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 (
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.”
Moments 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 (
Watch the full Google Cloud Next ‘22 keynote address below: