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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

The Why and the How of AI and ML Insights: An Interview with Pythian CTO Paul Lewis

On August 11, 2022, C2C will host 2Gather: Chicago, the Google Cloud customer community’s first in-person event in the Chicago area. Moderated by Lilah Jones, Head of Corp Sales, Central US, Google Cloud, the event program will feature speakers Francisco Maturana, a data architect at Rockwell Automation, Vrinda Khurjekar, Senior Director of AMER Business at Searce, and Pythian CTO Paul Lewis. The panel will discuss the technical and business advantages of using AI and ML on Google Cloud. In advance of the event, we reached out to Paul Lewis, an engaged and active member of our community who joins us from our foundational platinum partner Pythian, to discuss AI and ML insights, connecting business and technical collaborators, and the value of a peer-to-peer Google Cloud community. Pythian has received significant industry recognition for its data solutions. To what extent today does a data solution necessarily require an AI or ML component? It is fair to say that most data solutions have a “why,” and that why is because I’m trying to create some sort of insight. Insight might be for the purpose of creating a new customer experience, or creating some insight for efficiency, or monetizing the value of a current set of offerings, and that insight requires a combination of three things: I need to find where the data is in my core systems from my third party, I need to create analytical value in a data platform, and I need to use AI and ML algorithms to source out that piece of insight which I’ll use to make a decision. So it has all three of those components. I’d argue that if you’re starting with the end, starting with the insight, all of that technology and process is required to deliver on it. You spoke with C2C earlier this year about cloud security and the shared roles of businesses and cloud providers. When working with systems and processes that are largely automated, what cloud security considerations arise? Cloud security requires the assumption that you are going to bring your algorithms to the data versus the data to the algorithms––a really big shift from exporting data out of a production system into your laptop, producing your algorithms in your API of choice, and then sending that algorithm back up to be both trained and tested. Now it’s about training and testing in the cloud, which has access directly to those data sets internally and externally. So that’s the big shift. Moving where you’re actually both developing your model, training your model, and creating inference or executing on that model. It is the best bet to do that in the cloud.A big problem in healthcare, as you can imagine, is sharing information across organizations. Since data sharing is required to make complex diagnostic decisions, I need to be able to package up that information from a diagnostics perspective, share it amongst a group of people, and then that prediction can come together. Multiple practitioners can participate in the model development, multiple practitioners can provide input into the model and the training, and then infer it for the purpose of new patients coming in. On August 11, at 2Gather: Chicago, you’ll be speaking alongside Francisco Maturana, a data architect at Rockwell Automation, and Vrinda Khurjekar, Senior Director of AMER Business at Searce. As a CTO, how does speaking alongside both technical and business professionals influence the kind of discussion you’re able to have? My conversations tend to be balancing the difference between why and how. On the business side, what are ultimately the business goals we’re trying to achieve? It tends to boil down to something like data monetization. Now, monetization could simply mean selling your data, it could mean creating a better insight on your customers, maybe as customer segmentation, maybe it’s wrapping a non-data related product with a data-related product. Like a checking account alongside an ability to predict spending behavior changes over time. Or it might be internal, making better MNA decisions or creating some sort of efficiency in a process, or just making general business decisions better or cleaner in a sense.So, you can take that why and say, ‘well, that why can be delivered on a variety of hows.’ A how can be as simple as a query and as complex as the entire data engineering chain. And that’s the bridge between the why and the how. Not only does the data engineer or data architect get a better appreciation for the type of business decisions I need to be able to make based on this work, but the business person gets to understand the potential difficulties of making that actually true. Do you think that most customers come to a peer-to-peer panel discussion with a why or a how in mind? Yes. Very rarely is it unanswered questions. Very rarely is it, ‘I know I have some nuggets of gold here, could you possibly look into my pot and see if there’s anything interesting?’ That might have been true five years ago, but people are much more well-read, definitely on the business and the technology side. There has to be a why, and if there has to be a why, there’s one too many potential hows. What’s our best bet to the how? Data engineers, data modelers, and data scientists are the go-to person to hire. In fact it’s so complex that I now need partnerships of talent, so I might now know that I need a junior, senior, or intermediate scientist, because I don’t have that background. I don’t have that expertise, so I’ve got to lean on partnerships in order to figure that out. Is being able to find the right why for the right how what makes a community of Google Cloud customers uniquely valuable? Exactly. It’s also sharing in our expertise. There’s this huge assumption that I just have to acquire the expertise to deliver on my particular why or how, that I just need to learn Python in twenty-one days, that I just need to get another data modeler to understand what a bill is, what a person is, what a patient is, what a checking account is, but the reality is you have to balance expertise with experience. You could hire a bunch of people or train up your existing staff, but if they’ve never done it before, that’s where you need partnerships. That’s why you need a community. That’s why you need to be able to talk to your peers. That’s why you need to have these kinds of conversations, to balance what I think I can do with what’s actually possible, or what’s been done before. Are there any particular conversations you’re hoping to have at the event in Chicago? Yeah, absolutely. The conversations I’m looking to have are unique or interesting whys that I think could be compelling across a variety of industries. What I find most interesting isn’t that two retail chains have the same customer segmentation problem, it’s that you can take a customer segmentation retail and apply that to manufacturing of cookies. So, something we can reuse across these industries, because in my opinion these industry solutions are going to be on the forefront of the whys. I’m going to be able to download cookie client segmentation and then augment it for my needs. I don’t have to invent it going forward. Do you have any final thoughts to share with the Google Cloud customer community? I’m really looking forward to this particular event. It’s rare that we get to have real peer-to-peer conversations, so I’m absolutely looking forward to it, and Google’s a nice space to do it in, so, that’s always a bonus. Are you based in Chicago? Do you need to find a how for your why, or vice versa? Join Paul, the C2C Team, and the rest of our distinguished speakers at 2Gather: Chicago on August 11! Register here:  

Categories:AI and Machine LearningC2C Community SpotlightGoogle Cloud PartnersInterview

