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5 Cloud Trends to Track in 2023

The following article was written by C2C Global President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) as a member exclusive for TechCrunch. The original article is available here. In many ways, 2022 was a year of growth for the cloud technology space. Unpredictable macroeconomic developments saw many organizations thinking about and preparing for greater wins in the years to come instead of right away.In 2023, much of this preparation could come to fruition as the growth achieved in 2022 contributes to a stronger economy and rapid advancements, particularly in tech.Global IT spending is projected to climb by 5.1% to $4.6 trillion in 2023, according to Gartner, driven by a 11.3% increase in investments in cloud applications to $879.62 billion. What does this kind of increased spending and investment mean for organizations? C2C Global, a Google Cloud customer community, has identified five cloud trends to watch in 2023. “Moving forward, custom solutions, rather than one-size-fits-all offerings from individual providers, will increasingly become the norm.” AI and ML tech adoption will rise Every organization wants to harness the many and varied capabilities of AI and ML technology. Some want to use their data to enhance analytics and build predictive models, and others want to automate repeatable processes.Currently, many AI and ML models require extensive testing and training before they can be implemented at scale across large organizations hosting petabytes of data or serving wide customer bases. In fact, C2C’s research has found that only 47% of respondents are currently using AI and ML. However, these technologies ranked high among the ones that respondents hope to adopt in the future.The promise of these technologies is too significant to ignore. As models are refined, and training and testing become more reliable and automatic, organizations will come to rely on these technologies more. We’ll see more low-code/no-code app development platforms Partly due to the rush to adopt AI and ML technologies that still require a lot of maintenance to perform reliably at scale, development teams are likely to implement low-code and no-code applications to reap the benefits of these technologies without the burden.For skilled developers, low-code and no-code options promise a lower barrier to entry for introducing and managing complex models. Significant savings in terms of time and cost, as always, will also be a massive draw. More organizations will host resources in multicloud environments Every cloud strategy requires delicate analysis to determine the proper balance of cost, efficiency, performance, scalability and security. For a lot of organizations, sticking with a major cloud provider promises attractive savings that make a lot of practical sense.However, as cloud technology grows, individual products will be just as attractive to companies prioritizing scaling and transformation. Moving forward, even for companies using one cloud provider, adopting and implementing new resources from other providers may add value, and custom solutions, rather than one-size-fits-all offerings from individual providers, will increasingly become the norm. Remote work tools will continue to improve While remote work emerged during the pandemic as an emergency measure, the tools developed to accommodate it are now available as part of the expanded landscape of hybrid work technology. As AR and VR technology become more viable, organizations will continue to introduce and adopt new means of building a work environment that suits the needs of a diverse and changing workforce. Cloud adoption will increase in formerly resistant sectors Until recently, organizations in the government and financial services used to resist transformation due to the risk and burden of retiring entrenched legacy systems and migrating massive amounts of data. Lately, though, the advantages of cloud adoption have been harder to ignore, and more organizations in these industries are adapting accordingly.For example, the U.S. Army recently said it would start using Google Workspace for its personnel operations. This expansion into previously less served areas of the cloud market speaks volumes for cloud adoption.

Categories:AI and Machine LearningApplication DevelopmentHybrid and Multicloud

C2C 2022 Year-End Recap: Startups

C2C experienced spectacular growth in 2022, and a great deal of that growth occurred in our community for startups and startup founders. Community members forged new relationships, explored new solutions, and even founded more new startups. C2C is looking forward to answering more of your questions and solving more of your problems in the coming year. For now, though, let’s look back at some of the moments and the people that stood out for our Startups community in 2022. 2022 Highlights: Featured Events At The Effective Founder’s Project: Strategies to Overcome Startups’ Biggest Risks, Effective Founders Project creator Martin Gonzalez and Google Cloud Startup Success Manager Hannah Parker (@hannahparker) joined forces to educate founders across our startups ecosystem about the people problems that challenge growing startups and the management solutions that will help them thrive:  For the second iteration of our session The ML Mindset for Managers, KC Ayyagari (@kcayyagari), Senior Customer Engineer at Google Cloud, returned to C2C to run the Startups community through the essentials of machine learning and demonstrated some solutions startup founders can use to implement and manage ML strategically as they scale:  C2C’s fireside chat with Lance Legel, founder of 3co, took attendees through 3co’s entire startup journey, from its founding to its recognition as the provider of a leading AI 3D scanning solution, making time along the way to explore topics as diverse as the biochemistry of flowers and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche:  Finally, our conversation with Simon Taylor of 11:FS was a valuable education for startups and for customers across the cloud ecosystem in emerging trends and solutions in FinTech, including various DeFi models and Simon’s expertise, Banking-as-a-Service:  2022 Highlights: Community Members The Startups community is full of innovative thinkers from across C2C’s many industries and global regions––too many to recognize at once! However, a community is nothing without the people who belong to it. The following three C2C members made integral contributions to the growth of the Startups community by attending events, posting on the platform, and responding to others’ posts with thoughtful feedback and support. Simon Beeker (@ScottBeeker), OnlySpittersRajeev Bagra (@DigitalSplendid), Digital SplendidSimon Bain (@sibain), OmniIndex If you’d like to learn more about the work Scott, Rajeev, and Simon are doing or hear from them about their experiences in the Startups community, send them a message on the C2C platform––or better yet, come to an upcoming Startups community event and meet them live! What to Expect in 2023 C2C’s startups community flourished massively in 2022, but the growth is still just beginning. In 2023, get ready for more of all of the above, plus some exciting new developments. In-person events, which launched at the end of 2022, will become a standard offering for the startups community in 2023. We’ll also be doing more to highlight our community members on the C2C platform on a regular basis, and creating more of the same unique opportunities to collaborate with like-minded people and learn new skills. Are you a startup founder looking for more opportunities to build community with other Google Cloud cusrtomers? Join C2C as a member today to get involved! 

