C2C Monthly Recap: June 2022
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Personal development and professional development are among the hottest topics within our community. At C2C, we’re passionate about helping Google Cloud users grow in their careers. This article is part of a larger collection of Google Cloud certification path resources.Get to Know the Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification was originally published on C2C in October, 2021. This updated infographic reflects the exam revisions going into effect this Wednesday, January 26.Google introduced the Cloud Digital Leader exam in June 2021. Not even a full year after its release, the foundational-level certification was deemed eligible for a refresh. The initial release outlined three key areas of focus: general cloud knowledge, Google Cloud knowledge, and Google Cloud products and services.What, then, are the major differences to expect between that version and this update? Most notably, there’s a shift from defining the “what” of general cloud knowledge to explaining the “why” in terms of specific business drivers for using Google Cloud in new adoptions and digital transformation. You should still be able to define basic cloud technologies. The full exam guide has been updated to reflect evolving solution-area priorities for Google Cloud’s place in the cloud technology landscape, including an unsurprising expansion to dedicate full 30% sections to:Google Cloud data, AI, and ML solutions Infrastructure and application modernization Google Cloud security and operations toolsThe new exam guide makes no mention of compliance, resource hierarchies, geographical segmentation, support options, data pipelines, workload migration, or on-premises networking, all of which occupied entire subsections in the original guide. View image as a full-scale PDF here. Looking for information about a different Google Cloud certification? Check out the directory in the Google Cloud Certifications Overview. Extra CreditGoogle Cloud’s certification page: Cloud Digital Leader Example questions Exam guide Coursera: Google Cloud Digital Leader Training Professional Certificate Pluralsight: Google Cloud Digital Leader TrainingHave more questions?We’re sure you do! Join C2C staff and community members on Tuesday, Jan. 25 for an open discussion with Mattias Andersson, a Senior Community Training Architect at A Cloud Guru / Pluralsight.
On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, C2C hosted its first Google Cloud Startup roundtable event. This series, organized and planned specifically for representatives from startups looking to grow their businesses, brings these representatives together with Google Cloud Customer Engineers, Technical Specialists, and Startup Success Managers to lead discussions and answer questions on hot topics in the startup space. The first roundtable included group sessions for business leaders and technical staff as well as a Customer Engineer AMA, all exploring artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and the potential uses of each for startup businesses as they form and begin to scale.After welcoming guests and introducing the Google staffers on the call, the event’s organizers invited attendees to join breakout rooms based on whether they had come with technical or business questions to discuss. These breakout rooms were not recorded, but C2C North America Community Manager Alfons Muñoz joined the technical discussion.In this breakout room, startup founders from 86 Repair and Auralab brought their questions directly to Google’s customer engineers. According to Muñoz, “They were stating their problems or projects and getting an overview of how to approach these problems...and they had more than one overview, because we had more than one customer engineer, so they had more than one point of view. They also were encouraged to get in the community.”Most of this event’s ninety minutes were spent in the breakout rooms, but after about an hour, the groups came together again for an AMA with all of the customer engineers on the call. In this session, the visiting startup founders revisited the topic that had dominated the conversations in the breakout rooms: data. In order to use ML effectively, an organization needs a platform that can store, host, and manage data reliably.Google’s Deok Filho offered a canny on-the-spot breakdown of the relative advantages and disadvantages of integrating different Google and third-party data management tools with BigQuery, bringing in Mike Walker to field follow-up questions from Ben Collins of Auralab and Daniel Zivkovic, founder and curator of Serverless Toronto, along the way. Check out a clip of the conversation below:According to Muñoz, in terms of connecting guests to the right Google staffers and getting their questions answered, this event was a success, but, in his words, “it’s important to note that this is the first of many roundtables.” Look for more of these events for startup founders in 2022, including the next AI and ML roundtable in January:
In technology, innovation means advancement. How do organizations working to advance technology innovate internally to better pursue their goals? Episode #39 of That Digital Show, a Google Cloud business podcast about growing value in the digital space, is a masterclass in Organizational Transformation with hosts Chris Hood and Natalie Piucco and guest Tanushree Gupta, Head of Digital Transformation for EMEA at Google Cloud. The episode is the first in a Digital Master Class series designed to open-source Google’s innovation processes. In advance of our C2C Talks event featuring Chris Hood, we’re sharing the episode with a summary of some of the key points we’ll break down in the discussion.In the episode, Gupta and the hosts explore six tenets of change:Talent: How do you build your team? Strategy: How do you build your organization for action, testing, and rapid iteration? Structure: How do you design structures that embrace change? Environment: How do you create an environment that encourages ideas and creativity? Empowerment: How do you create an environment to empower employees? Innovation: How do you design your organization to build continuously?After Gupta provides some background on each, Hood brings up the point that although innovation often refers to technology, these tenets are designed to innovate company culture. With this in mind, he asks how Google finds a balance between technological and cultural change. Gupta allows that there is no direct answer to this question, but insists that the two are equally important. A key question in her mind is: How do you help the people you serve understand technology?Next, Hood and Piucco work with Gupta to drill down deeper into some of the six tenets, starting with talent. For Gupta, nurturing talent requires creating the opportunity to celebrate meaningful projects. Hood adds that at Google, hiring starts before the prospective employee is contacted, with building the appropriate cultural foundation before the hiring process begins. On empowerment, Gupta notes that “Innovation is not an exclusive realm of a few naturally talented people,” and asks, “What would happen if you gave every employee the license to innovate?” Piucco offers the research finding that meaning is critical to high-performing teams. Employees work better and feel better about their work when they know and believe in what their organization is doing.To wrap up, Hood asks Gupta to list three recommendations leaders can use to transform their company culture. She is to quick to respond with the following:Encourage a collaborative and open work environment. Pay very close attention to what your talent process looks like. Foster an environment that will create innovation.Do these tenets reflect your organization’s culture? Do you want to do more to make sure they do? Join us at 2 PM on Thursday, October 21 to continue this conversation with Chris Hood. Bring your questions!