C2C Connect Live: Cambridge

On June 14, C2C hosted an event in Google’s Cambridge office. We believe in-person connections are invaluable to everyone in our community, especially when our members are able to immediately converse with amazing speakers who are sharing their journeys and business outcomes.The stories from this event—presented on stage from Google Cloud customers, partners, and employees—can all be reviewed below. Introduction from Google Yee-chen Tjie (@yeetjie), Google Cloud Life Sciences Head of Customer Engineering, kicked off the program at C2C Connect Live: Cambridge with a few words about how Google is using 10x thinking to make major unique and substantial investments in Healthcare and Life Sciences technology. Tjie made a point of mentioning Google’s record of solving problems using AI and ML, particularly with AlphaFold 2, the focus of the presentation Luke Ge of Intel gave later in the afternoon.After his opening remarks, Tjie hosted a round of Google trivia, inviting everyone in the audience to stand and then sit down every time they answered one of his true-or-false questions incorrectly. After guessing whether Google Suite was initially offered on CD in 2006 (false), the first Google Doodle was about Coachella because the founders were going (false––they were going to Burning Man), and the English translation of Kubernetes is “cargo ship” (false––it’s “pilot”), Tjie handed the lucky winner a free Google hub device. CISO Healthcare and Life Sciences Reflections Before beginning his presentation, Taylor Lehmann (@taylorlehmann1), Director of the Office of the CISO at Google Cloud, thanked the hosts for the opportunity to join and speak, noting that he had just had his “mind blown” talking to fellow presenter Jonathan Sheffi before the event. Lehmann went on to discuss some of the core principles of invisible security, and his office’s mission to “get to this vision where security is unavoidable.” A big part of this project, he explained, is eliminating the shared responsibility model in favor of what Google calls “shared fate.” Under this model, Google provides blueprints, solutions, and curated patterns to enable customers to manage their own security infrastructures. “If you have a bad day on Google Cloud, it’s a bad day for us too,” he summarized. “If you win on Google Cloud, you win too.” The History and Future of Human Genomics Jonathan Sheffi (@sheffi) formerly a Director of Product Strategy at Veeva Systems and Google Cloud, began his presentation by prodding the audience with an enthusiastic “How’s everyone doing?” and then added “First rule of public speaking, make sure the audience is awake.” The focus of Sheffi’s presentation, the history and future of human genomics, took the audience back to the year 1990, when, in Sheffi’s words, “Nirvana’s Nevermind is a year from coming out, it’s a very exciting time.”Sheffi went on to cover the advents of next-gen sequencing and of public cloud computing, government and pharmaceutical adoption of genomic sequencing, and recent cost-cutting advancements in genomics. When he opened things up to the audience for questions, Michael Preston of Healthcare Triangle shared his own experience seeking treatment for melanoma to ask how genomic sequencing can be used to predict patient reactions to prescribed medications. Sheffi took the question to heart, and acknowledged the need for sequencing and screening processes that take into account data on patient-reported side effects. End-to-End Optimization of AlphaFold2 on Intel Architecture Luke Ge (@Liangwei77ge) an AI Solution Specialist at Intel, opened his presentation by saying, “Yesterday I spent 6 hours on a plane to come to this beautiful city,” prompting a round of applause form the audience. Then he asked “How many of you are using Alphafold 2?” A few hands went up. He followed up with, “How many of you have heard of Alphafold 2?” Many more hands raised.Ge’s presentation explored how analyzing human tissue from DNA to protein structure requires using AI for processing huge sequence data. The Google product that handles this processing is AlphaFold 2. Ge explained how Intel’s computing hardware supports Alphafold 2, including by providing a deep Learning model inference and removing memory bottlenecks in AlphaFold 2’s attention and evoformer modules. At the end of his presentation, Ge demonstrated a model generated using non-optimized versus optimized Alphafold 2 code. The difference was clear. Panel Discussion Tjie moderated the panel discussion with Sheffi and Ge by asking each whether he is a Celtics fan or a Warriors fan. Immediately, the tension in the room rose: Sheffi and Ge are from opposite coasts, making Sheffi a Celtics fan and Ge a Warriors fan. The tension was short-lived, however. When Tjie asked Ge what he considers the best way to choose a compute instance, Sheffi followed up to ask Ge if it’s possible to run multiple sequences on a single instance and maintain performance. Ge said yes.When Tjie opened questions to the audience, several guests rose to ask Sheffi questions about genomic sequencing, more than one of them focusing on use cases for genomic research for patients and caregivers. After several of these questions in a row, Tjie turned to the crowd and said, “I warned Luke that if he picked the Warriors then he would get less questions from the audience.” After the laughs in the room died down, Tjie asked Ge where he sees HCLS problems being solved with AI. Ge did not have to think long before citing computer vision as a solution for detecting cancerous cells. Winding Down Following the presentations, all in attendance broke away to connect during a networking reception. To read more about it, check out the exclusive onsite report linked below in the Extra Credit section. Extra Credit  

Categories:Data AnalyticsIndustry SolutionsIdentity and SecurityGoogle Cloud PartnersHealthcare and Life SciencesSession Recording

C2C Connect Live: New York City (full video)

On May 12, C2C hosted its first east coast event at Google’s New York office. We believe in-person connections are invaluable to everyone in our community, especially when our members are able to immediately converse with amazing speakers who are sharing their journeys and business outcomes.The stories from this event—presented on stage from Google Cloud customers, partners, and employees—can all be reviewed below.  A Warm Welcome from C2C and Google Cloud Opening the event was Marco ten Vaanholt (@artmarco), who leads C2C initiatives at Google Cloud. To kick things off, Marco prompted the audience to get to know each other, and all enthusiastically turned to their table neighbors. After Marco covered the history of C2C and our early adventures in hosting face to face events, Marcy Young (@Marcy.Young), Director of Partnerships at C2C, followed to reiterate our mission statement: we’re here to connect Google Cloud customers across the globe. Since March of 2021, when the C2C online community first launched, our community has grown in size to make valuable connections with people like Arsho Toubi (@Arsho Toubi), Customer Engineer, Google Cloud, who followed Young to introduce C2C’s partner speakers.All three introductory speakers emphasized the excitement of being able to make new connections in person again. As ten Vaanholt put it, peers introducing themselves and initiating new relationships is “the start of community building.” When Toubi announced “I received some business cards, and that was a fun experience I haven’t had in two years,” the room responded with a knowing laugh. Toubi also asked the Googlers in the room to stand up so others could identify them. “These are my colleagues,” she said. “We’re all here to help you navigate how to use GCP to your best advantage.”  Getting to Know AMD and DoiT C2C partners and the sponsors for this event, DoiT and @AMD shared updates of the partnership between the two companies focused on cloud optimization.Michael Brzezinski (@mike.brzezinski), Global Sales Manager, AMD Spenser Paul (@spenserpaul), Head of Global Alliances, DoiTBrzezinski framed the two presentations as a response to a question he received from another attendee he met just before taking the stage, a question about how the two companies work together to enhance performance while reducing cost. One half of the answer is AMD’s compute processors, which Brzezinski introduced one by one. To complete the story of the partnership between the two companies, Spenser Paul of DoiT took the stage with his Labrador Milton. “I’m joining the stage with a dog, which means you won’t hear anything I’m saying from here on,” he said as he took the microphone. “And that’s totally okay.” The key to minimizing cost on AMD’s hardware, Paul explained, is DoiT’s Flexsave offering, which automates compute spend based on identified need within a workload.  A Fireside Chat with DoiT and CurrentSpenser Paul, Head of Global Alliances, DoiT Trevor Marshall (@tmarshall), Chief Technology Officer, CurrentPaul invited Marshall to join him onstage, and both took a seat facing the audience, Milton resting down at Paul’s feet. After asking Marshall to give a brief introduction to Current, Paul asked him why Current chose Google Cloud. Marshall did not mince words: Current accepted a $100,000 credit allowance from Google after spending the same amount at AWS. Why did Current stay with Google Cloud? The Google Kubernetes Engine. “I like to say we came for the credits, but stayed for Kubernetes,” Marshall said. Paul wryly suggested the line be used for a marketing campaign. The conversation continued through Current’s journey to scale and its strategy around cost optimization along the way.When Paul opened questions to the audience, initially, none came up. Seeing an opportunity, Paul turned to Marshall and said, “Selfishly, I need to ask you: what’s going to happen with crypto?” Just in time, a guest asked what other functionalities Current will introduce in the future. After an optimistic but tight-lipped response from Marshall, another moment passed. Marshall offered Paul a comforting hand and said, “We’re all going to make it through,” before fielding a few more questions.  Panel Discussion  All our presenters, with the addition of Michael Beal (@MikeBeal), CEO, Data Capital Management reconvened on stage for a panel discussion. Toubi, who moderated the conversation, began by asking Michael Beal to introduce himself and his company, Data Capital Management, which uses AI to automate the investment process. Beal ran through Data Capital Management’s product development journey, and then, when he recalled the company’s initial approach from Google, playfully swatted Marshall and said, “The credits don’t hurt.” Toubi then guided Beal and Brzezinski through a discussion of different uses cases for High Performance Computing, particularly on AMD’s processors.When Toubi turned the panel’s attention to costs, Paul took the lead to explain in practical detail how DoiT’s offerings facilitate the optimization process. “I have an important question,” said Toubi. “Can DoiT do my taxes?” Then she put the guests on the spot to compare Google Cloud to AWS’s Graviton. Brzezinski was ready for the question. The initial cost savings Graviton provides, he explained, don’t translate to better price performance when taking into account the improved overall performance on Google Cloud. Other questions covered financial services use cases for security, additional strategies for optimizing workloads for price performance, and wish-list items for Google Cloud financing options.Marco ten Vaanholt kicked off the audience Q&A by asking what a Google Cloud customer community can do for the customers on the panel. Marshall said he’s interested in meeting talented developers, and Beal said he’s interested in meeting anyone who can give him ideas. As he put it, “Inspiration is always a very interesting value proposition.” After a couple more questions about estimating cost at peak performance and addressing customer pain points, Toubi asked each panelist to offer one piece of advice for someone considering using Google Cloud who isn’t already. Again, Paul saw a shot and took it. “If you’ve never been to Google before,” he said, “Come for the credits, stay for the Kubernetes.” Winding Down Following the presentations, all in attendance broke away to connect during a networking reception. To read more about it, check out the exclusive onsite report linked below in the Extra Credit section, and to get involved in the customer-to-customer connections happening in person in the C2C community, follow the link to our live event in Cambridge, MA to register and attend. We look forward to seeing you there! Extra Credit 

