Leadership Voices


Sponsored by

Sponsored Content:

What's this?

Our world is changing — and so is the way we defend it. To keep pace, agencies are updating the ways their employees work, collaborate and innovate. Making the most of these changes means providing workers with the tools, security and flexibility they need to work and collaborate at their own pace.

For agencies looking to adopt the tools they need to maximize these new ways of working and thinking, they need to look no further than Google Workspace.

Just ask Jeff Brown, who has seen more than his fair share of success stories for the technology.

There’s the 17-year-old from West Virginia who created an emergency management response platform for his city using only Google Cloud tools. There are state governments that have saved tens of millions of dollars by leveraging Google Cloud’s pay-only-for-what-you-use model. There are non-IT employees in prison systems who design tailored video visitation models using Google Sites, Calendar and Google Meet Video Conferencing. And the list goes on.

Brown is a nearly 10-year veteran of Google Cloud who now serves as a strategic business executive on Google Cloud’s Public Sector Team. When he finishes a conversation with a client preparing to implement the cloud-based suite of collaboration and productivity tools that is Google Workspace, he leaves with this parting thought:

“I cannot wait to talk to you in 6 months or a year because you will tell me a handful of things you are excited about that you solved, fixed or created – and you and I don’t even know what they are yet.”

Google Workspace, formerly G Suite, meets the highest, public sector standard security requirements and is compatible and interoperable with similar leading tools. As larger portions of the government workforce consider remote and hybrid work as long-term possibilities, Google Cloud is poised to help more agencies make these environments more secure, efficient and productive. 

Well over half of the workforce is already accustomed to using Google’s search, collaboration and productivity tools outside the office, Brown says. Now, these individuals are primed to smoothly transition to using that same cloud-based interface with the enhanced security measures that make Workspace suitable for the government workplace.

For Brown, delivering Google Cloud’s message is about helping people. As remote work has become more widespread, organizations are realizing cost savings, increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction — but only when remote work platforms provide workers with the tools, security and flexibility they need to work and collaborate at their own pace.


“I cannot wait to talk to you in 6 months or a year because you will tell me a handful of things you are excited about that you solved, fixed or created – and you and I don’t even know what they are yet.”

Jeff Brown, Strategic Business Executive, Public Sector, Google Cloud

Human-Focused Transformation

Brown found himself working as a young sales representative selling antivirus software to schools. He proposed a plan to sell the software for just $1 per student per year and began visiting K-12 schools in Colorado to pitch his offer. In one year, he brought 30 school districts on board as they sought affordable software that could protect their systems, students and data.

That experience was Brown’s first glimpse into the rewards a career serving the public sector could offer. He saw the potential for transforming government in ways that benefit citizens and employees alike. He could fulfill that desire to help.

Today, Brown continues to be passionate about aiding the public sector and works daily to educate public sector leaders on the possibilities of a hybrid and remote workforce — and how agencies can not only keep their operations up and running with a remote staff, but can improve productivity and citizen services in the long run.

As hybrid and remote workplaces become more prevalent even as the pandemic wanes, Brown has his work cut out for him. But he also takes the time to understand and address the challenges the public sector comes up against and is excited by the opportunities Google Workspace presents to agencies looking to equip their workforce with secure, intuitive systems that can improve experience and productivity.

Security, Interoperability and Change Management

Security is understandably a top priority for agencies, but legacy policies and security requirements at times prevent organizations from taking full advantage of newer versions of software releases. It can also prevent them from enjoying interoperability with other agencies on different systems.

 Google Cloud, is a differentiator when it comes to security, Brown says.

“Ten years ago, the company’s engineering team discovered a potential breach that forever changed security protocols. The response was BeyondCorp, Google Cloud’s zero trust solution that poised the company as an early leader in cloud security. 

Today, BeyondCorp relies on not just a username and password, but also on the ability to govern access from virtually any device, across any network to match the user’s identity. Once a user signs in, a rules engine governs what the individual is allowed to access, while a proxy adds another layer of privacy and security.

“Every single click that a person takes goes through all these attributes,” Brown says. “They could give you their password right now, and there’s no way you could log into their Google account because one or two of those four attributes did not match. That’s really the zero trust principle, and it’s why Google has not experienced certain breaches that have happened to other software firms.”

“That’s really the zero trust principle, and it’s why Google has not experienced certain breaches that have happened to other software firms.”