Categories:Google Cloud Startups

C2C 2022 Year-End Recap

2022 was a year of continuing growth and change for the C2C community. New event formats, content campaigns, and community spaces allowed our team and our members to explore hot topics in the cloud ecosystem, from hybrid and multicloud strategies to sustainable cloud spend to intelligent automation. We relaunched our face-to-face events, created new communities for our global regions and industry verticals, and produced the first full-scale research study of our membership. Not to mention, we grew to over 30,000 members strong! 2023 is just beginning, and many more exciting developments are just around the corner, but for now, read on to take a look back at some of the biggest things we accomplished in 2022. Cloud Repatriation C2C’s first major event of 2022 was our executive panel on Cloud Repatriation, featuring Nick Tornow of Twitter, Keyur Govande of Etsy, and Rich Hoyer and Miles Ward (@MilesWard) of SADA. All of the guests left the conversation with new perspective on the concepts of repatriation and cloud strategy in general. As Keyur put it, “In the context of repatriation, especially for a product company, it is very important to think through the ramifications of doing the heavy infrastructural lift yourself. In my opinion, for most product companies, the answer would be to ‘keep moving up the stack,’ i.e. to be laser focused on your own customers' needs and demands, by leveraging the public cloud infrastructure.” Miles was also kind enough to finish off the discussion with a call to arms for solo Tuba:   Read our takeaway post to revisit the highlights:  Women In Cloud In March of 2022, for International Women’s Day, C2C Content Manager Alex Maksymec (@alex.maksymec) produced a five-part series of interviews with successful women in the cloud space. The interviews provided a necessary opportunity to explore the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion in depth. In the words of Lynn Comp, AMD, Corporate Vice President of Cloud Business Group, “When you look at environments that are more of a melting pot with greater diversity—points of view, origin, culture, or language—you end up having a lot more innovation. It’s challenging because it’s hard to understand others’ journeys, but once the team gels, it makes products and solutions better and more multi-purpose.” Read all of the interviews here below:  Clean Clouds, Green Earth C2C continued producing large-format virtual events with Clean Clouds, Green Earth, an Earth Day conference hosted entirely on the C2C platform, including Googler, partner, and customer-led sessions on hot topics in sustainability. The highlight was a panel discussion with AMD, HCL, and L’Oreal, hosted by Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google Cloud. The most vital takeaway from the discussion was the notion of a holistic approach to cloud sustainability, reaching beyond specific technological fixes to a new perspective on energy consumption overall, which, according to Antoine Castex (@antoine.castex), L’Oreal Cloud Architect and C2C France team lead, comes about when companies like L’Oreal are able to “change the brain of the people.” Check the links below to explore the content from the various individual sessions:  Face-to-Face Events Early in 2022, the C2C team reintroduced face-to-face events, offering some of the most high-profile events of the company’s history, including multiple Google Next watch parties hosted in collaboration with C2C partners and the Cloud Adoption Summit in London, a day-long event featuring over two-dozen customer and partner sponsors and speakers. “I joined to check how the Google Community works especially compared to Azure,” said Robert Burton (@Rob Burton) of Bupa after the Cloud Adoption Summit. “I left knowing that Workspot might solve a problem that we didn’t know we had.” Read more stories from these events here:  New Communities In 2022, C2C also created new communities for numerous of our global regions and industry verticals. We created new spaces on the platform, hosted events, and brought on new community managers, moderators, and customer and partner collaborators in JAPAC, the Alps, and LATAM. We also introduced our Healthcare and Life Sciences community with a 2Inspire event featuring Steven Michaels (@Steven Michaels) of Intermountain Healthcare, Michael Ames (@michaelames) of SADA, and Paul Novak (@paul_novak) of Community Health Systems, who has since joined C2C as a member of our board. Take a look at the post linked below for takeaways from the event and a full recording of the conversation:  Community Research Last but not least, 2022 also saw the publication of the first large-scale research study of C2C’s membership. The long-form report collected insights on preferred cloud providers, most popular Google Cloud tools and products, and trends in provider and product usage. Insights gathered included that AI and ML tech is “look but don’t touch,” Google Cloud is #1 for “cloud native” development, and provider satisfaction and open-source tech go hand-in-hand. Read the full report below:  Do you want to be able to tell stories like these about your organization and the business and technical solutions you’ve developed on the cloud? Join C2C as a member today to take part in everything we have planned for 2023! 

Categories:C2C News

Transforming Businesses to Transform the World at the C2C Cloud Adoption Summit

“Until your event,” said Alejandro Lorenz, Lead Software Architect at IT4IPM, in a follow-up interview after attending C2C’s first Cloud Adoption Summit in London on November 30th, “I didn’t think that we had a problem.” Now, Alejandro says, after hearing from other companies at the summit about the investments they had made in their cloud migrations and their faster migrations’ impact on their overall management, he realizes that his own organization’s top management “must fully invest in the migration” to Google Cloud.The Cloud Adoption Summit was the first event of its kind for C2C: a day-long event featuring a keynote address, several industry panels and interactive breakout sessions, and numerous opportunities to network over meals and drinks with the one-hundred-plus guests and two-dozen-plus speakers in attendance. Many of the sessions were hosted by C2C partners, including Deloitte, Palo Alto Networks, Aiven, Workspot, and Appsbroker, but some of Google Cloud’s biggest customers, like Deutsche Bank and GEMA, also appeared to present and discuss their business and technical initiatives. Topics ranged from cybersecurity and infrastructure modernization to sustainability lessons from the last ten years of cloud adoption.Breakout session with Aivenand Elwood Technologies“Being at your event and hearing other companies and what they are doing helped me,” Alejandro said. Many of the attendees shared similar sentiments about the content of the presentations and the breakout sessions. “It was really important for me to attend Ellwood's CISO talk. We are a small team, as they are. And we need to go for full automation, to automate everything as they did,” added Tobias Hingerl (@THingerl), Alejandro’s colleague at IT4IPM. Tobias was referring to a session called “Scaling Fast but Secure,” a conversation with Daniel Jones of Elwood Technologies led by C2C partners Aiven. The kind of insight Tobias is describing––that increasing investment in transformative cloud technologies can present new opportunities for growth, efficiency, and security––is the kind of insight the Cloud Adoption Summit and the Google Cloud Customer Community itself exist to make possible.For many of the guests, the keynote by John Abel, Technical Director in Google Cloud’s Office of the CTO, provided not just insight but inspiration. “It was fascinating to hear John talking about Sustainability,” said Damien St. John, European Sales Engineer Lead at Appsbroker. “Not only for the impact we have on the environment...it helped me understand the marketing perspectives.” Jeremy Norwood, COO of Skytra Ltd., agreed. “John’s numbers made me think about the impact of our business on the environment. Sustainability is a big thing for sure. I have the sense that Google is a leader and they want to continue.” For Workspot Sales Engineer John Samuel (@C2Csamuelj), the call to action was immediate. “When I returned home, I went to my PC and changed my screen settings to dark mode,” he said. “I checked the energy consumption before and after. I was amazed. His talk gave us food for thought.” “Being at your event and hearing other companies and what they are doing helped me.” Other guests found the most value in the networking opportunities the event provided, which encouraged sharing ideas and making plans to follow up. Tobias and Alejandro are looking forward to catching up with Palo Alto about how their platform can help IT4IPM, and with Appsbroker about hiring new security engineers. John says Workspot made several new connections, and he’s excited to get in touch with Robert Burton (@Rob Burton) of Bupa about a solution for Workspot’s cloud desktops. Damien is anticipating a training opportunity with Google and more than one new business opportunity, including one with Mastercard.Guests networking between sessionsFor Daniel Vaughan (@daniel.vaughan) of Mastercard, the presentations and the networking at the event provided an entirely new way of looking at cloud adoption. In the conversations Daniel observed and joined, a major theme emerged: the biggest barrier to cloud adoption is employee skills. This theme was provocative enough for Daniel that he published an article on the C2C platform exploring his experience at the Cloud Adoption Summit and what he learned about the importance of skills in the cloud adoption context. “No matter how good the technology is,” he says, “without experienced people who are using it and, most importantly, can show others how to use it well, its adoption will be limited.”For the organizations who adopt it, the cloud makes storage and resources available all over the world, providing a solution to fit every need. A community like C2C does the same thing with people. At the Cloud Adoption Summit, the entire C2C community came together in one place to connect. Now those connections exist across the globe, and the people who made them can access them at any time. You and your organization can make and benefit from these connections, too. Join C2C as a member today to become a part of our global community. We’ll see you at the next Cloud Adoption Summit. Extra Credit:  

Categories:Cloud MigrationC2C News

Are Skills the Biggest Barrier to Cloud Adoption? A Guest Editorial by Daniel Vaughan, Cloud Native Software Architect, Mastercard