Categories:Data AnalyticsGoogle Cloud StrategyContainers and KubernetesIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersFinancial ServicesSession Recording

Exploring Cloud Workflows

On Thursday, April 14, 2022, the C2C DACH region hosted a powerful and informative event with guest Joel Goodman, a staff cloud architect at DoiT International, focused on Cloud Workflows, a serverless offering from Google Cloud. Thomas Hug (@tom), one of our DACH Team Leaders, served as moderator of the session. Read on below to review the key takeaways from this in-depth introduction to this dynamic product. 30 Minutes in 30 seconds (3:47) Joel Goodman began his presentation by explaining why a Google Cloud user should consider Workflows. The more services a user has talking to each other at once, the harder they are to manage, and the more tedious the process of sending events to a pipeline becomes.  (5:01) Goodman compared Workflow to an orchestrator: a central process that executes the workflow from start to finish.  (5:26) Next, Goodman gave an overview of Workflows and its capabilities, and what writing a workflow looks like. (7:00) To provide some examples of use cases for Workflows, Goodman brought up microservice orchestration, continuous integration and deployment (although he admitted he wouldn’t use it for heavier things), transactional consistency, ETL and Data pipelines (although he acknowledges that Workflows would be a better way to start for light data pipelines, and that for more complex needs there are a number of other tools available that would be more suitable), and long-running workflows.  (9:00) To give attendees a demo of Workflows, Goodman used the example of a mechanic who runs an application whose users send pictures of their vehicle. The microservice orchestration in this case is as follows: save the image to Google Cloud Storage, extract the license plate number from the image, look up the vehicle’s information, save the information to BigQuery, and finally email the vehicle image to the mechanic with the information he needs.  (10:44) Next Goodman listed some workflow design requirements: It has to be cheap, it has to focus on business logic and not infrastructure, it has to scale up and down with customer demand, and it has to be reliable and allow for easy troubleshooting.  (11:07) Goodman also expanded on his design decisions––Cloud Run for microservices and Cloud Workflows for orchestration––and analyzed the managed and external services and the microservices required.  (11:58) To break everything down further, Goodman explained the specific uses for the web app, the license plate reader, and the notification service.  (12:25) Goodman next provided an extensive analysis of the differences between orchestration and choreography. (16:40) Finally, Goodman gave attendees a demonstration of the application’s front end, the submission of the image, and the process in the background.  (20:56) For the rest of the session, Goodman fielded questions from C2C members hoping to implement Cloud Workflows for their own services.   Extra Credit: Looking to get more involved with our DACH community? Come to our in-person event in Munich on May 18, 2022. This session will cover how MediaMarktSaturn built its Data Mesh, and why this solution is such a game-changer. Attendees will also hear from our partner AMD about how they are making their industry leading AMD EPYC processors available on Google Cloud, and how UberCloud is helping organizations run their simulation tools using HPC application containers.Join us and these amazing speakers as they share their journeys and business outcomes, and how they have overcome their technical and business challenges:   Fabian Seitz, Group Product Manager, MediaMarkt Saturn Pawel Walczysko, Cloud Solution Specialist Wolfgang Gentzsch, President, UberCloud Daniel Gruber, Director of Architecture, UberCloud Sign up below today!  

Categories:ServerlessGoogle Cloud PartnersSession Recording

Becoming Fully Certified on Google Cloud (full recording)

Certifications are a Google Cloud user’s keys to success. Google Cloud’s many certifications provide the training and expertise practitioners need to identify and excel in their career paths, and certifications help employers and industry decision-makers find the talent that sets their teams apart from the competition.This C2C Connect was hosted by Devoteam, a foundational platinum partner of C2C and Google Cloud Premier Partner. Devoteam has an ambition to encourage consultants to become fully certified on Google Cloud, being well versed in multiple disciplines, and has four consultants who have done it, with two of them being Anthos fellows. The presenters shared reasons for why they think this is important and their methodology and support system they have built to roll this out to 400 consultants world wide.The recording from this session includes the topics listed below, plus nearly twenty minutes of open Q&A from community members present at the live event:(0:00) Introduction to the session from @Alfons, C2C (1:50) Introduction on Devoteam and our presenters, Jason Quek, Global CTO of Devoteam G Cloud, and Niels Buekers, CTO of Devoteam G Cloud Benelux & UKI (5:10) Session overview on the why, what, and how: continuous learning, business value, and leading by example by building the best talent on Google Cloud to serve customers (9:00) Why continuous learning is necessary for building trust (11:35) Testing your theoretical knowledge and preparing for certification exams (18:25) How Devoteam uses gamification (leaderboards) to award exam vouchers and why they celebrate newly certified exam-takers (27:40) Gaining hands-on experience and qualifying for cloud jobs (30:15) Mentorship programs and study sessions (32:15) Leading by example and the goal of becoming fully certified (33:45) Final thoughts and community Q&AWatch the full recording of the conversation below: 