We hope each and every one of our members had the opportunity to catch at least one of the hundreds of sessions hosted at this year’s Google Cloud Next. Even those who attended all three days, however, had to make hard choices about which events to attend and which to skip. Luckily, one of the advantages of an online conference is the opportunity to revisit the entire program on demand.If you want to catch up on some of the programming you missed this week, head over to the Google Cloud Next website to explore the catalog, get to know the speakers, and sample playlists of the programming content curated by Google Cloud experts. Or, if you want to watch the highlights, you can stream days 1 and 2, including the keynote addresses, on YouTube, or view them both below! ASL versions of both streams are also available in the video descriptions. Did you attend any of this week’s events? Which ones? Which events were your favorites? Reach out and let us know!
We are so excited to partner with Google Cloud on a research project testing and improving the performance of software delivery teams in a live C2C Talks event on June 9 and discussion on the results on June 23.Read on to learn more about the survey and how C2C community members can get involved. What’s the survey about? DORA's State of DevOps research program represents six years of research and data from over 31,000 professionals worldwide. It is the longest-running academically rigorous research investigation of its kind, providing an independent view into the practices and capabilities that drive high performance in technology delivery and ultimately organizational outcomes. Our research uses behavioral science to identify the most effective and efficient ways to develop and deliver software.Use our quick check tool to discover how you compare to industry peers, identify specific capabilities you can use to improve performance and make progress toward becoming an elite performer.Google Cloud and the DORA research launched the 2021 State of DevOps survey this week. The survey takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, and we are looking for C2C Community members to participate. Why do our answers matter? Your answers will allow the Google Cloud DORA team to understand better the practices that teams are employing to improve software delivery performance and, in turn, generate powerful business outcomes. Tell me more about the DevOps report, please. The State of DevOps report provides an independent view into the practices and capabilities that organizations can employ to drive better performance irrespective of their size, industry, and region. Like the past six research reports, the goal this year is to perform detailed analysis to help various teams benchmark their performance against the industry as elite, high, medium, or low performers. We also look to show specific strategies that teams can employ to improve their performance. The table below highlights elite, high, medium, and low performers at a glance from the last report.Achieving elite performance is a team endeavor, and diverse, inclusive teams drive the best performance. Likewise, the research program benefits from the participation of a diverse group of people. Please help us encourage more voices by sharing this survey with your network, especially with your colleagues from underrepresented parts of our industry. The survey is for everyone, regardless of where you are on your DevOps journey, the size of your organization, or your organization's industry. There are no right or wrong answers; in fact, we often hear feedback that questions in the survey prompt ideas for improvement. Also, you can put many of the ideas into practice immediately. Some of the key topics we look to deep dive into this year include: Metrics and Measurement: Practices employed by high performing teams SRE and DevOps: How do they fit together and how they impact performance How to best integrate security & compliance as a part of your app development The impact of cloud, monitoring & observability, open-source, and documentation on performance Distributed teams: Practices to improve work/life balance and reduce burnout The state of multi-cloud computing How can I get involved? We’re looking for one C2C Community member to take the survey like with the DORA team on June 9. You’ll need to meet the criteria noted below to be considered and will be selected by C2C on May 27. The advance notice is to allow you and your teams to prepare and answer any preliminary questions.Feel free to reach out to Sabina@c2cglobal.com with your interest, or comment below. Criteria for consideration: You are open to having your team’s performance shared in a live C2C Talks event. You can attend the follow-on discussion on June 23 to share and discuss your results. You’re open to participating in a case study with Google Cloud after June 23.Final Thoughts For those interested in the data but not eager to participate in the live event or being considered, you can check it out on your own. The survey will remain open until midnight PST on June 11, 2021. Stay tuned to our Events page for registration to both C2C Talks events.
On February 24, Google Cloud introduced GKE Autopilot, a revolutionary mode of operations for managed Kubernetes that lets you focus on your software, while GKE Autopilot manages the infrastructure.With the launch of GKE Autopilot, you can now choose from two different modes of operation in Google cloud, each with your own level of control over your GKE clusters and the relative responsibilities related to GKE. Autopilot represents a significant leap forward by automatically applying industry best practices and eliminating all node management operations, maximizing your cluster efficiency and helping to provide a stronger security posture.Related links:Autopilot overview | Kubernetes Engine Documentation Introducing GKE Autopilot | Google Cloud Blog Google Cloud puts its Kubernetes Engine on autopilot Google Makes Kubernetes Invisible In The Cloud With GKE AutopilotRelated Videos: Tell us what you think in the comments:What are your thoughts?Have you tried it?Tips, tricks?What’s been the experience?Anything helpful we should know?
Leadership, change management, and Google Cloud go-to-market strategy, the first C2C Navigator of the year with Bob Evans, creator of Cloud Wars Media, gave members answers to the hottest topics informing tomorrow’s decision-making. The Cloud Wars Top 10 Reports demonstrate the radiant success Goole Cloud is shining on the cloud ecosystem. Now in the Top 3, Evans and Sabina Bhasin(@ContentSabina) discussed what Google Cloud is doing right and where they will be going in 2021 and beyond. Key Discussion Points:Google Cloud regional strategies and localization tactics Lessons on agility and pivoting when it matters most Three things that organizations can do to ensure a smooth transition to digitization Losing to win — why the $5.06B is excellent news. The power and purpose behind hearing and responding to the “voice of the customer” and why the C2C community winsCommunity Questions Answered: How do the company leaders react when you move them down the list? With the advent of the cloud, how important are skills in a specific vertical (such as healthcare) when it comes to looking for cloud architect positions? What are some of the key elements that cloud leaders need to put into place today in order to be at the top of the list three years from now? After talking with CEOs and their leadership teams over this past year, what is the number 1 thing you were most surprised about that was on their agenda? Watch the full conversation here: Stay tuned for a full breakdown of the key moments from this discussion, including video clips and resources. Coming soon!
