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Google aims to court US public sector with new division

The company hopes that the launch of Google Public Sector will help it to rapidly expand its services to the government

Google launched a new company division yesterday focused on the public sector, as it attempts to rapidly expand its services to the government.

Google Public Sector will focus on helping US public sector institutions accelerate their digital transformation, including federal, state, and local governments as well as educational institutions.

The company revealed that the new division will operate as a subsidiary of Google LLC and specialise in bringing Google Cloud technologies, including Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace, to US public sector customers. It aims to provide various Google products to help institutions better understand their data and automate core processes. 

Google Public Sector will provide a full complement of business functions and capabilities, including specialised sales, customer engineering, customer success and services, channel and partner programmes, and security operations. 

The new division will also have a separate board of directors. Google said it will serve as an important feedback channel, to ensure its products and services meet the needs of its customers, anticipate future needs, and drive differentiation in the US public sector market. The board will have a chair and additional members, to be named later in the year.

“We believe Google Public Sector can and will play a critical role in applying cloud technology to solve complex problems for our nation—across U.S. federal, state, and local governments, and educational institutions,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “The government has asked for more choice in cloud vendors who can support its missions, and protect the health, safety, and security of its citizens. We are proud to have served the U.S. public sector for many years, and the launch of Google Public Sector will help us rapidly expand our services to the government, now and into the future.”

Additionally, the new division will bring customers an expanded ecosystem of partners with experience in serving public sector institutions. This includes Accenture Federal, Deloitte, SAP, and C3.ai. 

The division will offer Google Cloud’s scalable and open infrastructure including compute, storage, and networking, so government agencies can modernise their legacy information systems and build new applications that serve citizens with mission-critical reliability and scalability.

Experts at the new division will also help public sector customers use Google Cloud’s advanced cyber security products to protect their users and data from growing cyber threats. They will also assist agencies and educational institutions in their use of Google Workspace to enable secure communication and collaboration, and the company hopes to attract new employees to the government through the use of these modern tools.

How has Google been involved with the US public sector in the past?

Google has been involved in numerous contracts involving the US public sector and even called on the government in April 2022 to rethink its relationship with its tech giant rival Microsoft. It said that the government should rethink its practice of favouring Microsoft technology when procuring technology and accused the company of having a reputation for cyber security vulnerabilities and poor user perception.

Google said that repeated cyber security breaches on US government systems have interrupted vital work and cost the taxpayer billions of dollars. It also claimed that the government was at a disadvantage due to its approach to procurement, and an over reliance on Microsoft products.

Google Cloud also secured a contract with the US Department of Defense in May 2020, to aid in the detection and countering of cyber threats. No specific sum was disclosed, although the contract was reportedly valued at seven figures.

In the past, it has also partnered with the US Department of Veteran Affairs to improve veteran access to benefits and services. It also signed a five-year agreement with the Department of Energy to provide Google Cloud technologies to help it scale its research efforts.

Google also helped the State of New York to launch a streamlined unemployment application and New York City Cyber Command to detect and prevent cyber threats more quickly. More recently, it partnered with the City of Pittsburgh to move it to cloud-based IT infrastructure and improve the delivery of services for citizens.

However, in 2018, it decided not to renew its contract with the Pentagon’s Project Maven, in which AI technology was used to improve drone performance, after considerable pressure from employees. Despite this, the following year it emerged that the company was using its investment arm to cultivate startup firms that actively engage in military and law enforcement contracts. 

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