Categories:Google Cloud CertificationsGoogle Cloud PartnersSession Recording

Clean Clouds, Happy Earth Panel Discussion: Sustainability in EMEA

The centerpiece of C2C’s virtual Earth Day conference, Clean Clouds, Happy Earth, was a panel discussion on sustainability in EMEA featuring C2C and Google Cloud partners HCL and AMD and cosmetics superpower L’Oreal. Moderated by Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google Cloud, the conversation lasted the better part of an hour and explored a range of strategies for enabling organizations to build and run sustainable technology on Google Cloud.According to Sanjay Singh, Executive VP of the Google Cloud Ecosystem Unit at HCL technologies, when advising customers across the value chain evaluating cloud services, Google Cloud becomes a natural choice because of its focus on sustainable goals. Connecting customers to Google Cloud is a key part of HCL’s broader program for maintaining sustainable business practices at every organizational level. “What you cannot measure, you cannot improve” says Singh, which is why HCL has created systems to measure every point of emission under their purview for carbon footprint impact. In alignment with Google Cloud’s commitment to run a carbon-free cloud platform by 2030, HCL plans to make its processes carbon neutral in the same timeframe.Suresh Andani, Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing at AMD, serves on a task force focused on defining the company’s sustainability goals as an enterprise and as a vendor. As a vendor, AMD prioritizes helping customers migrate to the cloud itself as well as making its compute products (CPUS and GPUS) more energy efficient, which they plan to do by a factor of 30 by 2025. On the enterprise side, Andani says, AMD relies on partners and vendors, so making sure AMD as an organization is sustainable expands to its ecosystem of suppliers. One of the biggest challenges, he says, is to measure partners’ operations. This challenge falls to AMD’s corporate responsibility team.Health and beauty giant L’Oreal recently partnered with Google Cloud to run its beauty tech data engine. In the words of architect Antoine Castex, a C2C Team Lead in France, sustainability at L’Oreal is all about finding “the right solution for the right use case.” For Castex, this means prioritizing Software as a Service (SaaS) over Platform as a Service (PaaS), and only in the remotest cases using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). He is also emphatic about the importance of using serverless architecture and products like AppEngine, which only run when in use, rather than running and consuming energy 24/7.For Hervé Dumas, L’Oreal’s Sustainability IT Director, these solutions are part of what he calls “a strategic ambition,” which must be common across IT staff. Having IT staff dedicated to sustainability, he says, creates additional knowledge and enables necessary transformation of the way the company works. As Castex puts it, this transformation will come about when companies like L’Oreal are able to “change the brain of the people.”As Castex told C2C in a follow-up conversation after the event, the most encouraging takeaway from the panel for L’Oreal was the confirmation that other companies and tech players have “the same dream and ambition as us.” Watch a full recording of the conversation below, and check back to the C2C website over the next two weeks for more content produced exclusively for this community event.  Also, if you’re based in EMEA and want to connect with other Google Cloud customers and partners in the C2C community, join us at one of our upcoming face-to-face events:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Data AnalyticsGoogle Cloud StrategyComputeIndustry SolutionsCloud MigrationGoogle Cloud PartnersSustainabilityConsumer Packaged GoodsSession Recording

Completing the Story of Sustainable Computing: an Interview with Suresh Andani, AMD Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing

Sustainability is an inherent value of cloud computing and storage. According to Suresh Andani, Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing at C2C Global Gold partner AMD, data center sustainability, which used to be an afterthought, has now become a key requirement. The first step to a more sustainable compute solution, he says, is migration to the cloud. This gives companies like AMD an immediate advantage: they are already offering a more sustainable solution. However, along with this advantage comes a challenge. All cloud partners provide the option to migrate. How can companies like AMD help further?AMD will appear alongside a full lineup of C2C and Google Cloud customers and partners this Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Clean Clouds, Happy Earth, a special C2C Earth Day event for companies and practitioners committed to sustainable cloud solutions. Participating companies include Deutsche Bank and Nordic Choice Hotels, and full sessions will explore topics such as supply chain resiliency, food waste, environmental, social, and governance analysis, and sustainable IT. Andani will join a panel of executives featuring Sanjay Singh of C2C platinum partner HCL, Antoine Castex––a C2C Team Lead in France––and Hervé Dumas of L’Oreal, and Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google. “Energy efficiency is not just about power consumed and how efficiently you address or cool. It’s also about how you make your manufacturing process more sustainable.” Andani hopes the panel will be “a channel to get the word out” about how AMD differentiates in the cloud computing space. All of AMD’s customers need to be able to reduce the amount of power they’re consuming as they process their workloads. AMD’s solutions are designed to solve this problem at the root cause. “Energy efficiency is not just about power consumed and how efficiently you address or cool,” Andani says. “It’s also about how you make your manufacturing process more sustainable.” To this end, several years ago, AMD implemented a chiplet architecture specifically designed to improve their yields and minimize waste. Now, says Andani, many of AMD’s peers are choosing to go the same route.More providers in the cloud computing space adopting a more sustainable manufacturing process is all the more reason for companies like AMD to participate in live events hosted by customer communities like C2C. As Andani was happy to share, he and Pattison have appeared together at similar events in the past. These panels, Andani affirms, are of unique value to Google Cloud customers looking to improve energy efficiency. Representatives of Google Cloud appear at such events to discuss how Google Cloud’s products use technologies such as AI and ML to monitor energy consumption. When the same panel features an end customer adopting this technology, in Andani’s words, “that completes the story.” Join C2C Global and all of our distinguished sponsors and guests at 9:00 AM EDT on April 21, 2022 to witness the complete story of sustainable computing on Google Cloud. Use the link below to register: 

Categories:ComputeGoogle Cloud PartnersSustainability

Getting Maximum Value from Cloud: Key Takeaways from C2C's Deep Dive on Cloud Repatriation

“Cloud repatriation,” like “cloud migration” and “cloud native,” is a tech term borrowed from the language of social science: all of these terms describe a relationship to a place of origin. What each really describes, though, is where someone, or something, lives. In social science, that someone is a person, someone born a citizen of one country or returned there after displacement by conflict or other political circumstances. In tech, the something born in or returned to its place of origin is an asset or a resource an organization controls: it’s your organization’s data, its software, or whatever else you need to store to be able to run it.After years of cloud migration dominating the conversation about software and data hosting and storage, the term “cloud repatriation” is emerging as a new hypothetical for migrated and cloud native organizations. So many organizations are now hosted on the cloud that a greater number than ever have the option, feasible or not, to move off. Whether any cloud-native or recently migrated organization would actually want to move its resources back on-premises, to a data center, is another question. To discuss this question and its implications for the future of the cloud as a business solution, C2C recently convened a panel of representatives from three major cloud-hosted companies: Nick Tornow of Twitter, Keyur Govande of Etsy, and Rich Hoyer and Miles Ward of SADA. The conversation was charged from the beginning, and only grew more lively throughout. Sensing the energy around this issue, Ward, who hosted the event, started things off with some grounding exercises. First, he asked each host to define a relevant term. Tornow defined repatriation as “returning to your own data centers...or moving away from the public cloud more generally,” Govande defined TCO as “the purchase price of an asset and the cost of operating it,” and Hoyer defined OPEX and CAPEX as, respectively, real-time day-to-day expenses and up-front long-term expenses. Ward then stirred things up by asking the guests to pose some reasons why an organization might want to repatriate. After these level-setting exercises, the guests dove into the business implications of repatriation.The question of cost came up almost immediately, redirecting the discussion to the relationship between decisions around workloads and overall business goals:  Govande’s comments about “problems that are critical to your business” particularly resonated with the others on the call. Govande briefly elaborated on these comments via email after the event. “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,” he said. “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.”These sentiments resurfaced later in the discussion, when the group took up the problem of weighing costs against potential opportunities for growth:  The more the group explored these emerging themes of workload, cost, and scale, the more the guests offered insights based on their firsthand experiences as executives at major tech companies. Tornow used an anecdote about launching the game Farmville at Zynga to illustrate the unique challenges of launching products on the cloud:  During the audience Q&A, a question about TCO analysis gave Hoyer the chance to go long on his relevant experiences at SADA:  As soon as the conversation began to wind down, Ward put the guests on the spot again, to ask Tornow and Govande point-blank whether either of them would consider repatriation an option for their company that very day. Unsurprisingly, neither said they would:  By the time Ward handed the microphone back to Dale Rossi of Google Cloud, who introduced and concluded the event, the conversation had lasted well over an hour, leaving very few angles on the subject of repatriation unexamined. Many hosts might have felt satisfied letting an event come to an end at this point, but not Ward. To leave the guests, and the audience, with a sense of urgency and resolve, he treated everyone on the call to a rendition of “Reveille,” the traditional military call to arms, arranged exclusively for this group for solo Tuba:  Repatriation may not be a realistic option for many if not most businesses, but discussing the possibility hypothetically illuminates the considerations these same businesses will have to confront as they approach cloud strategy and workload balance. “Nobody on our panel had heard of anyone born in the cloud ever going ‘back’ to the data center,” Ward said in an email reflecting on the event. “Any infrastructure cost analysis is a ‘complex calculus,’ and there's no easy button.” For Ward, there is one way to make this complex calculus manageable: “To get maximum value from cloud, focus in on the differentiated managed services that allow you to refocus staff time on innovation.”When you hear the word “repatriation,” what comes to mind for you? What does it imply for your organization and the workloads your organization manages? Are there any relevant considerations you consider crucial that you want to talk through in more depth? Join the C2C Community and start the conversation! Extra Credit:  