It began as a LinkedIn post about the Top 20 Workspace features of 2020. The post and conversation got our attention and a bounty of other Workspacers, so we scheduled a C2C Talk to hash it out; after all, a top 20 list can only have 20 features. Here’s what you missed from @ChristianNewman of Rise Digital, a Google Cloud partner, and his C2C Talk on Top 20 Workspace Features of 2020, which he co-hosted with C2C members @Jesse Nowlin, @PaulRLees, @chanelgreco, and Steve Larsen (@larsen161). With Lees and Greco in Europe and Newman in Canada, the panel brought a global perspective to the conversation. 5 Key Themes Drove Workspace Success in 2020 Driven to help companies become more productive, Newman’s last project at Telus came 18 years from his first day, and it was to lead the transformation to G Suite/Workspace. As a result, Telus, which recently formed a strategic alliance with Google Cloud, became more agile and improved global collaboration and productivity from Vancouver to Manila. “Simply put, they had this access to the same information at the same time as anyone else for the very first time in their careers,” Newman told a virtual crowd of 30 people. “And I thought that was something very special, and that the world needed a lot more, so here I am today, helping businesses do just that.” So, here are his five themes based on his experience. First, Google’s efforts to make a smoother transition to Google Workspace were pivotal. Making the compatibility with Microsoft Office much more manageable by adding functionality to improve efficiency, like in-email communication, they thought about the end user each step. Hear Newman explain the other ways Google Cloud created a smoother transition. Second is the addition of AI and ML permeating the entire platform. For example, search chips in Gmail and a more intelligent Google Drive, even smart reply, Workspace focused on productivity and making the users’ lives easier. Third, the add-ons and integrations make Google Workspace extensible and allow this product to become central to all other tools and products customers rely upon each day, including educators. Hear Newman explain more and his favorites. Fourth, Google embraced the sudden pivot to remote work or school and created integrations with Google Meet. The ability to change the background, auto layout, and tiled view moved the experience forward. Finally, an integrated workspace brings it all together. “You can just focus on moving your work forward and getting things done so that you can do what you do better,” Newman said to an attentive crowd ready to share their points of view. Features for Me, and You Inclusivity was not just the theme socially but also within Workspace, and it’s a favorite of Chanel Greco, CEO of Saperis and creator behind YouTube videos about the fundamentals of Workspace for end users. Greco also added that she likes the polls feature as it makes the entire conversation more interactive; the panel and the attendees agreed. “At the end of the day, no matter what we're working on, it's all about people, right? People are at the center of everything that we do,” Newman said. “So, if we can find a way to bring them into the conversation and be able to learn more about them, then it's just going to make for a better end product, and they enable us all to do whatever we do better. And if technology and Google workspace can help us to do that, then I'm game for it.” Some other ways Workspace is responding to their customers is through the Google contacts sidebar tool. “Not only can I very quickly inside of my Gmail or other screens see details about the user and their contact information and things like that, but also the history or recent interactions that I've had with them through files and things like that, too,” Newman said. “I think that's been really helpful to me—this whole idea of integrating between the various apps of Google Workspace.” And that’s just how Google intended its products to be used, according to Jesse Nowlin, a fixture in the C2C community and CIO at Westland Real Estate Group. “I think that the unified Gmail interface is really just Google,” Nowlin said. “They are really leaning into the whole experience of living in Google, you use all their tools, and making it amazingly easy just to utilize all of that.” Hybrid Work Futures But, this concept of meeting improvement raises a fascinating point. The Harvard Business Review ran a fascinating article around our working futures’ hybridity. This discussion raises an interesting question about how the future of work will look; primarily, we think about it through the lens of collaboration and productivity. If the meeting experience is improved through features like raising hands, polls, the infinite AI tools, or even the contact tool, what happens when we don’t use them anymore? How will we function in the future when we return to the office or a hybrid environment? How will we function in the future when we return to the office or a hybrid environment? Will they be as productive? Will the quieter team members speak up in an in-person setting? Will business move as well as it is now? We will have a great discussion exploring these questions and more in April with Kelly Ducourty from Google. Stay with C2C for more details as they become available. What’s Next for Workspace? We started collecting your ideas in our post here, but the group also discussed what they think is on the functional road map and what they’re not certain Workspace will pull off in the next year. The main ask? To get the technology out of the way, so end users can focus on the work. So far, Workspace has responded by making it easier to access all its apps. One example is the Google File Stream for the desktop. “It will bring that and the other tools together, which they sort of worked around by installing another tool from Google called backup, and sync on the same machine,” Newman said. IT makes it so people can get access to what they want when they want.” Nowlin shared improvements and future enhancements on Google Voice. See below. Newman also predicts that Workspace will incorporate more AI and ML learnings, as he explains in the clip below. Fintan Murphy, CEO of Damson Cloud, a Google Cloud partner, weighed in on the discussion, adding that Google needs to develop an employee engagement system to ascertain employee satisfaction and ensure social-emotional engagement as you would in a normal office setting. Check out his reasoning in the clip below. As the panel discussed, the chat was abuzz from attendees sharing their predictions and wants for Google Workspace. Check them out below. What do you have to add to the list? Reporting and analytics Numbered headings in Google Docs for scientific articles Custom fonts for Google Slides Improvements on assigning within Workspace apps Focus on Google tasks, making it easier to stay organized Adding tabs to Google Chat that is similar to Microsoft Teams, such as Files Project management boards Improved cloud search Mixing landscape/portrait in Google Docs Improve closed captioning on Google Meet when speakers have accents Calendering across Google Calendar and Outlook Automation of user management Public livestreaming on Meet Reminder app Extra Credit Resources shared through the talk are available below: Search Meet Solution Engineering, a workaround for livestreams on Meet Cloud Search as a Custom Search Engine Workspace Admins Shared Drive by Steve Larsen