Jeff Brown, Strategic Business Executive, Public Sector, Google Cloud

Busting Myths

Myth: Google Workspace Isn’t Interoperable

Among the myths and misconceptions Brown notices, is the notion that agencies using Google Workspace can’t fully communicate with other leading platforms that agencies use. They can. In fact, Google Workspace allows users to seamlessly work with other solutions. One example of this is Office editing, which enables users to edit Microsoft Office files in their native format without the need to convert them into Google formats which helps with user adoption while also having the added benefit of Google Workspace’s features, like Smart Compose.

Similarly, to reduce the complexity that comes with scheduling across a variety of calendar tools, Google Workspace’s Google Calendar Interop tool makes it easy for users to schedule and book resources no matter which system they’re using. In fact, teams across systems can see each other’s free/busy status, event details and book shared resources, cutting down the number of emails and chats needed to schedule a time that works for everyone. These are just a few of the features Google Workspace offers to lessen friction for remote workers.

Myth: Workspace Doesn’t Account for Stringent Security

Brown also notes agencies that need to take additional security and compliance measures can have confidence because Google Cloud has met Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) requirements at the highest levels and continues to expand the list of FedRAMP High-certified products.

Myth: Google Classroom Is Only for Students

There’s also a myth that Google Classroom, a tool that allows for real-time video collaboration and document sharing, is only suited for K-12 schools and in universities for education and training purposes. Prior to the pandemic, Brown primarily mentioned Google Classroom in the context of schools and universities. Now, it’s among the top tools he speaks about as more organizations rely on it to train employees. Examples of Google Classroom training include: cyber security, new hire and court-appointed for special advocates.

“Your employees and constituents are already using these same services today. Our differentiator is we bridge those together.”

Jeff Brown, Strategic Business Executive, Public Sector, Google Cloud

Myth: Moving to Workspace Is Complicated

Brown aims to educate customers on the process of change management and adoption. There’s a misconception that moving to Google Workspace may be too difficult, even if the pricing is acceptable and the tools deliver much needed capabilities and agility.

“We have a very structured mutual evaluation plan and adoption strategy that is very specific to the individual so each person feels heard,” Brown says. Employees can receive training customized to their workplace department and even customized resources to fit their individual needs.

“Switching to Google Workspace is easy,” Brown says. Seven out of 10 people already use their personal Gmail accounts at work. Many of them use the Chrome browser, stream YouTube or use Android smartphones. That ubiquity is a significant consideration as government agencies move to becoming more user friendly and making services more accessible.

Nothing appears significantly different from the tools they are already using, but behind the scenes, additional security and compliance measures create a much more secure end method.“ Your employees and constituents are already using these same services today,” Brown says. “Our differentiator is we bridge those together.”

The upcoming workforce is already using Google products, too. According to Brown, Google has a massive footprint in top universities and K-12 schools. Tomorrow’s employees already know Google.


A Differentiated Platform for a New and Current Workforce

Today, an increasing number of workers are no longer tethered to a single, specific, physical location. Employees can more easily live where they want and potentially complete their work at times that work best for them. Hybrid workers may come into an office occasionally and reserve desks and equipment where they can work on the cloud. 

As agencies work to remain productive, collaborative and secure in the new hybrid workspace, Brown cites productivity and ease of use as top reasons more people are turning to Google Workspace. 

You’d be hard pressed to find someone unfamiliar with Google Search, and it’s those same search capabilities that differentiate Google Workspace, Brown says. In Google Cloud Search, individual users have a 360-degree view of “everything happening in their world,” he notes. 

Not only can they search the wider web but also their Gmail, Calendar, video content, documents in various formats and any other tools in Google Workspace. A designated home page automatically shows the most recent top few documents the user has opened.

“With Google Cloud Search, we are by far different from our competitor,” Brown says. “That’s because it helps each individual find the most relevant and recent information about their world.”

As government and supporting organizations prepare for future disasters, Brown advises leaders to attend to security and remote work concerns now.

“My suggestion is having a very clear architecture and a very clear identity in access management so your end users can log in safely and securely by their identity and by their device to get 100% of their job done without limitations to access, collaboration or because of network security,” he says.

For many agencies, remote work is here to stay — and with it comes renewed priorities around productivity, collaboration and security.

Learn more about how Google Workspace can help your agency get more done, from anywhere.