Categories:InfrastructureGoogle Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersMedia, Entertainment, and GamingRetailSession Recording

Leveraging Data for Consumer Behavior (full video)

This session was led by Quantiphi, a foundational partner of C2C and a Google Partner that uses AI to solve the problems at the heart of businesses. Connect with them directly @Quantiphi in the C2C community.One of the best ways for enterprises across a broad range of business sectors to remain relevant is to use consumer behavior data in ways that will help their brands stand out from the competition. Using this data effectively and uniquely can help businesses improve the rate of customer acquisition, increase the ROI from marketing spends, and also ensure customer centricity and personalization. But what can we do to improve customer experiences by leveraging customer data, and how? To learn more, C2C sat down with Vijay Mannur, Customer and Marketing Analytics Practice Lead at Quantiphi, to discuss how to enhance consumer engagement and conversion using behavioral data. Questions answered will include:The recording from this Deep Dive includes:(1:55) Agenda overview and introduction to speakers (8:05) Marketing analytics How and why Quantiphi built a dedicated marketing and analytics team Options for marketing analytics from Google Cloud (14:50) Consumer data Third-party vs. first-party cookies and rich data quality Consumer Data Platform (CDP) vs. traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) How to build and upskill teams to use CDP effectively Using BigQuery and other Google Cloud analytics tools (32:25) Examples of customer stories using CDP How a French retailer centrally connected their consumer databases with custom pipelines from BigQuery How a bank optimized consumer segmentation and profiling using Vertex AI (39:00) Future of analytics The future of consumer data and trends nearing the end of their lifecycle Addressing privacy concerns using Google Cloud data warehousing and analytics solutions Ethical use of machine learning for consumer behavior  Speakers featured in this Deep Dive   Vijay Mannur Practice Head, Customer and Marketing Analytics, Quantiphi   Vijay Mannur is a Practice Head at Quantiphi with 12+ years of experience in the field of Performance Marketing, Sales and Analytics. He leads the Customer and Marketing Analytics practice at Quantiphi, a leading Digital Transformation and AI solutions company. He has grown the practice at Quantiphi to encompass engineering teams building cutting edge solutions, delivery teams, and sales teams. He has delivered multiple large-scale digital transformation solutions to marketing teams of large Retail and FSI clients. Prior to Quantiphi, Vijay worked for companies like Media.net, Idea Cellular, and NEC Corporation.     Daniel Lees Staff Partner Engineer, Google Cloud A Cloud Architect at Google, Daniel Lees was a Principal Architect in Financial Services Select helping Google’s most valued clients build in Google Cloud Platform before joining the Partner Engineering team in support of Google’s most important partners. He has extensive expertise in defined best practices, blueprints, security and compliance standards, and evangelism of reusable assets for cloud deployment in CICD pipelines with IoC working on both cloud native and hybrid application modernization. Before Google, he had 20 years of experience at HSBC Bank where he was the Chief Technical Architect for AWS Cloud globally, leading a small team of SME cloud architects.     Other ResourcesRedefine customer and marketing analytics Google Cloud Marketing analytics & AI solutions Responsible AI practices

Categories:Data AnalyticsIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersRetailSession Recording

Year-End Reflections: Preparing for The Future of Work With C2C

Throughout the past year, the question of whether, when, and how workplaces will reopen and work will resume onsite has guided decision-making and defined goals for organizations and individuals alike. As the year ends, answers to this question have begun to emerge, but most if not all of us will be defining these goals and making these decisions in and out of the workplace for years to come. As we at C2C look back at the year’s accomplishments and wins, we’re taking stock of the insights we’ve gathered from collaborators and guests regarding the future of work.C2C hosted a series of events this year exploring the future of work, and produced a wealth of on-demand content on the topic. The series began in the Spring, with The Future of Work from an Executive View, a C2C Navigator featuring Peter High, president of Metis Strategy, and Kelly Ducourty, Vice President of GTM strategy at Google Cloud. This high-level conversation covered far-reaching topics including customer needs and business use cases as drivers of innovation, optimizing technology to address challenges unique to remote work, and framing crisis as an opportunity to reset. For an overview of the topics covered, read our post recapping the discussion, or watch High’s keynote presentation below:High and Ducourty also returned for a second conversation on the future of work and company culture, this time joined by Brigette McInnis-Day, VP of HR at Google Cloud:Between events in this Navigator series, C2C sat down with Laurie Klasner of Quantiphi for a one-on-one conversation, also about company culture in the future of work. Klasner highlighted a number of efforts the company took to foster a healthy working culture, including “Zen days” without remote meetings and new programs around wellness and diversity. This conversation is available as an audio recording and as a written article:For the next event in this series, C2C invited Alphabet Global Chief Commercial officer Tom Galizia, MediaAgility CTO Swarraj Kulkarni, Quantiphi Co-founder Ritesh Patel, and SADA CEO Tom Safoian for a panel discussion on the topic of client empathy. Many of interviewer Sabina Bhasin’s questions recalled moments from her conversation with Klausner, particularly regarding Quantiphi’s largely India-based workforce.Patel described the help coming to India from around the world as “very humbling” but noted that the working environment in the country remained “extremely tough.” The four executives described empathy as both a challenge and a necessity of working remotely in a time of crisis, and identified time management, recalibration and resilience as skills they wanted to bring to their workplaces in the future. Watch the full conversation below:Many of the themes that emerged throughout the series came up again in the final event, a panel on employee experience featuring Patti Althen and Rujul Pathak of Workday and Greg Sly of Verizon. Empathy and diversity were raised as central concerns, as were findability, employee empowerment, and implementation of new workplace measures across industry lines. The full conversation is embedded below, and our post-event takeaway summarizes and provides clips of the key moments.These conversations generated valuable insights, but even though the future of work has arrived, many new developments are still to come. What concerns are most pressing for you as a new year approaches? What does the future of work hold for you? Join our community to tell us your story and let us know what kinds of conversations we should be starting next.