On November 30, 2022, I attended the Google Cloud Adoption Summit at Google's offices in London. C2C Global, The Google Cloud Customer Community, organized the event. Although different aspects of cloud adoption were covered, the part that stood out for me from the sessions I attended and hallway conversations was training and enablement. Enablement has never been the core of my role––there have always been delivery, strategy or pre-sales aspects that take priority––but it has always been a favorite.My career's most memorable and rewarding highlights have been related to enablement. One of these was when I visited a company and met an engineer with a copy of a book I had written, full of post-its and handwritten notes in pencil. Another was the people that thanked me for the value they got from the internal Technical Seminars Program I organized at EMBL-EBI, who all went on to get great jobs in tech when their contracts ended. This direct impact on the lives of individuals is what attracts me to the work I do.Although Google is the number three public cloud, I believe Google recognizes that a lack of skills in the market is the main factor holding back Google Cloud adoption, and is addressing this from three directions:The excellent top-down work Google is doing by creating great content with Developer Advocates like Stephanie Wong (@stephr_wong) on YouTube. The new Google Cloud Skills Boost program with Qwiklabs provides masses of quality material for an affordable yearly subscription in a way similar to how ACloudGuru did for AWS.  The enabling of partners for training delivery and customer enablement to meet customers at their level. This includes C2C itself. These partners complement impressively knowledgable Google customer engineers such as the ones I met at at the recent Google Cloud Next Developers Day. The support of the developer community to build capabilities bottom-up by encouraging them to freely experiment and learn more about Google technologies. Initiatives include Google Developer Groups (GDG) in the tech community, Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) in universities, Women Techmakers (WTM), and supporting Google Developer Experts (GDE).No matter how good the technology is, without experienced people who are using it and, most importantly, can show others how to use it well, its adoption will be limited. Google recognizes and is addressing this well. “How will there be time made for enablement, and who will do the enabling?” At the C2C event, Deloitte talked about several alternative approaches to building skills, from building Tech Hubs (centers of excellence) in organizations with specialists that support existing teams to Cloud Academies where new entrants to the industry, often from non-traditional backgrounds, are put through extensive training. While there is great value to that later, as it brings diverse experiences into the industry, this approach must be combined with other initiatives. I cannot help but remember the "paper MCSEs" of the later 90s, where people with no industry experience paid for six-week courses that got them through Microsoft Certified System Engineer certification. This then led to many self-described “IT refugees” who left the industry as the market turned in the early 2000s and outsourcing took hold.Sam Caley, Cloud Program Lead at Deutsche Bank, made a good point in one session: for Deutsche Bank, it’s important to have a deep knowledge of the existing applications combined with cloud knowledge. This means upskilling the existing people who may have been working with these applications for the last ten years rather than bringing in new people with cloud experience alone.I agree with Sam; with core financial systems, stability and security are non-negotiables, and a team working on a cloud migration needs to know what they are doing. There needs to be both a deep understanding of the application and experience with cloud-native principles. A lift-and-shift or even a move-and-improve is not going to cut it.Cloud Adoption SummitDeloitte Industry PanelThis leaves me with two questions: how will there be time made for enablement, and who will do the enabling?In terms of time, when I led an engineering team on our first cloud-native project with Kubernetes on AWS, it took six months for the team to become comfortable with the new architecture and development style. I believe, from my experience at HCL Cloud Native Labs with Alan Flower, that ideally, I would want up to six weeks with a team working hands-on on practical projects or "Game Days", as AWS calls them as well as formal training to build capabilities.This is a similar time investment to the people in Cloud Academies learning from scratch. Pivotal Platform Accelerate Lab for PCF, for example, which offered this type of combination of training and hands-on practice, ran for three weeks, and it was expensive. Who does the "day jobs" of the people that need to be upskilled during this time? There seems to be no slack in the system, with many organizations struggling to hire or retain enough people to keep the lights on already, so who will cover for those who are training?Then, who will do the enabling? With the demand for skilled people, there are plenty of positions for people happy to do "just engineering" with high salaries and good conditions. Why would experienced practitioners want to add the complication of training to their capabilities? Talking to Carl Tanner (@Grassycarl), Google Global Head of Learning Partnerships, I learned that people who are both active, experienced practitioners and skilled trainers are few and far between, with Google, worldwide, only employing 20 of these people themselves. Google is addressing this problem through partnerships. “No matter how good the technology is, without experienced people who are using it and, most importantly, can show others how to use it well, its adoption will be limited.” I also spoke to Mike Conner (@Mike Conner) of Appsbroker, one of Google's main partners in the UK, and a training provider. AppsBroker's approach is to enable the organization rather than just train individuals, which seems sensible. Establishing communities of practice to leave a legacy after training with ongoing support is a good idea. This worked well at EMBL-EBI, where after seminars and workshops, we were keen to get the people who were interested in going further into communities of practice to keep the momentum going. The issue I see, however, is Google Certified Trainers need to be affiliated with a training provider to be able to be trained themselves. As Carl told me, this means these people tend to be contractors wanting "portfolio careers" as both trainers and practitioners. This seems to be a limited pool.Enablement is not a zero-sum game. For training providers, there is no shortage of people to train, but having trained people benefits the ecosystem as a whole. I would love to see more collaboration between partners and community groups, for example. My view for recruitment of rare, valuable skills is to nurture a community and recruit from it. Google Cloud is looking to train 40 million people in cloud skills. This is a massive number. If this is going to happen, these barriers need to continue to be removed with the people who are in a position to enable supported, utilized, and rewarded, and with resources shared as freely as possible.In all, this was a very interesting day. I did not expect to leave with so many insights on training and enablement, but I am glad I did. This is a significant opportunity for Google Cloud, and it must apply to other cloud providers and extend to platform vendors such as IBM, Red Hat, and VMWare Tanzu, as it is more about the techniques and experience of cloud-native architecture and development than any particular implementation. As always, IT comes down to being a people issue. Do you think skills are the biggest barrier to cloud adoption? How is enablement accomplished at your organization? Let us know in the replies, or better yet, post in our community and tell us your story. Also, make sure to check our platform in the coming weeks for more coverage of our first Cloud Adoption Summit.