To be in tech is to know Bob Evans and Cloud Wars. Whether a cloud giant like Google Cloud is churning out news around innovation, or simply about how they are helping companies thrive in today's digital economy, Evans is on it.Cloud Wars brings the human element into the cloud with incisive insights and clever conversation, and it connects the business drivers to the rapidly iterating cloud products world.“I have always been more interested in the business innovation side rather than the pure technology side itself,” Evans said, donning the work-from-home uniform so many of us have embraced: a zip-up sweatshirt.So 10 years ago, he made it happen by joining SAP managing strategic communications. Soon he was recruited to Oracle, where after five years as its chief communications officer, Evans made the leap and started Cloud Wars Media, looking at the most influential cloud vendors in the world. “One of the things that I try to focus on that I think is different is I try to get out of the Silicon Valley bubble,” Evans said. “I try to bring up customer business and perspective.”Over the past three years or so, cloud vendors are experiencing a significant boom in interest necessity. They are now responding by actively and aggressively mapping solutions to what the customers want. “There’s been a big switch there, and I think that's something that Cloud Wars does,” Evans said. “I think we try to look at it more from the customer in, rather from the vendor side out.”On March 2, Evans will join a C2C Navigators conversation without the jargon and the industry lingo. Our topic centers around winning cloud-native customers through culture and leadership; you can register for it here. We’ll discuss his renowned Top 10 Vendors List and why Google Cloud leapfrogged Salesforce. What are they doing right? What could they do better? We’ll also discuss the importance of customer experience, the landscape holistically, and lessons learned from his recent interviews with the CEOs heading up the companies fighting for the top spot on his list, including Google Cloud’s Thomas Kurian.One lesson: Listen to what your customer wants; after all, there’s plenty of room for co-creation and co-innovation between the customer and Google Cloud.“Google is learning,” Evans said, reflecting on his conversation with Kurian. “If you take a look at Google Cloud’s results, they've become by far the fastest-growing major cloud vendor in the world. They're growing 50% faster than Microsoft, 50% more quickly than Amazon. The big lesson that [Kurian] brought in a couple of years ago is to be customer-centric and understand what the customers want.”Google is also responding to the industry need by building a mighty salesforce; we recently learned they marked $5.6 billion in losses, but it’s actually a good thing, according to Evans. “In the two years since Thomas Kurian has been CEO of Google Cloud, investment in the company has surged, revenue is up 124%, but the loss is up only 29%,” Evans wrote.He then provided four more reasons, and we’ll explore all of this too in our upcoming C2C Navigators conversation.Our talk will also cover what Google Cloud is doing right and where the industry will be going.“One of the things that I think will be if not the biggest trend—new trend and high-impact trend in 2021—is going to be industry-specific solutions, industry clouds,” Evans said. Recent announcements from Google center on its Workspace product and specifically focus on Google Meet and necessary features and functionalities in a classroom setting. Finally, Evans has three critical things for attendees to keep in mind before attending the talk on March 2. We are looking forward to seeing you and sharing your questions with Bob on March 2!
In October C2C hosted a Deep Dive with Product Managers, Data and Analytics Chad Jennings and Robert Saxby entitled What's New in BigQuery, Google Cloud's Modern Data Warehouse. Jennings and Saxby took C2C members though the BigQuery product roadmap and provided use cases relating to efficiency and security. Watch the full Deep Dive below, and you can access the slides shown here.
C2C invited Google Cloud’s VP and Global Head of Solutions Engineering Hamidou Dia to discuss building a carbon-free future. The topic is timely considering the mid-September announcement from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who laid out the company’s ambitious goals as it heads into its third decade of climate action.“The science is clear,” he said. “We have until 2030 to chart a sustainable course for our planet or face the worst consequences of climate change. Sustainability has been a core issue for us since Google was founded 22 years ago. And now, we are embarking on the next decade of climate action and moving the world closer to a carbon-free future for all.”Dia spoke candidly about Google’s achievements throughout the first two decades and where it's setting its goals over the next two. Watch the full interview below.
The Cockroach Labs 2021 Cloud report is dense and data-driven, but you only need to remember one piece of information: Google Cloud was ranked number one. Just kidding! But really, it’s an impressive, thoroughly researched Cloud report and it’s worth your time to give it a read.Now in its third year, the report evaluates the three big players—Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Azure—and aims to “tell a realistic and universal performance story on behalf of mission-critical online transactional processing (OLTP) applications.”C2C sat down with one of the authors, Product Manager John Kendall, to learn about what Google Cloud Platform does well. “We have no stake in any of the providers, so things surprised me throughout all the providers,” Kendall said. “But what surprised me about Google Cloud Platform was they were the only provider to not have their Extreme PD [sku] option, yet they were still able to outperform across all the benchmarks.” In terms of customer experience and support, Kendall noted how well Google Cloud Platform documented and set public expectations, calling it a “pleasant experience.” "As far as Google's competitors, Kendall noted that AWS was the most cost-effective and Azure advanced ultra disks are worth the investment,” Kendall added. Other notable points from the report include: Google Cloud Platform wins fastest processing rates on four out of four of the report’s benchmarks: network throughput, storage I/O read throughput, storage I/O write throughput, and maximum tpm throughput—a measure of throughput-per-minute (TPM) as defined by the Cockroach Labs Derivative of TPC-C. This is an improvement from ranking third in 2020. For the third year in a row, Google Cloud Platform won the network throughput benchmark, delivering nearly triple the throughput of either AWS or Azure. Notably, Google Cloud Platform’s worst-performing machine for network throughput outpaced both AWS and Azure’s best-performing machines. Google Cloud Platform’s general-purpose disk matched performance of advanced-disk offerings from AWS and Azure.A note from Cockroach Labs: “Our intention is to help our customers and any builder of OLTP applications understand the performance tradeoffs present within each cloud and within each cloud’s individual machines.”Read the full report here and then join our C2C Connect groups to discuss the findings with your peers. Extra CreditCheck out Google’s announcement from Next On-Air, introducing its Extreme PD SKU.