Categories:Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Google Cloud PartnersSustainabilitySupply Chain and LogisticsSession RecordingInterview

Scaling an Enterprise Software: Digital Assistants and Natural Language (full video)

Michael Pytel (@mpytel), co-founder and CTO at Fulfilld, shares stories from the team’s wins and losses in building out this intelligent managed warehouse solution.The recording from this Deep Dive includes:(2:00) Introduction to Fulfilld (10:15) Natural Language Processing use case for warehouse guidance (11:40) Generating directions using Dijkstra’s algorithm (commonly used in mapping applications) to connect the shortest route between two points (13:10) Generating audio guidance for a custom map using Google Cloud Run and Text-to-Speech API (14:15) Using WaveNet to create natural-sounding, multi-language voices for text-to-speech scenarios (16:45) Building a digital assistant with Google Dialogflow Intent matching and other features Other use case examples of Google Dialogflow (21:30) Integrating voice while building applications on Flutter (22:35) Natural language alerts for warehouse operations (23:50) Big ideas: looking to the future of Fulfilld  Other ResourcesWaveNet: A generative model for raw audio Google Cloud hands-on labs Google documentation: Creating voice audio files Build voice bots for mobile with Dialogflow and Flutter | Workshop The Definitive Guide to Conversational AI with Dialogflow and Google Cloud Find the rest of the series from Fulfilld below:   

Categories:AI and Machine LearningAPI ManagementIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersSupply Chain and LogisticsSession Recording

Analyzing Patient Sentiment with Peerlogic (full video)

This C2C Deep Dive was led by Sindhu Adini (@Sindhu Adini) , director of Google Cloud for HLS at SpringML, a C2C foundational platinum partner. Joining Sindhu from the Peerlogic team were CEO Ryan Miller (@ramill401) and Alex Maskovyak, engineering and product development executive.Peerlogic is an innovative provider of cloud communications, building better conversations and high production through the power of AI. Their products allow individuals to work more productively, teams to collaborate more freely, and organizations to better understand their data.The full recording from this session includes:(2:05) Speaker introductions (4:20) SpringML’s specializations and industry reach (6:50) An introduction to Peerlogic and how they are empowering dental practices with improved communications between staff and patients (12:05) Analyzing patient sentiment with AI and ML Adopting call center best practices and front desk assistance Identifying revenue leakage Benchmarking and understanding conversion opportunities (17:10) Overview of Peerlogic’s application (21:15) Google Cloud services and components used Choosing Google Cloud Spectrum of AI in the Google Cloud ecosystem Google Cloud Vertex AI for pre-trained APIs and end-to-end integration for data and AI (31:25) Architectural overview of the solution and model Data pipeline to ingest audio scripts and Google Cloud Speech-to-Text Enhanced augmentation of the solution using custom ML algorithms FireStore to authenticate AppEngine access only to Service Accounts (38:50) Key considerations for Machine Learning Identifying the business problem that needs to be solved How predictions are made Supervised learning (44:55) Custom patient call analysis modelWatch the full recording below: Connect with SpringML here in the C2C Community. 

Categories:AI and Machine LearningAPI ManagementIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersHealthcare and Life SciencesSession Recording

How Will Company Culture Thrive in the Future of Work?

