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New agreement brings together state government and Google Workspace

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thousands of state employees in West Virginia will soon be using Google Workspace under a new, multi-year agreement with Google Cloud designed to make remote work in the coronavirus pandemic and beyond more efficient and secure.

In all, 22,000 state employees in the executive branch, those served through the West Virginia Office of Technology, will be utilizing document creation, chat, video conferencing and other services via the cloud-based Google Workspace once the transition is finished.

That process could take months.

Joshua Spence

“I think the important thing on timeline is that it’s done right,” said Joshua Spence, chief technology officer in the Office of Technology.

“That we are able to ensure state employees receive the proper training and information needed to make such a transition to ensure we don’t interrupt or cause impact on government operations as we make the change.”

In West Virginia, the transition to Google Workspace begins with many state employees working from home in the coronavirus pandemic.

Ultimately, Spence said Google Workspace would add to efficiencies for state employees both in state offices and remotely.

States that have already partnered with Google Cloud for Workspace collaborations include Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona.

Prior to this month, Google Workspace was known a G Suite, a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools that first launched in 2006.

On Thursday, Google Cloud announced a separate five-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to provide Google services, including the Google Cloud and Google Workspace, for lab and field locations across the U.S.

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