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightCloud Migration

C2C Monthly Recap: November 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on for the most essential C2C updates from November 2022. November saw the last, but certainly not the least, of C2C’s 2022 in-person events. After a third 2Gather in New York City and two more in Austin and São Paulo––where regional C2C communities are growing fast––face-to-face events went out with a bang at the first Cloud Adoption Summit in the UK. All four events facilitated customer connections that introduced new solutions into the Google Cloud ecosystem. The Summit in particular cemented C2C as the place to go for everyone in the cloud space looking to collaborate to shape the future of cloud technology. Cloud Adoption Summit in LondonCloud Adoption SummitExecutive DinnerC2C hosted its first Cloud Adoption Summit on November 30, 2022 at Google’s Offices in London. The day-long event brought together dozens of speakers from C2C, Google Cloud, and participating partners and customers including Pythian, Appsbroker, Workspot, Palo Alto Networks, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Aiven, GEMA, and more. The packed program included a keynote, multiple panels and breakouts, and ample time for networking and brainstorming over catered meals and drinks. In the days since the event, C2C has received a barrage of thanks and congratulations from speakers and guests. GEMA Cloud Architect Sascha Behl, who participated in a session on cybersecurity, said of his experience, “The conversation was so exciting, especially talking about the topics on advanced cloud-based firewalls setup using Palo Alto Next-Generation Firewalls and strong network segmentation. My special thanks go to Wayne White from Palo Alto Networks who led the conversation and brought in all these interesting and challenging questions!” Keep checking the platform in the coming weeks for more extensive content looking back at this milestone event for the Google Cloud Customer Community. North America (New York and Austin)2Gather: Austin featured three fireside chats pairing a C2C partner with one or more Google Cloud customers. First, DoiT international chatted with FloSports about their digital video streaming platform. Then AMD and Cockroach Labs took a look at the 2022 CRL Cloud Report to discuss some of the products highlighted this year, including the Tau T2D, the industry-leading compute engine powered by AMD’s EPYC processors. Finally, Aiven brought up Digital Turbine and BMC to talk about the companies’ joint multi-cloud initiative. Many of the participating customers were new to C2C’s in-person events, and the connections guests were able to make represented tangible growth for the C2C community.C2C’s most recent 2Gather in New York City brought together partners Workspot, Automation Anywhere, and Palo Alto Networks and customers MSC, Granite, and Becton, Dickinson, and Company for a whole program all about automation in the workplace. Automation has become a hot topic on the C2C platform (check out our profile of Shalini Mayor (@smayor) of Salesforce), and the conversations on stage and in the room in New York sparked a lot of enthusiastic and forward-thinking debate. As Nabin Patro of BD observed, when planning and implementing automation on Google Cloud, “the technology is forcing us to think differently.” Read more about the content of the event and the brainstorming that followed at the link below: São Paulo2Gather: Culture and Collaboration,São PauloC2C’s own Alfons Muñoz (@Alfons) spoke onsite at 2Gather: Culture and Collaboration, São Paulo, C2C’s second 2022 in-person event devoted to organizational culture. Earlier in the year, at our Google Culture of Innovation event in New York, Googlers carried the program with presentations applying Google’s approaches to innovation and DEI to hypothetical future of work contexts. In São Paulo, Google Cloud LATAM Workplace Programs and Sales lead Lucas Smit’s presentation on Future of Work issues set the stage for a customer-led panel discussion between speakers from Carrefour, iFood, and Natura & Co. C2C Partners Splunk, AMD, and Aiven also joined to sponsor and connect with the customers and guests in attendance. This event was also the second C2C hosted in São Paulo in November, confirming the major momentum building for the Google Cloud Customer Community in the LATAM region. Are you looking for more, including recordings from virtual events? Browse All Articles   If you couldn't join us in person in November, no worries! Even though we only have a few short weeks left before 2022 ends, they'll be packed with virtual gatherings. Test Your Knowledge on Google Cloud TriviaMultiple datesIt's the most wonderful time of the year! Our regional teams in France (Tuesday, Dec. 13) and UK & Ireland (Thursday, Dec. 15) are each hosting a special holiday quiz. Here’s a special greeting from our communities in EMEA:“There'll be prizes for winning,And all will be grinning,And swag will be given away.There'll be laughing and learning,And fun will be churningfrom EMEA regional way.It's the hap-happiest season of all!” Leveling Up with Containers and KubernetesMultiple datesFamiliar with these technologies but looking to expand your skills? Two events coming up in December will cover solid options.First is the Introduction to Cilium (Tuesday, Dec. 6). Learn about this open-source software and how it's being used to increase container security and visibility.Then join Appsbroker to talk about a Kubernetes Learning Pathway (Wednesday, Dec. 14), with a focus on the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program. Applying Google Cloud to Business FunctionsMultiple datesSee how others are using Google Cloud products to enhance their business operations.Ternary, a cloud cost optimization tool built for Google Cloud on Google Cloud, is Using FinOps for Cloud Cost Optimization (Thursday, Dec. 8).We'll also hear from CARFAX about how they’re doing Marketing Forecasting with BigQuery ML (Tuesday, Dec. 13). Plus, you can find regional events hosted in a local language by browsing our full event calendar. Sign Up for an Event   ConversationsWhether C2C members are sharing their opinions, trying to troubleshoot—or helping others troubleshoot—Google Cloud tech, or having casual career conversations, we love to see excellent threads like these. Our online communities are a great way to find new connections with fellow Google Cloud users. Want to start connecting with the community? Start a Conversation   Of course, the beauty of everything we do is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and get access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience of our online community, so here's the latest on what we've delivered. The Latest from Google CloudExplore the latest resources directly from Google Cloud—including YouTube videos, podcasts, and blogs—all aggregated in one place in the community. This new section is regularly updated with news to upvote and discuss.Check out the latest community feature. Browse All Resources   Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? 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Thinking Differently About Automation at 2Gather: NYC

On November 10, 2022, C2C returned to Google’s offices in Chelsea, Manhattan for a 2Gather event all about intelligent automation. The robust event program included a fireside chat with representatives of Granite and Becton, Dickinson, and Company moderated by C2C partner Automation Anywhere, a presentation from partner Palo Alto Networks, a conversation between partner Workspot and their customer MSC, and a panel featuring the speakers from MSC, Workspot, BD, and Granite. Google’s Drew Hodun introduced and moderated the event program, but the majority of the content was driven by the participating customers and partners and the guests in attendance with questions and ideas to share with the speakers and with one another.After a hello and a word on C2C from director of partnerships Marcy Young (@Marcy.Young) and an opening address from Drew, Ben Wiley of Automation Anywhere introduced Paul Kostas of Granite and Nabin Patro of BD. and offered some background about Automation Anywhere’s mission to build digital workforces for organizations that need them, with a particular focus on business processes like data entry, copy and paste, and parsing emails. Ben also mentioned Automation Anywhere and Google Cloud’s joint solutions for office departments like contact centers. Paul made a point of shouting out solutions like AA’s Automation 360 and Google Cloud’s Doc AI, which Granite used to build 80 automations in 9 months, and Nabin touched on how automation helped manage some of the work that went into BD’s manufactured rapid diagnostic test kit for COVID-19. “The technology is forcing us to think differently.” Next, Akhil Cherukupally, and David Onwukwe of Palo Alto Networks took the stage to walk through some of the technical components of the security platforms the company offers organizations navigating the cloud adoption process. Then Workspot’s Olga Lykova (@OlgaLykovaMBA) brought up Google Enterprise Account Executive Herman Matfes and Dung La and Angelo D’Aulisa of MSC for a look back through the history of the companies’ work together. Olga started things off with an origin story about the Citrix leaders who left their company to start a cloud-hosted platform with Workspot, which turned out to be a superior business model. Then she turned to the other guests to explore how Workspot helped MSC build automations on the front end of their business processes and ultimately implement these automations end to end.Speaker Panel at 2Gather: New York CityFinally, Drew, Angelo, Dung, Paul, and Nabin returned to the stage for a panel discussion breaking down all of the issues raised during the previous sessions. A question from Drew about how each organization’s work has impacted its customers prompted Paul to go long on the benefits of Granite’s services. When Angelo gently added, “We’re a Granite customer,” the audience laughed along with the panelists. “Thank you for being a customer,” Paul said. Drew also asked the group about what’s coming next at each company. The answers ranged from the concrete to the philosophical. “The technology is forcing us to think differently,” Nabin observed. In response to a question from a guest in the audience, Paul acknowledged the human impact of automation and stressed the importance of getting people to feel good about automating processes rather than fearing for the future of their jobs.As usual, the conversations did not stop here. The speakers and guests continued to share ideas and brainstorm solutions into the networking reception and even the informal dinner that followed, where Clair Hur (@write2clair) of Vimeo stopped by to explain how the company is cutting costs significantly after migrating from AWS to Google Cloud. More of these stories will be collected in our upcoming monthly recap post. For now, watch the full recording of the New York event here:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:AI and Machine LearningCloud OperationsSession Recording

Building an Intentional Culture: C2C President Josh Berman Interviewed by Authority Magazine

For a November 2 conversation with Authority Magazine, C2C President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) sat down with Fotis Georgiadis to take part in the magazine’s regular interview series “How Businesses Pivot and Stay Relevant In The Face of Disruptive Technologies.” The high-level discussion generated a wealth of insights for business leaders as well as teams and individuals dedicated to nurturing a customer ecosystem, but Josh also threw in a few personal anecdotes to remind readers that he’s a peer as much as a decision-maker. Some highlights from the conversation include Josh’s top five recommendations for business leaders responding to disruption and his firsthand recollection of the growth of the community industry over the past couple of decades. Here’s a preview of what Josh had to say about C2C and the developing customer community space: “Everyone needs their customers’ feedback, advocacy, and I think everywhere, getting connected, staying connected, finding your peers, whether they work with you in a company or just do something similar in other companies, other industries, finding them and connecting to them is critical, especially as we’re all working from home, we’re working elsewhere. The need for community is stronger than it’s ever been. C2C is here for that reason: to fill that need for Google Cloud’s customer base.” Read the full interview here. Extra Credit:  