As companies start putting pen-to-paper for a return-to-work model, companies like Quantiphi are committing to a “flexible future.” But what does that mean for company culture? On May 25, C2C will discuss corporate culture in the future of work with Kelly Ducourty, VP, GTM strategy and operations with Google, Brigette McInnis-Day, VP people operations at Google Cloud, and Peter High of Metis Strategy. They’ll cover questions like:  What does the future hold for work-life integration as we return to the office? How are businesses reconsidering approaches to talent planning, learning, and innovation? What lessons learned over the past year can be used to address wellness and employee burnout? To tap into this more in advance of the Navigator, C2C sat down with Laurie Klausner, global head of marketing at Quantiphi, to discuss what culture means to Quantiphi, a global business with most of its workforce in India. Given the dire situation, and a need to ensure cohesion as a company, Klausner shared how they view culture now, supporting their multicultural team and what the future holds for work-life balance.  Listen to the conversation below.   Full transcript of the conversation below  Sabina Bhasin, C2C Hi, everyone. I'm here with Laurie Klausner from Quantiphi, and we're talking about the future of work culture and how this changed our world. We're going to kick it off by just trying to understand a baseline of what company culture means and what success looks like? Laurie? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi So I think company culture is so imperative in an organization that's growing. So at Quantiphi, one of the first things you'll hear when you join our team is that we refer to ourselves as the Quantiphi family.  I think you don't necessarily know how to take that until you're here for a little while, and you realize that despite geographies, despite timezones, despite people from all different kinds of backgrounds, everybody really cares about each other, much like you hope is happening in a normal family. But it's really a phenomenal part of Quantiphi, and I have actually yet to meet anyone in person. But I still feel like I've really gotten to know people and I think that company culture comes from the four founders all the way down through everyone in the organization. Sabina Bhasin, C2CHow do you think, you know, enabling all these different tools and using Workspace and other ways that have helped you all come together as an organization? How has that sort of behavior in that pivot improved outcomes? And what do you think you guys will continue doing past this phase? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi That was a lot that you just asked there, and I'll try and break it down a little bit. But so in the first part of your question, the tools, so we're a company that's based entirely on all of the G-Suite tools. So I think it was expanding the way we were using them already. So I think Google meet, like you and I are talking right now from two different states, two different places, it makes it very seamless, of course, it's not the same as if we were sitting together over lunch. But I think it's pretty good. It’s pretty easy to understand when someone's talking and you know when there are multiple people on a call, how to make sure you're communicating right or using the raise a hand. So I think as far as getting together, it's a very powerful toolset that we have in front of us. I think we have used it extensively throughout our organization prior to COVID. But I think as far as meetings, I think so many meetings that were in-person have now obviously shifted to being remote and online. I think, initially, people were wary, it's different, right? And I think you always naturally have people who talk more than others who have more confidence. But I think we have found ways to really try and draw people into the conversation, as you would do in person, we're finding ways to do that using the tools. But as far as we use Google Chat, you know, so I mean, you're constantly hearing from people regardless of where they are, and I think that's really been very powerful and allowed our organization that is global, still feel very connected. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, so it sounds like some of those behaviors and those tools will be things that will be used, even if we start moving into more of a hybrid environment. Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, Quantiphi is firmly committed to a flexible future. So our HR team and talent team are putting together what that looks like. But I don't think there will ever be a mandate for most positions at Quantiphi to be five days a week in the office. I think there will be a lot more flexibility. I think what we've learned, and as many organizations have is, you can have people be incredibly productive and work on their own schedules around the sort of parameters that you have dogs, kids conflicts, you know, laundry machines breaking, you know, whatever is going on, people can still do some incredible bodies of work.  Sabina Bhasin, C2CMm-hmm. Yeah, definitely. I think that's one of the biggest lessons that some of these bigger companies have learned. You know, there's been a little bit of a movement from some of the smaller startup companies to say, you know, there is a better way that we can all work together, we can shift things to people's work, preferential work styles, and make we've learned that people can still be credibly productive despite the environments that they're in.  Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi  Yeah, I would just add one. I do think that it's, it's paramount to have flexibility. But I do think there is, there is something missing, and I'm just speaking from my personal experience from having, you know, for over 25 years of typically being in an office and often the headquarters of an organization. I think there are small things that just can't be replicated, and I think, as I said, Quantiphi is doing a great job. We have Zen days to allow people to step back from meetings; you know, we have all kinds of connection points that we've tried to make. But it's still not the same, and in fact, you know, there are a few of us who are past our second shot and past the two-week point, and for the first time, since I've been working, we'll be physically getting together and one of the offices here in Massachusetts.  I’m really excited, even if it's just a handful of people to have that synergy that happens when you're in person that is important. So my hope, my personal hope, you know, for my team, and the way I think that Quantiphi works, and the way we will work with our partners and customers going forward, is that it is a hybrid. A blend of, you have flexibility, and you can accomplish your job, whatever that looks like, but that there is still some mechanism for people to physically get together because I do think other things come out of that that is really valuable. Sabina Bhasin, C2COh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I mean, so many of those hallway conversations at times is where the best ideas come up, or, you know, the morning coffee, and you can talk about your days, and you get to know your colleagues as humans. That gives you a little bit more appreciation for the impact they're bringing to the organization, which ultimately leads to better productivity and outcomes.  Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiOur team here in North America, most of our team is based in India, but a fair number of us, a few 100 people are here in North America, and every other Friday we have a T.G.I F. The first part of it is always just dedicated to who's new who joined and, you know, they have to say a fun fact about themselves with their favorite foods are but, then it gets conversations going about, Oh, you like this? Or you want to bungee jump? Oh, I bungee jump, you know. And so then it starts the sidebar conversations that you're right, that normally would just happen in person. So, you know, it's, you know, a mechanism to get there, but not quite the same.  Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, yeah. You touched on something really interesting there. So a lot of your teams are in India, too, right now, right? How are you guys dealing with, you know, the upheaval that your teammates are facing over there and ensuring a strong culture and instill trying to maintain and thrive? From a business perspective? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, we spend a lot of time trying to ensure right that it's true; I think 80 or 85% of our team is based in India. So there are separate peer groups that have been established, really to help with support, specifically around COVID, how to find resources, if people know where oxygen is and what hospitals have room, how to find certain drugs that are needed at this point, and even just support for somebody else to talk to during this time.  Then the company they're really trying to ensure those team members, whether it's themselves who are sick, or somebody directly in their family has support to step away from their roles for a short period of time, with no worry about their roles. Quantiphi consistently makes it clear that taking care of yourself, taking care of your family, that's the most important thing. They’re really trying to ensure that people understand they can take that time and not worry about if I need to take two weeks off because I'm sick, or I'm caring for a parent that my job will be threatened that none of those things are worries at this point. I think that’s really shown compassion as an organization. It's hard to read some of the things going on, and here are some of the numbers of people just on our team who are out sick; it can be very overwhelming. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, absolutely. I mean, how do you then, you know, as a receiver of some of that trauma and like hearing those experiences of your colleagues, like how do you also maintain and continue to thrive and ensure that you're, you know, able to pause and digest that? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiYeah, and I think that's some of what we try and take these monthly Zen days.  The goal here is really to have no meetings on a certain day and really be able to step back and think about what kind of work can I accomplish because I'm not on a call? And also, are there things I can do to help someone else or learn something else? I think that can be really valuable, where we're trying to ensure that even within my marketing team, within our sales team, and within the service delivery, the greater team, that there is an overlap of skills so that somebody can take that time away so we can ensure as best we can, at this time, that we are still having the output that Quantiphi is looking to deliver. So it's tricky, and I think you just, you know, certainly as a team leader myself, you know, we always just have to be cognizant of what somebody is going through. I'm sitting here in Massachusetts, but you know, someone in my team and Bangalore, Mumbai, or Trivandrum, they're experiencing something wholly different. You know, they haven't left their house in 19 days, and food is being delivered. But, you know, it's just you have to think about that, you know, if I'm out walking my dog, I have to realize, you know, I'm lucky, but they haven't had that chance to clear their head. So maybe they need to not join one extra meeting today, you know, to find ways to make sure that they can have some control, and still, you know, be able to focus because it can be hard, it's hard if you really don't have, you know, some outlets that you normally would. Sabina Bhasin, C2COh, my gosh, absolutely. I love that Quantiphi does the Zen days; that’s a really smart way to handle a hybrid environment during a really, you know, bizarre time that has caused a lot of upheavals and in many people's lives. Do you think that that has improved productivity or business outcomes overall, though, having the different tools and different ways to sort of manage all of these other parts that were once thought of as “this is your home life, you leave this here, and you come to work, and you're you are 100% plugged in?”  Now there seems to be a shift in mindset to coming to work as your whole self and will support you in whatever way that looks? Can you talk to us a little bit about how that has improved outcomes in terms of just people feeling like they are valued, so they want to be more productive? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI do think so. I do think there have been so many positive things that have resulted here. We are in the process of adopting Google's #Iamremarkable programming, which is the empowerment of women or underserved voices within an organization. In fact, we have a kickoff session for that starting next week, and we have our first batch of people who are going to go through that training, you know, so I think there are ways to be heard. We also have implemented physical programs. So it's a five or six o'clock on a number of different afternoons, there's sort of stretching, or Pilates, or some dance moves that are all done virtually. One of the women on our team, it was something she had studied in college, and she just sort of raised her hand and said, it could be good, everybody sitting so much, how about if we try these programs? And you know, so it's small things.  Last Friday, we had everybody just making these dance moves together. It's good. No one was recording like this because it wasn't necessarily pretty, but it was really human, and I think you touched on that word a minute ago, right? Everybody was also laughing at the end, too, right? It was it didn't matter if you had the right moves, there were dogs involved in kids, and everybody was just jumping around in their kitchens. It was really great. It was a really terrific program to have some levity, too. I think as far as tools and productivity; I think we have absolutely found that people can be productive anywhere and in any way, right?  I think the one thing that makes me so encouraged about Quantiphi, and the way we are working with our partners, the way we're going to market, the future, is that I see here is that all of the good things will remain everything good that we have gained from you know, this remote time, this time working in a very different environment. Then we'll be able to layer on the things that we're missing, like traveling to see people when it's safe again, being in person; I think all of that will just complement the work structure that we've been able to have for the last year. Sabina Bhasin, C2CIn terms of the future of work and the conversation that we're going to be having with Quantiphi and other partners in June, what do you think some of the topics are going to center around? Can you share with our community anything they should be aware of going into that conversation? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, I mean, I think the conversation with Ritesh and the other leaders that you're going to be able to speak with, I think they're going to hit on so many really important themes.I think the main one is that we will really embrace everything that's worked, right, we everybody's become flexible. Everybody had to go through these pivots, you know, everyone, whether it's from shifting events to shifting the way we meet and communicate. Travel was a very big part of Quantiphi, obviously, as I've mentioned, we're a global company, and both are in person, our customer meetings, our partner meetings, everything was, you know, traveling so you gain some of the ability of not having to necessarily take a trip for one meeting where you would have, and I think people will have more things come together when they do get on a plane. Then when they do, you know, go to a new office, they'll have a number of things set up to make that valuable. I think people will really carve out that time for the connections, where you might travel and then right away hop to get back home. Then, because people have been home, maybe they'll spend a little bit longer. I think some of the other themes are just the way we have learned to embrace these tools. We'll continue to use those. I think the way companies have really set out targets for what's reasonable, it's just it's a little bit different, right? I think we will have to find a way to ensure that people do sort of shut-down at the end of the day, too.  I find that as most of my direct reports are in India, and well, it's fantastic. They're responding to me when I ask a question, a lot of times, I say, “Okay, now, now stop talking to me till tomorrow, because, you know, it's 11 o'clock at night, your time.”It’s great that the technology is there, but I do think we're going to have to find ways to have boundaries so that people don't feel the burden to respond immediately to everything. Maybe it's ways that we'll flag information, you know, messages can come in different ways, if something is truly urgent, versus, “Hey, this was on my mind, so I want to put it in your window, or your email, but you don't have to think about this right away.”  I think we'll have to find a way to be sensitive that people don't feel wrong for walking away from work for some, you know, for periods of time, because that's really important. Sabina Bhasin, C2CI couldn't agree more, and I'm hoping that some of these habits and some of these learnings actually continue, post-pandemic, right, then we don't start defaulting back to what we've always known. That's sort of the concern; I think that many people who are kind of on the execution side of work are thinking about like we've developed different boundaries and habits now. But how long will that last? And will that change? With consulting and traveling coming back, is that pace going to also return, or some of those learnings going to also filter into that? If we've seen that business can still be productive and successful as Quantiphi has been, then is that something that we can ensure for the long term? What do you think? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI do think so. I think that's something that Ritesh will probably cover, but I do think we will see, travel again, but I do think as you said, I think it's going to be different. I think it won't necessarily be Monday to Friday, every week, right? It's interesting, when I first joined, Aasif, one of the founders, and I were talking, and I said it was really weird for me to have, you know, it had been four months since I had been on a plane when I first joined Quantiphi, and I said: “it felt really weird.” It was just a very weird feeling for somebody who traveled very regularly. In the three months before the pandemic, he had made four trips to India, and three other trips, you know, massive travel time, and he said, “for right now, it's a really nice change, right, you're home, and you're grounded, and you know, have time with your family in a very different way and, of course, you're still able to work.”So I think it will look different. I think we will always travel. I think people benefit from being physically together. I think there's a connection that can happen. One thing Ritesh mentioned was, if in a normal sales cycle, or working with a prospect on a normal time we would have four in-person meetings to lead up to a sale. He anticipates it would be more like one or two now that it will be that hybrid we keep talking about. There'll be some meetings just like this, where you and I are talking like this, and then maybe beginning or end of the connection we would meet in person, you know, so I think that's a great thing. I think like we said earlier, I think leveraging all of what's good, and bringing back the things that have really been missed, that just where there's just something missing from the way we connect as people, I think that'll be great if we can get to that balance. As you said, find ways to keep some parameters around it. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, that that sounds good. I'm really looking forward to that conversation with Ritesh and all the other partners that are going to be joining. Well, this has been a really great conversation. Thank you so much, Laurie. Before we wrap up, I am just curious, is there anything else that you wanted to add that we didn't get to yet? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiSo you just use the perfect word in your wrap-up there use the word curious. So that makes me think about we started a program back in February called the curious writer’s contest.What we realized is we have some brilliant thought leaders here at Quantiphi, but there were other voices that we didn’t really hear from. We really wanted them to have a place that they could be heard, whether it was their experience with a customer, whether it's some kind of new programming that they were learning or doing, or just how they were handling COVID, or how they were where they were living and how it was going for them, so, we started this content. We had some simple parameters, but basically, write a blog post for us, it could be about myriad topics, and we would help them wordsmith it; we really just wanted to hear their thoughts. And we have had incredible responses. Of course, we made it a little competitive, we have a leaderboard, and we give out prizes, and we got all kinds of submissions.  From really incredibly heartfelt poems about how this was going to some brilliant really in-depth programming skills that someone's learned, and some of these are now public on our blog. The overwhelming response makes me realize, I think many times people just need to know where they can share, so o I think Quantiphi’s done a good job really trying to hear from everyone, even while we're all remote. I hope that the program will continue running, even if we're seeing each other five days a week; I think it's still nice to have a place that people can go and write and share thoughts in a different way.  Sabina Bhasin, C2CDefinitely, I feel like we could talk all day, and I'm hoping that we get a chance to talk again. Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI hope so too. Yeah.  Sabina Bhasin, C2CSo everybody, be sure to come back and check out our future work is all about the partner perspective; until then, take care. On June 10, Ritesh Patel, Co-Founder of Quantiphi, will join Tony Safoian, CEO of SADA; Swaraj Kulkarni, CTO of MediaAgility and Tom Galizia, Global Chief Commercial Officer Alphabet Google at Deloitte, to discuss client empathy during digital exhaustion. Register here: ​​​​​​https://community.c2cglobal.com/events/the-future-of-work-and-client-empathy-51 

