Before Bryan Phillips, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Telus International, arrived at the executive dinner for speakers at the 2023 C2C Global Cloud Adoption Summit in Toronto, Canada, he had hit a wall trying to enlist Google’s support in resolving challenges related to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). At dinner, he was seated alongside SADA Associate CTO of Security Mike Laramie. When Bryan shared some of the technology he’s working on at Telus and the roadblocks he’s encountered, Mike surprised him. “You know what, Bry,” he said, “I think we can have a conversation and further this along, but I may have a solution for you.”
“This is something we’ve been trying to track down for a while, and not having the support that we were hoping to get from Google. No slight to Google on this one, but it just wasn’t far enough up the apple tree to get the awareness that we needed. Now I’m able to talk to a community member and get experiences in what they do, and how they’ve overcome things,” Bryan says. “After the dinner the following day we pretty much hung out together and continued the conversation.”
At the event itself, Bryan and Mike took part in a daylong interactive program featuring a diverse roster of C2C partners and some of Google Cloud’s biggest customers in Canada, where cloud itself is Google’s number one product area. The full program included a robust partner panel exploring industry perspectives on cloud security and unique customer solutions, a discussion about organizational change in a time of industry correction with Deloitte, and a customer panel and keynote interview with Google Principal Developer Advocate Kelsey Hightower.
“Kelsey’s keynote and his engagement into this event was really worth its weight in gold. His insights, his experience, the way that he approaches things, it was fundamental,” says Bryan. “We tend to overthink, and we end up either pricing ourselves out of the equation or we make things way more complicated than they need to be, so listening to his methodology and his approach to how he looks at problems was really, really enlightening.”
“The sense of the word community is something I experienced firsthand at this C2C event.”
Bryan joined the event to participate in a session on RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology with C2C partner Automation Anywhere. Networking afterward, Bryan was able to share some ideas with Islay Wright, Director of BI Product Management at Lightspeed. “They’re a small company compared to the massive amount of geography and customers they support, and so automation is really in their wheelhouse,” Bryan explains. “We talk a lot around the managed service opportunities that we can bring to the table, and being in North America, we could even put a team onsite for them if they wanted us to. With all the technology in the cloud, we could easily manage them from anywhere.”
As usual for a C2C event, this new connection was just one of many for the guests onsite. Bryan’s sales team started promising conversations with several new customer contacts. For other attendees who showed up just to hear Kelsey speak, new business opportunities were an unexpected benefit. Stefan Kolesnikowicz, Principal Site Reliability Engineer at Achievers, was pleased to meet current clients Bell and ScotiaBank, and to get firsthand feedback from customers who use his tool.
“At this event, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I felt like I could reach out to the community members that were there and share the experiences that we have, whether they’re positive, negative, and literally get feedback,” Bryan says. “There was no NDA signed. We could speak freely knowing that we’re not there to steal each other’s business or take our customers away from each other. The sense of the word community and being in a safe environment is something I experienced firsthand at this C2C event.”