This article was originally published on December 1, 2020.We got to know Javier a little bit earlier, so in the Rockstar Conversation, Sean Chinski, C2C Chief Customer Officer, had a little more fun with Javier Soltero and broke the ice with some trivia. Soltero not only shared a peek into the future plans for Google Workspace, but he also shared what drives him, like his Puerto Rican heritage and serving on Grupo Guayacán, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit organization.“To come out to Silicon Valley after college and working here has been a real joy and an opportunity to bring a different perspective on products,” Soltero said. “I also hope to act as a source of inspiration and proof for a lot of people, not only Puerto Rico or other parts of Latin America, to see examples of people who were able to work on products that have such broad reach.”Hear the whole comment below.Progressing through the myriad questions provided by our engaged community, one question rose to the top:What are the upcoming features for Workspace? Currently, new features are only ideas, but they could include video, intelligence capabilities for calendaring, and more. Although Soltero didn’t have specific details to provide, he did share how he and his team are approaching enhancing the current suite of products.“Google products have a point of view,” he said. “They’re opinionated products; they bring a point of view to everything that they do. So as we look to the future, I worked with a team to say, ‘look, we have these products, they have a point of view on everything, so what are our core opinions that are true today and will be true tomorrow?’”We also wanted to know what Soltero and his team are focused on despite the pandemic altering team collaboration to strictly use online tools. What are the three primary goals for the new direction of Google Workspace? Javier and his team started developing their goals by asking themselves one question: “What did we learn these last eight months of disruption in our lives?” This is what they learned:Work is not defined by the place you go, but where it needs to happen. That has significant implications.Manage time and attention because you have competing demands. Establish and foster human connection in a world governed by video calls. The ultimate goal, he said, is about responding to the lessons learned and evolve the existing set of products in a way that is going to not only make a difference in people’s lives today but also in the future now that communication and collaboration have adapted to a remote-first environment.As the world still evolves and adapts to new norms, TikTok made the current quarantined world accessible in a fun, creative way. So we wanted to know, does Javier also have a TikTok, or will Google be building an enterprise TikTok? Okay, so maybe a Google version of TikTok isn’t in the near future, but what about other ideas for videos?Would Google Workspace enhancements feature internal audio/video end-to-end communication? “Yes, that’s an easy one. Absolutely. That was great about Hangouts, and it’s an important missing capability for us to facilitate on-demand, ad-hoc calling,” Soltero said. Soltero added that starting in Q1 and into Q2, innovation will accelerate in a responsible and deliberate manner.Hear Javier explain Google Video Calling using Google Meet and what’s coming next.As Soltero works on figuring out the future of collaboration and the suite of tools that will make Google Workspace indispensable. What is the early reaction to Google Workspace?Our community was curious about how well Workspace is resonating with the Google Cloud and G Suite long-haulers. “It’s hard to frame in terms of conversions,” he said. “We’re taking our entire customer base through the transition. So everyone is moving to Workspace, and the feedback we’ve gotten is positive.”But that doesn’t mean Soltero and the team are resting on their laurels, reaping the benefits of positive feedback. He is mindful of the lift change brings to support teams. Speaking of support teams, they often get peppered with questions about creating personalized workflows or workspaces. So our community wanted to know, are there any plans for low-code development or personalization tools? “Sure, one of the most obvious points here is AppSheet, which is a recent acquisition from Google Cloud, and we’re working with the team to develop a low-code, no-code experience,” he said.Soltero also discussed how being remote curtailed collaboration since he relies on whiteboards to paint ideas, but in the current remote environment, he uses Jamboard and Chat to stay connected. He further described how he personalized his workspace and Workspace. Soltero even shared how he personalized his workspace and Workspace. Personalization comes up a lot when we think of certain environments, like education or medicine. Google Workspace, as Soltero explained, is working to evolve its suite of products and services toward improving productivity, regardless of verticals, in two ways: Human connection: Before you get to the industry, you have to truly satisfy the need for accessibility and reach of communications and collaboration. Level of prescriptive buildout: The art of building the products correctly is to have the right set of strong opinions about the right things. Soltero illustrates his two points by discussing email in the clip below. Unfortunately, the conversation quickly ran out of time, but Javier left us with a closing remark.“Hit me up on TikTok!,” he joked. “No, thank you for being our customers and our fans and our critics, keeping us honest and pushing us to do better work.”