C2C Monthly Recap: October 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on for the most essential C2C updates from October 2022. October is a busy time for Google Cloud—Googlers, partners, and customers alike finally get to hear all the latest and greatest announcements coming out of Google Cloud Next. And as the community for Google Cloud customers, C2C is dedicated not just to sharing these announcements, but to creating spaces for you and your peers to discuss them and how they can help you solve your technical and business problems. Google Cloud Next: The DoiT International Director’s CutAt the Google Cloud Next ‘22 DoiT Director’s Cut, longtime friends of C2C at DoiT International hosted an exclusive watch party in collaboration with C2C and Exabeam. Guests gathered early at Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge in San Francisco for coffee and introductions before convening to view the keynote. Next, DoiT Head of Global Alliances, frequent C2C event participant, and noted yellow labrador owner Spenser Paul (@spenserpaul) hosted a breakout session with colleague and Field Services Manager Maddy Kepple to break down the many announcements from the Google Cloud leadership and customers. Finally, Exabeam Global Alliances Sales Director Chris Archinal led an interactive session about improving security outcomes through data analytics and automation. The keynote screened early on the West Coast, so the program concluded by lunch, but guests happily lingered afterward for catering from Executive Chef Jason Fox. PythianAt C2C Partner Pythian’s Next on the Road watch party in New York City, C2C President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) appeared onsite to co-host a session all about taking the barrage of information provided during the next keynote and, as Pythian CTO Paul Lewis puts it, “making it real.” Josh, Paul, and Sami Akbay of Google led a lively discussion with the attendees in the room, touching on everything from out-of-the-box AI and ML to paying for cloud services in cryptocurrency. “Josh did great,” said Paul. “He caught everything and he answered in an amazing way.”Read the full story at the link: Next Announcements at IntelIntel had a big moment at Google Cloud Next: they announced their C3 machine series powered by the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor and Google's custom Intel Infrastructure Processing Unit (IPU). Learn more about this partnership in this virtual event recording. Chatting About Chat With SADAHere's one for our Google Workspace professionals and enthusiasts. Do you know how to get the most out of the chat app? Watch this recording to learn about everyday use cases and getting started. Looking for more? Browse All Articles   Trying to catch the wave of that energy? We're eager for more, and we hope you can join us as we add more cities to our list. Cloud Adoption Summit in LondonWednesday, November 30C2C's largest event yet, the Cloud Adoption Summit, features a full day's schedule packed with keynotes and breakout sessions. From broader cloud strategy lessons to detailed discussions of your choosing—like cybersecurity, cost optimization, or industry insights—we're holding a spot for you at the Google UK office. North AmericaMultiple DatesIf you're in the United States, you’ll have a few opportunities to get together with us at a C2C 2Gather! Our classic in-person events are in Austin (Thursday, November 3) and New York City (Thursday, November 10). Plus, our first face-to-face event for Google Cloud startups—Angels, Accelerators or Incubators - Which Should You Choose?—is happening in Sunnyvale, CA, on Tuesday, November 8. While we encourage you to get the most out of this event and network on-site with the C2C startups community, this event also has the option to sign up to virtually attend the panel discussion.These events are happening this week and next, so don't miss your chance to sign up! São PauloWednesday, November 9 - Thursday, November 10As we expand our team into Latin America with the help of C2C community managers @Alfons and @valdecir.carvalho, we're preparing to host a double feature in Brasil. These strategic 2Gather events in São Paulo include an option for the future of work at Culture and Collaboration and hybrid and multicloud at the SAP on Google Cloud Forum. If you can't join us in person, we have plenty of virtual connections coming up. Browse all our events to speak directly with presenters and share your thoughts openly with other C2C members.  Sign Up for an Event   ConversationsWe also want to highlight some other excellent conversations happening in the communities: Want to start connecting with the community? Start a Conversation   Of course, the beauty of everything we do is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and get access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience of our online community, so here's the latest on what we've delivered.Last month, we announced our new feature to find groups led by independent software vendors (ISVs). Learn more about these partners and click on their names to connect directly in their groups. AivenAiven provides fully managed open-source services like Apache Kafka®, PostgreSQL®, and OpenSearch®. Jump in and gain the insights you need to build innovative applications backed by the latest open-source technologies. Automation AnywhereWhat is intelligent automation? Automation Anywhere uses a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI to deliver cross-industry solutions as the number one cloud automation platform. In this space, bring your intelligent automation questions and challenges directly to this partner filling this niche, yet crucial, answer to power up business processes. NetAppNetApp's data management solutions help customers reduce cloud storage costs and run scalable enterprise apps in Google Cloud. Learn from this partner to effectively tackle file sharing among Linux and Windows workloads in Google Cloud while optimizing storage to cut cloud costs. Palo Alto NetworksPalo Alto Networks is the world's cybersecurity leader. They innovate to outpace cyber threats so that organizations can confidently embrace technology. Whether you're deploying their products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, Palo Alto Networks is ready for community questions. Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? Stay up-to-date on everything C2C by updating your profile and notification preferences so we can deliver you the most relevant news in real time.

Categories:C2C News

Introducing Intelligent Automation Everywhere With Shalini Mayor, Salesforce Senior Director of Enterprise Automation

Before Shalini Mayor (@smayor) brought her background in automation to leadership roles in the private sector, she “almost became an astronaut.” As a subcontractor to NASA’s Langley Research Center, Shalini worked on various coding and algorithm development projects. She may have moved on from NASA before experiencing space travel, but much of her work as a director of Enterprise Automation at Salesforce is not unlike observing Earth from a distance. “With the explosive growth that you’ve seen at Salesforce, it’s very easy to get disconnected,” she told the crowd at a C2C 2Gather event in Sunnyvale, California. “Everything runs as a little startup within itself…when I was brought in, my primary role was to bring some structure to this madness.”“Since then we’ve been scaling out,” she continued, “trying to figure out ‘where do we have the most repetitive processes?’” Finance, HR, and IT operations are the major sites of repetitive processes at Salesforce, according to Shalini. What does it take to automate processes in so many different areas at a company with over 77,000 employees? In Shalini’s opinion, it takes more than just robotic process automation (RPA). “What we’re looking at really is a business process end to end,” she told Sunnyvale. “RPA is a small part of it. What about the rest of it? How do we reduce manual intervention in any process? How do we actually take that away so that it will just run?”To answer these questions, Shalini is thinking beyond the scope of the automation currently adopted at most organizations, sometimes back to the math and science she studied in graduate school as the basis for her education in AI and ML. “Anything that you look at all the way back down to the rudiment, it’s still exactly the same,” she said in an interview after the Sunnyvale event. Even though the extent of what’s possible with automation today is “mind-boggling,” the automations themselves are still based on the same linear algebra as the first AI and ML models Shalini encountered as a student. For Shalini, thinking about the foundations of automation makes it possible to look beyond RPA bots and straightforward rule-based models, incorporating approaches like decisioning and illuminating new opportunities. “What we’re looking at really is a business process end to end.” At Salesforce, these new possibilities include Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technologies like Google Cloud’s Document AI and other solutions in high demand at the company’s contact centers, which Shalini sees as high-priority contexts for automation use cases. Despite her enthusiasm for automation, however, Shalini is careful not to forget the human factor of workplace processes. She is not interested in reducing or combining job roles, as some workers fear executives may plan to do with automation in place. “If I can take some of these mundane tasks off people’s lists,” she told Sunnyvale, “that’s where the growth comes in.”This human factor is also what Shalini recognizes as the value of a customer community and open spaces for peer-to-peer discussion like C2C’s events. At Sunnyvale, she particularly appreciated “the fact that I could speak with so many people and help them learn something” and “learning that people are facing similar issues.” on November 10, 2022, Shalini’s colleague at C2C Partner Automation Anywhere, Vice President of Commercial Sales Ben Wiley, will appear alongside a diverse panel of guests to elaborate on some of what Shalini discussed in Sunnyvale, face-to-face, with a fresh group of Google Cloud customers and partners looking to automation to solve their business problems. To join them, use this link to register today. Extra Credit:  

