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HomeCloud ComputingAnnouncing the 2023 Google Cloud Customer Award Winners in Government and Education

Announcing the 2023 Google Cloud Customer Award Winners in Government and Education

The public sector continues to inspire us with their dedication to leveraging technology and serving their constituents. This year’s winners of the Google Cloud Customer Award in government and education include eight organizations from across the country. Each of these entities is setting new standards for creating meaningful change and leaving a positive impact within their communities.

These winners have demonstrated a tremendous capacity for innovation, utilizing Google Cloud products and solutions to transform significant ideas into tangible changes that advance their missions. In addition to winning industry category awards, three public sector winners are also being honored with the special Technology for Good honor, as outlined below.

Google Cloud Customer Award Winners: Government

Winner: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Preparing for disasters and providing disaster relief are crucial to the FEMA and the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) mission. Managing insurance in the context of disasters, particularly flooding as one of the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster, presents enormous technological complexities. The National Flood Insurance Program employs a system called Pivot to handle everything from rating flood insurance premiums for properties to tracking near real-time claim processing. However, this system needed to move to the cloud to continue to use the latest technology as part of FEMA’s goal to posture FEMA to meet current and emergent threats in addition to reducing software management costs and foster innovation. This migration paved the way for numerous improvements, including real-time monitoring, greater stability, and access to a broader set of tools and capabilities. As a result, their system is now positioned to better support the demands of the program, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of disaster relief efforts.

Winner: United States Postal Service (USPS). The American public relies on the Postal Service™ (USPS®)  for timely deliveries, particularly for crucial items like paychecks, medications, and other essential packages. Recognizing the need to meet evolving demands and expectations, USPS launched the Informed Delivery email subscription service in 2014. Informed Delivery notifies subscribers of upcoming deliveries. Presently, the service boasts approximately 59 million subscribers and continues to grow. To better serve its customers, USPS transitioned Informed Delivery to Google Cloud. This move has enabled the Postal Service to leverage Google Cloud services to enhance subscription functionality and gain insights into business performance. USPS is well-positioned to continue expanding and refining Informed Delivery while upholding the high-quality delivery service that the American public anticipates

Winner: United States Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). AFRL, employing 13,000 individuals including on-site contractors, civilians, and military personnel, requires smooth coordination and communication. In the past, research and communications were hampered by bureaucracy, outdated IT systems, and sluggish data transfers. What initially began as an effort by two researchers to transition to Google Cloud swiftly expanded to encompass over 2,000 researchers. With Google Cloud and Google Workspace replacing legacy collaboration tools, researchers estimate that they now save 500,000 hours weekly while collaborating with peers globally. AFRL’s researchers can now confidently share secure information and innovate more readily.

Winner: State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS). For the State of Hawaii DHS, success equates to fostering self-sufficiency and promoting the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. A key aspect of this mission involves ensuring that constituents can readily access answers to their questions. In 2022, the State of Hawaii’s DHS joined forces with Google Cloud to introduce the Statewide Branch Support Desk (SBSD). Operating 24/7, the SBSD features virtual agents that manage around 1,200 calls daily. The utilization of virtual agents has led to reduced costs and quicker service and response times. These virtual agents supply essential information about programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). By addressing queries and providing accurate responses, the SBSD frees up call center agents to focus on areas where they are most needed.

Google Cloud Customer Award Winner: Education

Winner: Salk Institute for Biological Studies. As a prominent research institution, the Salk Institute handles vast amounts of data. However, an abundance of data doesn’t inherently translate into increased scientific insights. To address this challenge, Salk embarked on a 5-year initiative to migrate its entire infrastructure to the cloud, simplifying the processing and storage of extensive data volumes. Presently, they employ Google’s Virtual Machines to facilitate the processing of multiple batch jobs when sequencing hundreds of terabytes of raw data. Anticipated outcomes of this initiative include a 25% reduction in computing costs and the successful acquisition of a $126 million NIH grant for creating the first comprehensive epigenome-based molecular map of the human brain. To achieve this, they will process 20 times the amount of data required for a mouse brain. Their new Google Cloud infrastructure stands as a pivotal element in their achievements.

Technology for Good Awards

Additionally, three state departments have been honored with Technology for Good awards across the categories of Social Change, Sustainability, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These winners have emerged as leaders within these categories, even when competing against non-public sector contenders. Collectively, they are forging a path toward a more promising future.

Google Cloud Customer Award Winners: Social Change Award

Winner: Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT). Recognizing the imperative of resilience in the face of natural disasters and extreme weather events, HDOT has invested in climate strategies to adapt, respond, and recover from climate-related challenges affecting their communities. One notable approach is the utilization of Google Cloud’s Climate Insights solution, coupled with enhanced data monitoring throughout the state. Integrating statewide tracking systems into Climate Insights has afforded HDOT greater visibility into vulnerabilities, fostering the creation of adaptive action plans for improvement. This encompasses the establishment of a Climate Resilience Platform that enhances the understanding of risks and resource allocation.

Google Cloud Customer Award Winners: Sustainability Award

Winner: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC). Managing complex air pollution falls under the purview of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The agency is implementing a statewide community air quality and greenhouse gas monitoring initiative in collaboration with Aclima and Google Cloud that involves the collection of billions of air quality and greenhouse gas measurements to screen for local sources of air pollution utilizing Aclima’s mobile monitoring fleet. The goal of this effort is to collect block-level air pollution data to help identify sources contributing to disproportionate air pollution burdens and develop strategies to reduce air pollution within communities, including greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Google Cloud Customer Award Winner: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

Winner: Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MN DPS). Given that over 10% of Minnesota’s population does not speak English, certain groups—such as resettled refugees—face challenges in meeting driver vehicle requirements. Minnesota Department of Public Safety recognized that this language barrier hindered groups’ ability to obtain mandatory insurance and REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses, restricting their mobility and access to services. In collaboration with Google Public Sector, MN DPS introduced Google Cloud Translation AI to their services, thereby providing constituents access in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong languages, as well as English. This effort promotes equitable services for underserved Minnesotans, contributing to the creation of a Minnesota where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

Congratulations to the 2023 award winners! We look forward to seeing our government and education customers lead the next wave of innovation as they continue to fulfill their missions. Visit our Government Customer Success Stories page to find out why many more agencies are choosing Google Cloud. 

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