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Google Workspace for Collaborative and Inclusive Digital Government – How the Cloud is Helping Tackle Homelessness in Scotland

Public sector agencies in Scotland and across the world are adopting Google Cloud services to enhance collaboration and digital inclusion.

Google’s email and collaboration tools ‘Workspace‘ is one of the Cloud options that Scotland’s public sector can adopt to greatly boost their productivity.

DIGIT describes an excellent case study for the Kingdom Housing Association. They used it in conjunction with Awingu, to enable a move to a ‘cloud-first, mobile-first’ strategy. Awingu makes legacy applications and desktops available via HTML5, and in a browser.

Kingdom wholly embraced the Google Workspace suite, opting for Workspace over the Microsoft Office & Exchange alternative, and also moved from dedicated infrastructure to Google Compute Platform (GCP), SaaS solutions and provide all employees access data via ChromeBox, Chromebook devices or mobile phones.

Across the world other agencies are doing the same, such as Boston migrating 76,000 users, employees, police, teachers and students, from a mixed collection of on premise email servers to their online service.

Brandon Williams at the State of Colorado adopted the service to transform how government works, both internally and how they ensure citizens can access the information they need. DC increased transparency, ensuring projects are kept on track and deliver value for money for citizens, and the State of Wyoming explain how this can be achieved while still ensuring and improving security.

Christoph Magnussen offers a video that compares the service with it’s main competitor Office 365, and Dave Belardo of Google provides an overview of how it can be integrated into existing IT environments.


For the public sector especially schools, a great case study of the potential to use technology to boost inclusion is from Aberdeen City.

They integrated the suite with Texthelp, a service for making documents more accessible, through friendly literacy features that help English Language Learners, as well as people with learning difficulties or requiring dyslexia tools.

From hearing emails or documents read out loud to text prediction, picture dictionaries, summary highlighters and a grammar, spelling and confusable words checker, Read&Write makes lots of everyday literacy tasks simpler, quicker and more accurate.

Get Digital Scotland

Glasgow-based Cobry is a local Workspace specialist. In this video they explain how they worked with Get Digital Scotland, to support people affected by homelessness improve access to the digital world.

Previously their work was inhibited by a slow and expensive system, moving to Workspace provided them the fast online collaboration that enabled their front-line staff better perform their work. They use Google Forms to collect and aggregate data, capturing the impact of the Get Digital program.

Cobry helped them migrate their workflows and email from the old to this new system, and have been an invaluable partner in supporting Simon Community to scale and roll the program out across Scotland, enabling the homeless to better participate in the new digital economy.

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