by SADA and powered by Google Cloud, Seattle can manage construction projects to reduce impact on infrastructure—and accelerate completion of those projects in a cost-effective way.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, dotMaps has become an essential tool to help SDOT seamlessly transition to shifting needs and keep public health and safety its top priority. dotMaps is used to screen locations for testing sites, curbside pickup zones, and Stay Healthy Street closures—a city program that closed 20 miles of streets to traffic so residents can exercise and bike on them.
“dotMaps has proven to be an invaluable tool for Seattle residents and visitors as well as for the city itself.” – Heather Marx, Director of Downtown Mobility, Seattle Department of Transportation
6. City of Los Angeles: Using Google Maps to inform citizens; powering productivity and collaboration with Google Workspace
Needing a more effective strategy for communicating vital information to the diverse communities within its borders, the City of Los Angeles turned to Google Maps Platform. Maps enables the city to share with citizens the latest need-to-know information regarding mudslides, wildfires, and other events.
“We considered other mapping systems but chose Google Maps because of its wide public acceptance. We wanted to give residents a familiar map that they could access on a wide variety of devices to get the information they needed.” – Ted Ross, General Manager and Chief Information Officer, City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency
The City of Los Angeles was also one of the first governments to use Gmail and Calendar. Currently, the city has about 30,000 users of Google Workspace. Google Meet is a critical tool for city employees. With about 48,000 employees located in various spots across the city’s 469 square miles, employees can meet with colleagues without having to drive through Los Angeles’ constantly clogged traffic.
Most recently, the City of Los Angeles launched a homeless shelter map that leverages Google Maps and Sheets. Using the map, police officers can locate the nearest shelter. Clicking on the shelter’s blue dot on the map communicates if beds are available at that location, preventing police officers from sending the homeless to shelters that can’t accommodate them.