Categories:AI and Machine LearningGoogle Cloud Partners

Community-Building and New Solutions at C2C's EMEA Next '22 Watch Parties

C2C Global did right by its name at Google Cloud Next ‘22: in addition to participating in partner-led events across the United States, the team also hosted three watch parties of its own in London, Paris, and Berlin. All three in-person events took place on October 11 in conjunction with the Next ‘22 Keynote, with C2C on staff greeting numerous distinguished guests from Google Cloud’s global customer community. Just like at the watch party C2C hosted with Pythian, the takeaways from the keynote inspired more conversation than any event program could contain. What made C2C’s events unique, as always, were the opportunities to share ideas and innovate in the room in real time.At the London event, Simon Dawson (@simonbdawson), Head of Engineering at Atom Bank, appeared alongside Google Cloud Infra and App Modernization Customer Engineer Andrew Feldman (@usernum-gcp) and two guests from NetApp: UK Country Manager Andrew McGlashan and Google Cloud Volumes Field CSA Leader Steve Winfield. Simon was more than pleased with his experience at the event. Having never before engaged with C2C, he was excited to be welcomed into the customer community. He was even more excited to be able to make connections with other customers that provided him with insights he could bring back to his team. “I connected with people from Aiven and from NetApp,” he said, “and I will follow up and work with Aiven, because we are using Apache Kafka, and they have a service that might be a solution for us.”Other guests echoed this appreciation for the community-oriented aspect of the event. “At other events, I felt like going to a supermarket to buy something, a product,” said John Samuel (@C2Csamuelj) of C2C partner Workspot. “But at your event, it felt like going for coffee with friends where we could talk about the things we like.” John is now planning to present Workspot to Frederico Costa, a Googler he met at the event.Staff and Guests atParis Next ‘22 Watch PartyThe casual feel John noted was also not exclusive to the London event. Alexandre Custenoble, a Data Engineer Manager who heard about C2C from L’Oreal Enterprise Architect and C2C France Team Lead Antoine Castex (@antoine.castex), shared similar sentiments. “It’s great to be able to talk about Google Cloud without having people trying to sell us anything,” he said.C2C’s team in France has a strong track record of bringing new Google Cloud customers into the C2C community. Antoine has arranged for C2C to host multiple events at L’Oreal’s office in Paris, and Team Lead Alan Muntadas (@alan.muntadas) has also hosted local gatherings for the C2C France community online and in person, including the Paris Next ‘22 watch party at the office of C2C partner Devoteam. The event brought Devoteam a wealth of new business contacts, some of which they had been chasing for months. “I have reached people I couldn't connect with before,” said Virginie Velten (@vvelten), Devoteam Head of Google Cloud Sales. Virginie specifically mentioned Carrefour, L'Oréal, Decathlon, Renault, and Adeo. “Thanks to your events I have done more business,” she said. “Not during the event, but because of the networking at the event. I have reached more people. People that I was trying to reach for six months.” “Other events felt like going to a supermarket to buy something. At your event, it felt like going for coffee with friends.” At the Berlin watch party, C2C welcomed three speakers from AppsBroker: Europe GmbH Sales Manager Oliver Karalus, CTO Khalil Dimachkie, and Solutions Lead Jon King. The event took place at a Google office with C2C partners assuming hosting roles, but as they had at the London and Paris events, the customers in the room enjoyed the full advantage of the closing networking reception. “I’ve met and connected with new people. I’m going to talk and work with Hendrik Schulz from Mercedes-Benz,” said Hartmut Loesch (@Hardy), Business Development Director at AMB Software GmbH. “My company can help them.”Berlin Next ‘22 Watch PartyBeyond new connections, for guests like Hartmut and Virginie, a standout benefit of C2C membership is the ability to be part of a living community and build relationships that become another resource for a growing professional. “Thanks to you, to your events, I learned where to start for my Google Cloud Certification, and which resources to use, and I know that I can always ask questions and get an answer back,” said Hartmut. First-time C2C guests at the watch parties are looking forward to building the same kind of relationship with the community. “Your event was well organized, with quite a lot of people and traffic on social media,” said Simon Dawson. “I will be there at your next in-person event for sure.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:Google Cloud NewsGoogle Cloud Product Updates

Making the Conversation Real at Pythian's Next on the Road Watch Party

The Google Cloud Next ‘22 Opening Keynote was the headline event across the tech universe on Tuesday, October 11, with watch parties hosted by Google itself, Google partners, and C2C taking place simultaneously in all different regions of the globe. In addition to standing up three watch parties in EMEA, C2C also participated in multiple partner-led events, including Pythian’s Next on the Road watch party in New York City, where C2C president Josh Berman (@josh.berman) appeared as a speaker alongside Pythian CTO Paul Lewis and Google Data Analytics Product Manager Sami Akbay. The three hosted a session called The Data Points: Key Take-aways from Google Cloud Next Keynote, which offered just that: a digestible breakdown of the deluge of information delivered during the keynote address.The keynote itself included announcements from every corner of the Google Cloud ecosystem: a smattering of customer success stories, numerous new product introductions, and some major new company partnerships. The news ranged from predictable (new out-of-the-box low- and no-code AI and ML models) to unexpected (a partnership with cryptocurrency trading app Coinbase). After an hour of new developments to process, guidance from leaders like Josh, Sami, and Paul came as a relief to the guests in the room.Some key points from the discussion included projections about the business value of new AI tech. Josh pointed out that C2C research indicates AI is still “look but don’t touch” for a lot of companies. Sami offered stats to support this point: 80% of Google developers have active AI projects, while 10% believe they’re getting their desired value from these projects. A deeper dive into the Coinbase partnership also ignited some debate in the room between crypto skeptics and partisans who would happily take advantage of the option to pay for cloud services in crypto. “I think Josh did great,” said Paul. “The way I moderate, they were ill-prepared with any of the content. I come out with content… It’s a little tougher to be on the stage because of that, but I think he caught everything and he answered in an amazing way.”Guests connecting between sessions atthe Pythian Next on the Road watch partyMoments of humor also helped the group take everything in. Calling out Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s recorded segment of the keynote, Paul tossed off a short bit about Sundar’s elusive persona. Is Sundar himself an AI Google developed to play the part of a CEO in public? One guest suggested he might be a hologram, like the 3D likeness of Tupac that made its stage debut at Coachella 2012. Josh joined in as well. After a quick review of a customer story from Ford, he threw out a fun fact: Jim Farley, the Ford CEO who appeared in the keynote, is late comedian Chris Farley’s cousin.Following the panel with Josh and Sami, Paul invited Amit Gupta, VP of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics at Sotheby’s, April Johnson, Global Head of Change at Thoughtworks, and Karl Havilland, CEO of Nearly Human, for a deep dive into wins and lessons learned. The conversation rehashed many of the points raised during the keynote, but from a broader perspective including April’s background in change management and Karl’s as the CEO of a younger startup. The guests offered some more candid comments during a comparison of cloud native and cloud agnostic business approaches, which Paul considered one of the moments that made the conversation real for the audience.“I think the conversation on cloud agnostic versus cloud native was an interesting conversation,” he said. “I honestly don’t think there is a conclusion. I think it is pretty situational. Will it ever be native, no, because there’s competition. All clouds are different.”April’s Thoughtworks colleague Andy Yates (@andy.yates), an early active C2C member who traveled from London to attend the event in a vintage C2C hoodie, also found the customer panel particularly valuable. “It’s about bringing different perspectives, bringing together people from different domains,” he said. “That last panel was a great example, actually, which brought three very different customers, three different views on things, who were able to––along with the audience––synthesize that into a real understanding that we can take home to our businesses and think about how we’re going to make the most of these announcements. That is much more useful to me than watching presentations at home, and then trying to connect with the online community afterwards to help make sense of it all.”Watch the full Google Cloud Next ‘22 keynote address below:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Google Cloud NewsGoogle Cloud Partners