This article was originally published on November 5, 2020.C2C invited Google Cloud’s VP and Global Head of Solutions Engineering Hamidou Dia to discuss building a carbon-free future. The topic is timely considering the mid-September announcement from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who laid out the company’s ambitious goals as it heads into its third decade of climate action.“The science is clear,” he said. “We have until 2030 to chart a sustainable course for our planet or face the worst consequences of climate change. Sustainability has been a core issue for us since Google was founded 22 years ago. And now, we are embarking on the next decade of climate action and moving the world closer to a carbon-free future for all.”Dia spoke candidly about Google’s achievements throughout the first two decades and where it's setting its goals over the next two. Here are three takeaways from the conversation that took place. Google Has a Track Record with Climate Action Google has always maintained that in 2007 it became the first major company to become carbon neutral, and that a decade later, it was the first major company to match its energy use with 100% renewable energy. In fact, Pichai has stated, “We operate the cleanest global cloud in the industry, and we’re the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.” Dia added that in the beginning, Google was very focused on reducing its environmental impact, “first by increasing our energy efficiency, and then by offsetting the carbon that we emit to our operation.” The company did this by improving the energy efficiency of its data centers and servers so that they were twice as efficient as the industry average. “In the second decade of operation the focus was placed on expanding access to renewable energy,” Dia added. As Google looks to the third decade of action, it plans to go further to help build a carbon-free future for everyone by eliminating its entire carbon legacy, committing to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all its data centers and campuses, investing in technologies to help its partners and customers make more sustainable choices, and generating more than 20,000 new jobs in clean energy and associated industries. “The biggest focus is on customers and partners,” Dia said. “If we are helping you move your services and workload to the cloud, we can today help you calculate the carbon footprint of those workloads.” How a Move to the Cloud Helps Customers Reduce Their Carbon FootprintThere is no doubt that there is an increase of customers moving to the cloud, which could be a direct result of more organizations looking to accelerate their digital transformations. But a move to the cloud could also significantly affect an organization's carbon footprint for the positive. As part of his value engineering organization, Dia has a team dedicated to helping customers conduct a sustainability assessment of its IT operations. After the assessment is complete, they provide customers a blueprint for how to reduce their carbon emissions. “What’s important here,” he noted, “is that within an organization’s digital transformation program they include a sustainability team.” He suggested that the team include stakeholders who understand how workloads on the cloud affect emissions and, ultimately, an organization’s carbon footprint. Dia provided an example. “We worked with UPS and looked at the millions of miles a truck drives to deliver packages to consumers. We created algorithms to optimize the trucking route, and now UPS saves $400 million a year by having reduced fuel consumption by 10 million gallons a year.” Dia pointed to the fact that customers not only benefit from the fact Google Cloud is one of the cleanest in the industry, but also from the fact that he and his team can go further by working with them and looking at their core business processes to help them reduce their carbon footprints. Small Organizations Have Big Impacts, TooIt’s one thing to discuss how bigger organizations like Google can make an impact by reducing their carbon footprints—or even how they can navigate the project. But what about the smaller organizations? C2C asked Dia what motivation or advice he can give smaller companies about their efforts and in how to make the best decisions for the biggest impact.“The key for any organization,” Dia stated, “is to look at digital transformation and sustainability, and to bring the two together early in the process. Make sure sustainability is at the heart of the project.” Aside from making sure to include sustainability in every business process, Dia encouraged everyone to leverage technology from partners such as Google and lean on the resources made available.He discussed a project Google Cloud did in partnership with National Geographic. “We worked with them in moving their iconic photo archive to Google Cloud,” he said. “It was a relatively small workload—a 20TB Java application—that enabled explorers and photographers to store and license their photographs.” After analyzing the carbon emission impact of moving that application to Google Cloud, Dia said it was almost a reduction of 17,000 kilograms of CO2 per year. “Moving them to Google Cloud was equivalent to not burning 18,000 pounds of coal,” he stated. Even small projects can have big impacts. AI Isn’t Eating up the EnergyAs AI and ML become increasingly more a part of business processes, the question came up if there are concerns about energy consumption of AI development and processing. Dia cited a recent industry study that shows that while the amount of computing done in data centers increased by about 550% between 2010 and 2018, the amount of energy consumed by data centers only grew by 6% during the same period. “So, while data centers now power more applications for more people than ever before, they still account for about 1% of global electricity consumption.”He noted that Google now delivers seven times as much computing power with the same amount of electricity. “There is a lot of talk about AI machines using electricity, but it is significantly less consumption, not to mention we generate significantly more value.”Ultimately, on whether he was concerned about AI being an issue when it comes to emissions, Dia was clear that the numbers don’t support the claims. “The value we get from AI far outweigh the concerns or costs of emissions. Albeit a great question, the key is to always look for the balance.” The Carbon-Free Future and the Moonshot to Get ThereGoogle has committed to quite a bit as it heads into decade three of carbon action. Dia outlined the company’s priorities and how it plans to get there. He even discussed a little bit about what could possibly be in store for the next decade after that.He noted the importance of looking at this from multiple angles—both from a technology perspective and from a transactional perspective. “In working with cloud customers of all sizes,” he noted, “we really want to invest in technology that will allow us to drive change and improve operational efficiency, but also, we want to focus on getting clean energy in the system.” He added, “That can happen by purchasing clean energy, executing more transactions, partnering with the ecosystem, and building on the renewable energy project.” The other part of this process is to focus on policy. “We're going to actively be involved in policies with partners that have a significant impact on the climate,” he said. As the company gets working on this decade’s road map, Dia said, “I’m just so proud of what we’re doing. To be able to run our entire Google footprint 24/7 carbon-free across the entire supply chain is going to be phenomenal.” As for what’s in store for the following decade, Dia said, “Once we’ve achieved that, the next goal will be to help organizations around the world tap into our technology and our learnings and follow suit.”
