Google Cloud Results
User adoption of Google Meet increased 4,000% in 6 months
• Improves collaboration and productivity at all levels of government
• Increases the efficiency of government services such as food banks
• Enables government work to continue uninterrupted during COVID-19
The State of Puebla, one of Mexico's most beautiful states and important industrial centers, is the country's first state to launch a formal digital government initiative to make services more accessible and convenient for residents. The innovative undertaking is being driven by the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government, which oversees the technology infrastructure and data strategy of the State of Puebla. One of its primary goals is to provide state agencies with digital tools to help their employees be more effective in their everyday jobs while improving the quality of life for every citizen.
Until just a few years ago, the Gobierno del Estado de Puebla still operated in the same way it had for decades. Meetings were held in person, processes were still paper-based, and employees spent significant time sending multiple iterations of documents back and forth. Puebla’s elected officials wanted to work better and smarter, strengthen the digital skills and knowledge of its public servants, and elevate the state’s standards for efficiency and transparency.
To prepare for the future, the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government began looking for a toolset to enable collaborative, remote work. However, as the state’s 17 government agencies had varying levels of digital maturity, the tools had to be flexible and easy to use.
“We’re trying to change the culture with digital tools that enable people to work easier and faster,” says Alejandro Sauret, Advisor to the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government. “But to drive adoption, we needed to convince employees at every level that embracing new digital applications could help them be more productive.”
Driving fast adoption with intuitive tools
“Government employees intuitively knew that Google Workspace offers streamlined ways to work and better serve citizens. They understood it immediately. It was easy for them to set up virtual meetings and start collaborating on a range of projects.” -- Alejandro Sauret, Advisor to the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government, Gobierno del Estado de Puebla
Fortunately, a number of state agencies were already using Google Workspace tools and seeing strong adoption. Although Sauret and his team tested other tools, they noticed that employees quickly adapted to Google Workspace.
“There’s something about the Google Workspace interface that just makes it more intuitive than other solutions,” he says. “People were very comfortable using Google Workspace tools, so we saw the potential for strong adoption and user satisfaction, which is essential.”
As soon as the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government decided to standardize on Google Workspace, it began training early adopter “champions,” who then trained other people. Working with Google, Gobierno del Estado de Puebla also created an in-house certification program to recognize employees' completion of certain courses and motivate them to earn additional certifications. Many employees embraced the new ways of working quickly, and adoption skyrocketed. For Google Meet alone, adoption increased by more than 4,000% in just six months.
“Government employees intuitively knew that Google Workspace offers streamlined ways to work and better serve citizens,” says Saurent. “They understood it immediately. It was easy for them to set up virtual meetings and start collaborating on a range of projects.”
Improving collaboration and efficiency
Gmail is now the official government communication tool for employees to document interactions within and between agencies, and with service providers and citizens. When they need to interact more with other employees and sometimes citizens, many use Google Meet for video meetings. Employees can access Google Workspace tools from any device, allowing them to collaborate from anywhere.
“I don’t have to be at the office, or even in Puebla, to get my work done,” says Sauret. “The remote work experience is seamless, which was our goal. We can work from virtually anywhere and stay productive and connected.”
When working together on important files such as a presentation or report for the governor’s office, employees frequently collaborate using Google Drive, where they can quickly and securely access the latest document version and see everyone’s changes in real time. Many of the government’s intranets are now managed via Google Sites, enabling non-technical users to create engaging, high-quality information resources.
Paper-based processes are also gradually being replaced with digital workflows. For example, when the Puebla government works with the Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), a social assistance institution, food pantry registrations and deliveries are now coordinated with the help of Google Forms and Sheets. The new process saves time and money, while also helping DIF be more effective at strengthening the welfare of Mexican families.
“Previously, social assistance workers used paper, clipboard, and pencils to take food bank orders and support their deliveries,” says Sauret. “Then all the information needed to be keyed into a spreadsheet by hand. We opened up a whole new world to them with Google Forms. They can now more accurately capture the information in the field and automatically populate a spreadsheet in real time.”
Staying productive during a pandemic
“Our innovation with Google Workspace really paid off during the pandemic. There was a natural explosion in the use of Google Meet. It proved to be a natural way for us to work together to keep vital services up and running for citizens.” -- Alejandro Sauret, Advisor to the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government, Gobierno del Estado de Puebla
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, digital empowerment and remote collaboration became absolutely critical. Fortunately, the Undersecretary of Transparency and Digital Government had already put those solutions in place and trained hundreds of people on how to use them.
“Our innovation with Google Workspace really paid off during the pandemic,” says Sauret. “There was a natural explosion in the use of Google Meet. It proved to be a natural way for us to work together to keep vital services up and running for citizens.”
The ability to work remotely brought peace of mind to state employees during the pandemic because they didn’t have to work in close proximity to others. They also appreciated not having to get up as early to fight traffic and gaining back time in their day to spend with their families and for other activities.
“Google Workspace allowed us to successfully deal with the fact that we all can’t be in the same place because of COVID-19. It has worked very well,” says Sauret. “It’s gratifying to show that we could keep our operations going because of digital government.”
Advancing digital government
“We are doing extremely well implementing digital government services. Google Workspace is an enabler for new ways of working, which is essential as we look to increase the reach and access to services citizens rely on daily.” -- Christiane Tabe Morales, Director of Digital Government of the Secretary of Administration, Gobierno del Estado de Puebla
The importance of digital tools is now recognized at all levels of Puebla’s government, moving from a “nice to have” to an essential capability. Even Governor Miguel Barbosa Huerta uses virtual conferencing tools to hold daily meetings with his cabinet so they can inform citizens about the status of relevant issues in the state.
“We are doing extremely well implementing digital government services,” says Christiane Tabe Morales, Director of Digital Government of the Secretary of Administration. “Google Workspace is an enabler for new ways of working, which is essential as we look to increase the reach and access to services citizens rely on daily.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.