C2C Monthly Recap: September 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on for the most essential C2C updates from September 2022.  Following a summer break, the C2C EMEA team jumped right back into the fray of in-person events, rejoining old friends in Paris for more customer stories and networking as well as expanding the C2C landscape to Zurich, Switzerland. The stories shared at these events are valuable across many industry solutions being created with Google Cloud technology, but we also have a focus on having fun! ZurichAt 2Gather: Zurich, C2C’s first in-person event in the Alps region, the main topics of the day were the cloud implementation options Roche used to accelerate their get-to-market and the advantages of Google Cloud Database services. Google Cloud Principal architect Andreas Heidekrüger (@aheidekrueger) moderated a fireside chat featuring two representatives of customer F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG: Analytics Chapter lead Tomislav Ilicic (@Ilicict) and Program Manager Dominik Berroth (@Dominik). Data Analytics Customer Engineer Nic Gibson (@nicgibson) followed up with a focused look at Database Services. As always, the networking reception following the program opened the field for numerous customer-to-customer connections. Google Cloud Customer Engineer Dominik Steiner (@DominikSteiner) joined several customers in attendance for exploratory discussions breaking down various challenges faced and overcome. “It was a great possibility to give customers a platform,” he said. ParisJust a few days after breaking ground in Zurich, the C2C team was pleased as always to return to Paris for a 2Gather event led again by C2C France team leads Guillaume Blaquiere (@guillaume blaquiere), Group Data Architect at Carrefour, and Antoine Castex (@antoine.castex), Group Data Architect at L’Oreal. Customer speakers included Cyrille Doumenq of Renault Digital and Adeline Villette of Decathlon Technology, and ADEO Tech Leader Matthieu Cornillon also led a session exploring the company’s partnership with C2C partner Aiven to accelerate its native cloud strategy. “The event was very good. What I particularly liked was the ‘C’ part of the ‘C2C’ and listening to the experience of true practitioners talking to other practitioners,” said Jonathan Jowett (@jjowett), Director of Strategic Alliances at Redis EMEA. “The challenge now is to get the community of end customers to grow and gain momentum,” he added. “From my perspective, this would be a great forum to try and encourage our customers to come to and present at too.” Looking for more? Browse All Articles   Trying to catch the wave of that energy? We’re eager for more, and we hope you can join us as we add more cities to our list. Google Cloud Next Watch PartiesTuesday, October 11The biggest Google Cloud event of the year is only a few weeks away. We’re gathering together for live streams of the Next keynote to learn about the future of Google Cloud.London Paris Berlin San Francisco (DoiT Director’s Cut) Next on the Road with Google Cloud PartnersWe aren’t the only ones preparing for the announcements—check out what some of our partners are doing! Plus, you might even catch a cameo from C2C President @josh.berman if you are able to join Pythian’s event in person.New York City with Pythian New York City with SADA Sunnyvale with Palo Alto NetworksBrowse all our events to speak directly with presenters and share your thoughts in open conversation with other C2C members.  Sign Up for an Event   ConversationsWe also want to highlight some other excellent conversations happening in the communities: Want to start connecting with the community? Start a Conversation   Of course, the beauty of everything we do is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and get access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience of our online community, so here’s the latest on what we’ve delivered. Events FinderThe world is big, as is Google Cloud. So for our global community of Google Cloud users, we want to help navigate the sea of information and opportunities available. When you browse through C2C events, try one (or both) of these new features:Filter by event type to find the best setting—virtual or in-person—for you. Filter by tags including Google cloud solution area and other hot topics, when available, based on upcoming events. Change the view between list and calendar. Para (l)a GenteSpeaking of global reach: C2C is live in Latin America! From our summer activities in São Paulo to our first Spanish-language event last week, we’re doing everything we can to build dedicated groups to support your conversations and community where ever you are.Junte-se à comunidade para o Brasil Únete a la comunidad para LATAM (Español) Connect with ISVsOne other new feature on the Connect page is a filter for groups led by independent software vendors (ISVs). The ISV groups give you a space to bring your questions and challenges directly to our partners, including Aiven, Automation Anywhere, NetApp, and Palo Alto Networks.If you are part of an ISV and are interested in partnering with C2C to lead a group, reach out to marcy.young@c2cglobal.com. Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? Stay up-to-date on everything C2C by updating your profile and notification preferences so we can deliver you the most relevant news in real time.