This article was originally published on October 19.In mid-September 2020, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a special announcement: He laid out the company’s numerous past accomplishments and an ambitious to-do list over the next 10 years. This wasn’t about cloud-computing strategy, quarterly results, or new product development, however. Pichai was, in fact, talking about taking action on climate change. “The science is clear: The world must act now if we’re going to avert the worst consequences of climate change,” he stated. “We are committed to doing our part.”You can read more about Google’s accomplishments and goals for the future, which Pichai explains in a blog post and video, but the net-net is this: The elimination of Google’s carbon legacy, and details on how the company is going to operate on carbon-free energy by 2030.“This is our biggest sustainability moonshot yet, with enormous practical and technical complexity,” Pichai stated. “We are the first major company that's set out to do this, and we aim to be the first to achieve it.”What Does This Mean for Customers?Whether you’re running your SAP workloads on Google Cloud, using Workspace (formerly G Suite) to get your job done, or plotting your next jog via Google Maps, you’re running on the carbon-free infrastructure that Pichai noted during his announcement. But there’s a lot more to the topic, and plenty of questions have bubbled up. C2C, in fact, has captured numerous questions from customers during previous events we’ve hosted about what the Google climate-action announcement means for them, including:Do you think in the future the price for computing resources will be dictated by availability of green power sources, like wind? Does Google plan to share the best practices from the DC power efficiency project with customers and partners? Can you talk about whether there are concerns about the energy consumption of AI development and processing? And what research is being done to lessen the energy consumption?C2C is excited to announce an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of Hamidou Dia, vice president and global head of solutions engineering for Google Cloud, about building a carbon-free future. The conversation with Dia will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. ET. You can register here and also submit your question for him in advance of the session.The stakes couldn’t be higher for every single one of us, and for its part, Google is offering a blueprint for others to follow.
This article was originally published on October 8, 2020.Google announced the rebranding and fresh redesign of the G Suite this week. The new name? Google Workspace, a timely, smart, and ambitious reimagination of what the company says is the result of “work itself transforming in unprecedented ways.”Javier Soltero, VP and GM of Google Workspace, described the new platform as “everything you need to get anything done, now in one place. Google Workspace includes all of the productivity apps you know and love—Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more.”The three core elements of the change include: an integrated user experience; a new brand identity that encapsulates the vision and power of the integrated suite; and specifically targeted ways for Google’s wide range of customers to jumpstart their use of the tools.Raul Castanon, senior analyst at 451 Research / S&P Global Market Intelligence, told Computerworld that “the rebranding marks a milestone reflecting how Google has streamlined its portfolio over the past two years, bringing together products that were previously loosely integrated into a tightly unified suite.”Suite Surprise: What’s New in Workspace?Here’s a couple of examples of changes the millions of users can take advantage of right now and what Google is rolling out over the next couple of weeks.Business users can already connect with customers and partners using guest access features in both Chat and Drive. Next up, users will be able to dynamically create and collaborate on a document with guests in a Chat room. “This makes it easy to share content and directly work together with those outside your organization,” Soltero noted, “and ensure that everyone has access and visibility to the same information.”In July, Google announced Meet picture-in-picture to Gmail and Chat, “so you can actually see and hear the people you’re working with, while you’re collaborating,” Soltero pointed out. “In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out Meet picture-in-picture to Docs, Sheets, and Slides, too. This is especially powerful for customer interactions where you’re pitching a proposal or walking through a document.“Where before, you could only see the file you were presenting,” he added, “now you’ll get all those valuable nonverbal cues that come with actually seeing someone’s face.”As for initial questions and implications regarding the announcement, Soltero addressed support for third-party apps. He told The Verge that Google has “no intention of reducing support for third-party apps in Google Workspace.”So, for instance, if your team already is using a mix of Google services, Slack, Asana, Zoom, or anything else, nothing should change there, reported The Verge. “But the new integrations and promise of less tab-hopping shows that Google is hoping that more of its users will start using more of its products instead of the alternative.”You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got AnswersIn announcing Workspace, Soltero pointed to three tenets that helped drive the revamp, which should be music to users’ ears: “Simplicity, helpfulness, flexibility—these guiding principles apply both to the way people experience our products and to the way we do business.”C2C is excited to announce that Soltero will be joining one of our interactive C2C Rockstar Conversations on Nov. 19 to talk about all things Workspace. We’ll unpack the new features and functionalities, ask him about what’s coming next as the concept of “work” continues to evolve, and give you the chance to ask him your questions.You can register here for the C2C Rockstar Conversation with Soltero, and also submit your question for him in advance of the session.Soltero and Google have sizeable ambitions for Workspace, and they go far beyond integrated productivity apps.What we are all experiencing today “are unique challenges, but they also represent a significant opportunity to help people succeed in this highly distributed and increasingly digitized world,” Soltero stated in the Workspace announcement. “With the right solution in place, people are able to collaborate more easily, spend time on what matters most, and foster human connections, no matter where they are.”
