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OGTIC launches logistics solution to fight COVID-19 with the help of Google Cloud

About OGTIC

The Dominican Republic’s Government Office of Information and Communication Technology (OGTIC) is an agency responsible for planning, managing, and executing the actions needed to implement digital government in the country by promoting and mainstreaming IT in the design and introduction of public policies.

Industries: Government & Public Sector
Location: Dominican Republic

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The agency helps to fully digitize the processes of acquisition, reception, delivery, and logistics of vaccines, ensuring rapid distribution and process traceability.

Results

  • Digital infrastructure for vaccination logistics implemented nationwide
  • Over 30 employees adapted to cloud technology and improved their productivity
  • Solid and scalable cloud infrastructure to meet high demand

Logistics management for the vaccination of over 3 million people

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitization processes in the healthcare industry. Government agencies and companies providing medical services were faced with the need to innovate and modernize their systems. The goal: To serve thousands of people who required both medical care and updated information on the progress of vaccination plans against the virus and, also, the management of appointments to access the vaccine.

The National Vaccination Plan against COVID-19 (VacúnateRD) has been a success in the Dominican Republic, thanks to the collaboration of the entire health sector, the Centro Neurálgico de Operaciones (Operations Hub), and the military and private sectors. Together, and with direct coordination between the President and the Health Department, they have achieved the goal of immunizing the Dominican population.

The Dominican Republic’s Government Office of Information and Communication Technology (OGTIC in Spanish) was challenged with finding a solution that would provide coordinated logistics for millions of people throughout the country to access information on the COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, OGTIC sought the tools best suited to meeting its requirements and also to providing reliable access to critical information on the pandemic and consistent with the country’s vaccination plan.

Emergency management

The agency began to think about using cloud technology. After analyzing several technological solutions available in the market, the agency chose to incorporate Google Cloud tools for its vaccination system, which featured multiple APIs for queries.

Together with Google Cloud, it managed to meet the high demand and transform the manual systems of the Expanded Immunization Plan into a digital platform for more than 3 million people given two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and thousands who expect to be double vaccinated in the near future.

Through the official website, Dominican authorities can access information on the number of people vaccinated with one and two doses, centers’ vaccine availability, and other updates.

Most of these services were up and running within four days, and the most complex ones within seven, including the vaccine tracking system, which was very beneficial for OGTIC as it quickly scaled up its system.

"As we didn't know how big the demand was going to be, our main concern was having an infrastructure that could meet it. We had to analyze which technology we had at our disposal and choose the one we could afford. That's why we chose Cloud Run for scaling, since it allows us to optimize the site on demand."

Gustavo Valverde, Head of Government Digital Architecture, OGTIC

Not only was it essential for OGTIC to gauge demand but also to ensure the infrastructure had the capacity to meet sudden traffic peaks and to save money and energy in low-demand periods, such as early morning hours.

At the same time, the website had to respond quickly to the initial requests made by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare in a highly uncertain situation as the exact arrival date of the first vaccines was not known during the first few months. The infrastructure had to be ready within a few days to meet any level of demand.

First results

OGTIC decided to use Cloud Run, Cloud SQL, BigQuery, Google Kubernetes Engine, App Engine and Cloud Load Balancing to scale its COVID-19 vaccination website and management solutions.

Adopting Google Cloud allowed the agency to automatically deploy its code repositories, using GitHub through GitHub Actions, and the actions provided by Google Cloud, thus maintaining service availability.

In turn, OGTIC chose Google Cloud not only because of the operating and technical advantages of its tools, but also because it was very easy for its employees to adopt. Cloud technology helped over 30 employees improve their productivity.

As Valverde pointed out, "Google Cloud makes onboarding easy. In fact, some people who didn’t know the applications were able to learn how to use them in two or three days and found more tools to leverage. This was one of the main non-technical reasons why we used Google Cloud."

The flexibility and security of the tools are some of the major benefits that OGTIC has experienced with Google Cloud, which has helped the agency accelerate its operations. As Valverde explained, "the team is confident that, regardless of the technology or architecture, we will have the necessary services to reach the goals we aim for with Google Cloud."

Eyes on the future

OGTIC’s goals are not limited to its website: it is already planning to incorporate more cloud-based tools to expand the current reach of the National Vaccination Plan, which encompasses other vaccines included in the National Vaccination System and other mobile applications to be used by vaccination centers and citizens.

To that end, OGTIC plans to incorporate more Google Cloud solutions, such as Cloud Data Loss Prevention and Cloud Key Management, for data protection purposes.

"We are managing several pilots with Anthos to offer hybrid services and also manage the Contact Center with artificial intelligence. This will help us respond to the most frequent queries and devote call-center agents’ time to managing more complex queries."

Gustavo Valverde, Head of Government Digital Architecture, OGTIC

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About OGTIC

The Dominican Republic’s Government Office of Information and Communication Technology (OGTIC) is an agency responsible for planning, managing, and executing the actions needed to implement digital government in the country by promoting and mainstreaming IT in the design and introduction of public policies.

Industries: Government & Public Sector
Location: Dominican Republic