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Group photo of award team

An Idaho team was recently honored for leading implementation of Google Apps for Government as the lab's official messaging system. From left, DOE-Idaho's Scott Applonie and Matt Smith pictured with INL's Brent Stacey, Denise Stephens and Hortense Nelson.

Energy Department recognizes lab's transition to cloud-based email

By Sarah Robertson, INL Communications & Governmental Affairs

On Jan. 16, a team of Idaho National Laboratory employees traveled to Washington, D.C., where they were honored by U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu for their work implementing Google Apps for Government as the lab's official messaging system. The group consisted of Brent Stacey, associate laboratory director; Denise Stephens, chief information officer; Hortense Nelson, director of Information Management Transformation; Roland Smith, acting director of Information Delivery; along with Scott Applonie and Matt Smith from the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho Operations Office.

The implementation of Google Apps for Government was a laboratory-wide initiative with contributions from many groups including Information Management, Supply Chain, Legal, Export Control and DOE, among others. INL was recognized as a leader across the federal government for implementing a cloud-based solution for email.

"We are pleased with the progress we've seen since rolling out Google to the lab," said Denise Stephens, INL chief information officer. "This change affected some 4,000 employees so we expected some bumps along the way. Overall, the transition has been smooth and we are sure to see even more benefits as the system matures."

As the CIO when the Google project launched, Brent Stacey said, "This solution materially changed the way we support messaging at the lab to a model that's scalable, secure and is an efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Demonstrating our success with this new model, other labs and government entities are taking notice."

Each quarter, the DOE recognizes employees and partners who help achieve its vision of providing clean energy, science and security solutions that are significant, timely and cost-effective. In the past two years, the Secretary Appreciation Awards have recognized 75 individuals and teams for excellence in management and operations.

(Posted March 5, 2013)

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