This article was originally published on August 19, 2020.There has been no shortage of interesting and incisive industry profiles during the first five weeks of Google Cloud Next OnAir. The breadth and depth of the on-demand content is just right for leaders of enterprises looking for inspiration from peers and in-the-trenches know-how across several key industries.As VP of Industry Solutions Lori Mitchell-Keller noted in her welcome remarks, Google Cloud is focusing on a set of core areas to help drive business transformation for organizations in those industries. (See below.)Let’s take a closer look at some of the key industries that have been covered and what customers can take away from the compelling stories we’ve heard so far.1. Retail Is RockingSince July, we’ve heard numerous fascinating and insightful retail presentations during Google Cloud Next OnAir, as well as announcements from leading retailers that are seeking to change the status quo. We’ve heard from brand-name giants and smaller players about how they are charting their own paths during 2020 and how they’re preparing for the future.Best Buy, for example, is partnering with Google Cloud to “unify its data sources across various legacy platforms in order to develop more personalized shopping experiences for consumers,” according to ZDNet. Once the data house is in order, Best Buy is going to tap Google’s analytics, AI, and machine learning wares to create new retail services across channels.Keurig Dr Pepper is going to “shift to virtual machines running on Google Cloud by the end of 2020, retiring two data centers with more than 1,000 servers,” writes CIO Dive. The move is key for Keurig Dr Pepper’s “merger integration and modernization efforts.”Etsy did good for its business-modernization efforts and for the environment: “Etsy completed its Google Cloud migration in only two years, allowing the organization to scale both up and down as needed based on the cycles of its e-commerce business,” notes ITProPortal. “This transition enabled Etsy to be more cost-effective and set the organization up to reduce its overall energy use by a whopping 25% by 2025.”Lastly, online shopping can get much more personal—and help drive lasting customer loyalty—with Recommendations AI. Read about the topic on this post by Google Cloud’s Pallav Mehta. You can also check out a great summary of retail sessions and resources compiled by Carrie Tharp, Google Cloud VP of retail, including some helpful advice on getting ready for the holiday shopping season—which will be here before we know it.2. Financial ServicesStart your financial services deep dive with high-level conversations between Google Cloud and its customers Capital One and The Bank of New York Mellon. For the record, Google Cloud’s financial service category includes banks, capital markets, and insurance companies.Melanie Frank, managing VP of PowerUp Technology at Capital One, offers a look into its seven-year digital transformation journey, with a key focus around talent and how its employees work. Frank talks about how the company’s “work from anywhere, at any time, on any device” strategy has been hugely critical to operations during COVID-19.Sarthak Pattanaik, CIO of clearance and collateral technology at The Bank of New York Mellon, shares the financial institution’s “bi-modal” approach to technology strategy: its transaction platform, which is on-premise; and its cloud platform investments, which serves as the basis of its “innovation engine,” Sarthak said. One example: the bank is using Google Cloud Platform to predict the probability of a transaction fail, which is a huge customer service win for the bank.Another recent article involved CME Group and how the company has approached real-time data feeds. Of course, there are key constituents that need market data delivered in real time—and that’s what CME Group already does. But what about those who don’t need real-time data for, say, analysis of big sets of data? Here’s a look at CME’s offering so that its customers “can now access its delayed data, useful for analytics that don’t need more expensive real-time data, through Google Cloud,” according to Forbes.Finally, take an inside look at KeyBank’s decision-making around moving its data warehouse to the cloud. “There are some big considerations that go into making these kinds of legacy versus modern enterprise technology decisions,” writes Michael Onders, EVP chief data officer, divisional CIO, and head of enterprise architecture at KeyBank, in a blog post.3. Health Care and Life SciencesCOVID-19 has forced nearly every industry to reimagine “business,” and none more critical than health care and life sciences. Dr. John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic Platform and a practicing ER physician, shared that “COVID-19 is pushing us toward a digital-first health care delivery system” during his interview on Google Cloud Next OnAir. He went on to predict that big change will continue: “Health care will be 60% or more virtual across all modalities of delivery in this new normal.”As for managing health care data, he offered this quip: “We have too much data and not enough wisdom.”Take a deeper dive into the Mayo Clinic’s story and read how its data platform has been accelerated using BigQuery and Variant Transforms. Beyond the ability to provide better services and make better decisions, there’s this benefit: “As Mayo Clinic scales out sequencing to hundreds of thousands of patients, they estimate saving $1.5 million over three years by using Google Cloud and Variant Transforms instead of their existing solution,” notes this Google Cloud blog post.We all know that, in many cases, good health care starts with the human being. This profile of how Fitbit moved its monolithic application to the Google Cloud Platform offers insight into how its “progressive” project plan kept Fitbit’s users happy during the transition. “Fitbit ultimately found success with its approach,” according to a diginomica article, “completing the migration three weeks early.” Which is always a nice win-win.4. What’s Next?What you just read was a small sampling of the customer stories, product insight, and resources available for Google Cloud customers across numerous industries.At C2C, we are continuing the conversation on multiple fronts and for multiple industries, so please join us:On Friday, Aug. 21, we host our first Next OnAir Talks, and cover Google Cloud industries and takeaways from Google Cloud Next OnAir. Read more about the series and register for that event or our two other upcoming sessions.On Thursday, Sept. 10, we’re kicking off our Rockstar Conversations series with none other than Lori Mitchell-Keller. You can reserve your spot here. Don't delay—seating is limited.
This article was originally published on August 14, 2020.We couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunity to unite the Google Cloud customer community and bring together people from every corner of the Google Cloud universe to connect, learn, and shape the future of the cloud.Here’s how we’re getting started. First up: We’ll be hosting a series of what we’re calling Next OnAir Talks, starting Friday, Aug. 21. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for an informal discussion on the Google Cloud Next OnAir sessions with your peers and C2C.Join us at one—or all—of the following sessions:Friday, Aug. 21: What Does Google Cloud’s Industry Solution Strategy Mean for the Future? Friday, Aug. 28: Infrastructure, Data, Security, and Moving to the Cloud Thursday, Sept. 3: All Things Apps, Analytics, and AIRegister for any of the Google Cloud Next OnAir sessions by clicking here.C2C Rockstar ConversationsFrom there, we’re going to be cranking it up a notch with a new, five-part “Rockstar Conversations” series starting Sept. 10.Join leading Google Cloud experts and executives for these 60-minute candid conversations that are exclusive to your C2C connection. We’ll tackle today’s hot topics and leave plenty of room for your questions. Stay tuned for more details on how to reserve your spot.ICYMI: 3 Recent Google Cloud ArticlesThere’s a lot of Google Cloud content out there. Here’s what we’re reading:“Consumer demands are changing, and there’s an appetite for transformation in the consumer packaged goods space.” Learn about Keurig Dr Pepper’s Google Cloud announcement by CIO Dive.“Google LLC announced a hat-trick of customer wins today that showcases the growing strength of its public cloud computing services.” Read SiliconANGLE's roundup of three new Google Cloud customers.“REA Group moved 500TB of BigQuery data from the EU multi-region to the Sydney region of Google Cloud over a period of five weeks.” iTnews Australia covers the details of the cloud conversion.How Can We Help You?Like you, we’re constantly learning and trying new things. So let us know what you think. Drop us an email with feedback or ideas on how C2C can help you succeed with Google Cloud.
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