Categories:C2C News

Next on the Road Preview: An Interview with Pythian CTO Paul Lewis

On October 11, 2022, Google Cloud and C2C Global partner Pythian will be participating in the “Next on the Road” series of watch parties for the Google Cloud Next ‘22 keynote address and announcements. C2C President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) will co-host the event with Pythian CTO Paul Lewis, a regular participant in C2C events and content. The event will include a welcome lunch, a screening of the Next ‘22 keynote, a discussion of the takeaways from the keynote hosted by Josh, a session on Pythian’s 2022 wins and lessons hosted by Paul, and a closing networking reception. We caught up with Paul in advance of the event to discuss his hopes, expectations, and predictions for the event and the broader Next ‘22 program. Read our conversation below. There’s so much programming around Next: from Google, but also from the many partners hosting watch parties. What for you is really going to make this event experience unique? I think it’s the make-it-real aspect. It’s always interesting to hear the keynote and get a full appreciation for where the Google advancements are going to be, or their strategy potentially on acquisitions, or at least incorporating those acquisitions into the organization, into the framework, but the goodness comes from, well, what does all this mean for me? How do I take the announcement I just heard and apply it to my actual application infrastructure strategy? How do I look at my 2023 budget and say, “Should it be augmented based on what I heard, or does my architectural assumption differ because of what I just heard, and what’s the double-click? Not just what it means to me, but what’s the impact to my strategy going forward?” The reality is, the announcements create excitement, but the real work starts now. Looking forward to the keynote, obviously that’s going to be a big draw. What are you expecting as someone who’s been a Google partner for a long time and has a real stake in what’s going to be announced? What are you hoping to hear? What are you expecting to hear? Imagining? I think I’m looking forward to evolution on a few fronts. Front number one: security. They just completed their acquisition, and now they’re going to say, “Well, here’s my holistic security set of offerings.” In fact, we might even hear an evolution of the security pillar to, say, it’s not just either application- or data-centric security, but maybe it goes beyond that. Maybe it goes in networking, in infrastructure and PII, privacy. That would be an interesting foray. Data protection. How do I empower the Chief Information Security Officer? How do I make them my primary buyer? That would be an interesting evolution on the security side.I’d also like to see the evolution of the Google data foundation work. Let that be a primary architectural design, and then everything else they’re going to build on top of that, things like Cortex, things like specific industry solutions from core systems ERP all the way to visualization and Looker. Show me those assets I’ll be able to download from the marketplace, or secondary assets so that I can create out-of-the-box solutions that I can now augment to what makes sense for me personally. That’s number two.Number three I think is innovation. Innovation in AI, innovation in ML, innovation in cognitive, all of the new. Here’s what we spent time and energy on in 2022 that is now going to be available in 2023 for you to consume, so I don’t need you to be an expert in doc AI. I want an easy way for you to consume that and apply that to your actual business problem, and by the way, here’s 15 examples of it working effectively. Last time we spoke, we were promoting an event where you were speaking specifically about AI solutions. We just published a survey of our membership, and one of the big insights was that while AI and ML are not the technologies most users are working with right now, they’re number one in terms of the technologies they’re expecting or hoping to implement in five years, in three years, next year. How specifically do you think AI and ML is going to figure into that innovation forecast for the coming year? I think what won’t be true is more development platforms for creating ML algorithms. Because I think that is difficult to consume. What’s much more easy to consume is out-of-the-box, downloadable, industry specific algorithms that I can apply. So, how do I make it really easy to train? How do I make it really easy to infer? How do I make it really easy to implement within my application process? That’s where I think we’re going to see the value there. They’re going to say in your IEE, in your BigQuery configuration, even in your Looker dashboards, you should be able to apply out-of-the-box marketplace algorithms and make your modifications for it to suit your purpose. So a lot of low-code and no-code? Exactly. While I philosophically don’t believe no-code low-code will displace code––there’s always a reason why there’s code––I think it’ll be a much more dramatic use for things like data analytics going forward. We’re very excited that Josh is going to speak. I’m interested in why it was important for you to have Josh involved. What are you hoping that he’s going to bring to the conversation with the rest of the Pythian universe? It’s the making-it-real conversation. The value of C2C is to say, well, I want to have conversations with my peers. I want to network within the community, and Josh in effect is representing the community in that room. I want to be able to take what we just heard and say making it real means of the eight things we heard, four things are way more important than they might have suggested, and these four things are the ones that are going to contribute the most to changing the value of the CIO, changing the value of IT, shifting IT from being an order-taker to a value provider. That’s the real-time feedback we want to provide to the crowd, and then when we say, “Okay, here’s the four that we think will provide the most value,” let’s then take that conversation to the next step and say, “How does it feel for you, individual CIO?” There’s going to be a session with Josh, and then there’s also going to be a session that you’re leading, which is about your wins and lessons of the past year. It’s interesting to me that at a watch party for Next you’re making the point of taking time to look back and assess what’s really worked up to this point. Why that choice? Why last as well as Next? Because so much of what happened this year affects my strategy for next year. And the biggest, of course, is talent. I lost a decent amount of talent. I am trying to innovate, which requires new skill sets. What am I going to do to acquire or upscale or rescale the talent that I have in order to implement what we just heard? So give me a sense of what capabilities you have, or that you missed. Give me a sense of the value you produced within cloud that you didn’t think you achieved the goal on. Let me get a sense of the investment you want to do in analytics, where it might provide value to you in 2023. Because arguably 2022 was a growth year. It was not unlike in sports. It’s preparing for the championship in the following year. Nobody was winning awards in 2022, because of all those macroeconomic impacts, but now that you’ve prepared for that, where are the banners coming from in 2023? So the wins from last year were preparation for wins in the coming year. Exactly. Do you have any parting thoughts before we leave? I think it’s going to be a great event, personally. I think we’re going to have a lot of people, and the big thing we added to the end was “Birds of a feather” tables. What we really want to do is have people come together not necessarily on tech. While there might be a couple tech tables, industry I think is going to be way more interesting. Let’s get a couple retail together, a couple banking together, a couple manufacturing together. Let’s talk about what we heard and how it impacts us as an industry. And yes, if you want to know a little bit more about BigQuery, that conversation will also occur. It’s a good mix in the room. We’re going to see executives and practitioners and partners and middle ground. I think everybody’s going to be in there, which I think will make for a fun event. Extra Credit:  

Categories:Google Cloud NewsGoogle Cloud Partners

Building for Scalability, Block by Block: An Interview with Carrefour Links CTO Mehdi Labassi

When I ask Mehdi Labassi (@Mehdi_Labassi), CTO of Carrefour Links, what he does outside of work, the first thing he mentions is his family. Mehdi spends a lot of his free time playing with his kids. Sometimes they play video games on Nintendo Switch, but they also enjoy hands-on activities like building with Legos. Lego is a popular interest among tech practitioners building products on Google Cloud––after all, the four letters in “Lego” can also be used to spell “Google.” This connection turns out to be a fitting point of departure for an examination of Mehdi’s journey to a decision-making role on the technical team at Carrefour Links.Mehdi began his career as a software engineer, working first in air travel and then moving on to Orange, “the one major telco in France.” At Orange, Mehdi led the company’s Google Cloud skills center and took part in a major migration to Google Cloud from a historically on-premises infrastructure. “We had a really strong on-prem culture, so we had our own data centers, our own Hadoop clusters with thousands of machines, and the shift to cloud-based services was not something natural,” he says. “There was a lot of resistance, and we needed to really show that this gives us something.”Proving the value of the Cloud to a historically on-prem organization required zeroing in on a specific technical limitation of the existing infrastructure: “As I was driving the big data platforms and the recommendations, I do remember we had a lot of issues in terms of scalability.” Google Cloud turned out to be the perfect solution to this problem. “Then we tried the Cloud, and we found that instant scalability,” says Mehdi. “That’s another level compared to what we had on prem, so this is really the proof by experimentation.” “You assemble and program the thing, and then you need to understand how each brick works.” When Carrefour introduced Carrefour Links, its cloud-hosted retail media and performance platform, in Spring of 2021, Mehdi was immediately interested in getting involved. He reached out directly to the executive team and joined as CTO three months after the company declared the platform. “I joined when the thing just got in production, the first version, the V1. That was kind of a proof of concept,” Mehdi says. In the time since––only a little over a year––the venture has grown considerably: “We have a lot more data from different verticals, everything that’s related to transactions, to the supply chain ecosystem, to finance, a lot more insights, and we are exploring machine learning, AI use cases… so we are scaling even in terms of use cases.”Even a fast-growing platform run on Google Cloud, however, will encounter challenges as it continues to scale. “The first thing is the ability to scale while keeping FinOps under control,” Mehdi says. As he sees it, this is a matter of “internal optimization,” something he believes Carrefour Links handles particularly well. “The second thing is how to provide what I call a premium data experience for our customers, because we are dealing with petabyte-scale pipelines on a daily basis, and however the end user connects to our data solutions, we want him to have instantaneous insights,” he adds. “We leverage some assets and technologies that are provided by Google Cloud to do this.”These are challenges any technical professional managing products or resources on the cloud is likely to face. Overcoming these challenges is also what makes new solutions on the cloud possible. What competencies do IT professionals need to be able to overcome these challenges and pursue these solutions? According to Mehdi, “a good engineer working on the cloud, with this plethora of tools, he needs to be good at Lego.” Mindstorms, Lego’s line of programmable robots, he explains, require a lot of the same skills to build as machines and systems hosted on the cloud. “You assemble and program the thing, and then you need to understand how each brick works,” he says. “I really find a lot of similarities between these activities and what we are doing in our day job.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:InfrastructureIndustry SolutionsDatabasesRetail