The state has increased the use of videoconferencing in many instances where employees typically teleconferenced, prompting its switch to G Suite Enterprise for collaboration and Google Meet for videoconferencing. However, some use cases required other tools to supplement Google Meet, such as Meeting Owl from Owl Labs, which can be deployed by teams to create collaboration rooms where more than one person in an office can communicate with remote users, Ngatuvai says.
By relying on videoconferencing, for example, Utah Department of Technology Services workers can rewatch a presentation from a speaker rather than keep their own notes, record a meeting for playback, mute audio interference and review a log of attendees.
“Adoption of these technologies has increased proportionally to the growth in teleworking. The features built into these tools are being used more heavily than they were previously,” Ngatuvai adds.
MORE FROM STATETECH: Find out how state governments have addressed legacy IT in a time of crisis.
Texas Uses Tech to Keeps Operations Running Smoothly
Texas began ramping up its teleworking readiness back in 2017, after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the state. Many agencies issued laptops to their workers, and a virtual private network was created for employees to connect to the state’s systems from home.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, roughly half of the employees at the Texas Department of Transportation began working from home. Workers use Cisco AnyConnect to ensure secure access to TxDOT systems. For collaboration, employees log on to Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams. To ensure connectivity, TxDOT had to expand network bandwidth as well as replace end-of-life equipment.
“For as big a change and interruption the COVID-19 pandemic has been for all families across the world, we are very proud that our TxDOT team has not skipped a beat. Our operations have continued, and we’ve helped to make sure our state’s roadways are moving commerce and supplies where they are needed most during this unpredictable time,” says Anh Selissen, TxDOT CIO.
“Videoconferencing has become a critical tool for our agency during COVID-19. IT has provided regular training to the agency to facilitate ease of use,” Selissen adds.