Categories:Google WorkspaceDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Google Cloud PartnersInterview

Career Conversations With C2C: Heather Tran, SADA, a Google Cloud Partner

The power of community is in its conversation, and this week, the women are speaking. At C2C, we believe sharing journeys can provide the motivation, inspiration, or belief others need to either take their first steps or keep going.  In that spirit, we’re honoring Women’s History Month by having career conversations with the women from our global community, culminating on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. Today we’re featuring Heather Tran, West regional lead technical account manager at SADA.  How would you introduce yourself?  Tran has worked as a technical engineer and has authored and edited all Google Cloud internal billing documentation. She is exceptionally knowledgeable about Google Cloud Platform products and services, enabling her to ensure her customers are thriving on the platform. Get to know Tran in her own words.  Tell us about your tech path. Tran doesn't have a traditional technical background. Instead, she began her career as an academic advisor, encouraging students to pursue STEM. Listen to her explain how she successfully pivoted.  What was it like getting started in tech?  After Tran’s brother encouraged her to pursue a tech career, she still had to channel the belief herself and turn a possibility into a reality. Hear her explain how she navigated getting started as peers held more skills and experience, how she found purpose and is now working with clients trying to cure cancer. How did you get started with Google Cloud?  Tran began in mobile app development and soon moved to DevOps engineering. She had an opportunity to go to Apple, where she would have sifted through the Java code of their iTunes product, but instead, she chose Google as a support specialist and worked her way up by earning certifications and seeking training. Learn about the importance of researching certifications to supplement your education and experience. What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech? Have you felt “imposter syndrome?” As you may know, imposter syndrome, as defined by the Harvard Business Review, feels like you’re not worthy of your success. It’s also “doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.”Hear about Tran’s experience with it.  Women are often said to experience this, but others do, too. Some argue that women shouldn’t be said to experience it anymore and change their language. Others say that speaking about it openly will foster more significant support to combat it. Hear about how Tran feels on the issue.   What advice about getting started in a career in Google Cloud?  Tran doesn’t hold back and states that it’s not going to be easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not impossible to have a career like hers, too. Hear about what she says to do.   How can the community best get in touch with you?  Connect with Heather Tran on the C2C Community platform or LinkedIn.   As a former journalist, I am already ready for a good story. So, tell me a story! Reach me at sabina.bhasin@c2cglobal.com, or comment below.

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightCareers in CloudDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Google Cloud PartnersInterview

Tell Me a Story: How Did You Become a Digital Strategist with Rise Digital?

The power of community is in its conversation. We know that the best ideas begin amid laughter and grow into success stories through coffee-fueled days and nights among friends. With the “Tell Me a Story” series, we want to know how you got there, wherever that may be; after all, your journey could help another take their first step. Today, we bring you a story from Christian Newman, digital strategist at Rise Digital, on being a people-centered, coffee-fueled Google Cloud partner.  How It Started Newman started as a Google Cloud partner in 2017 when he helped TELUS transform its marketing team’s G-Suite into something that exceeded productivity gains and employee engagement expectations.“Everyone felt like part of the same team with access to the same information at the same time as everyone else with no barriers,” Newman recalls, “It was a game-changing experience for me. … I thought, ‘the world needs more of this.’”  How It's Going After 18 years in telecommunications, Newman had left TELUS, his current contract was ending, and he was living through a global pandemic. “I was at a crossroads. Find another full-time job or follow my heart and deliver a solution the world needs now, more than ever: Google Workspace.”Ultimately, Newman grabbed his coffee tumbler and followed his heart to a Google Cloud partnership, and he couldn’t be happier that he did.  What Makes You Stand Out? “My most important skill is connecting with and understanding people,” Newman reveals.That is saying a lot coming from a man who obviously places a lot of value in technical knowledge. He currently holds eight certifications, ranging from Google Workspace Sales to Google for Education Deployment Services to Google Certified IT Support Professional. If there’s something one needs to know about Google Workspace, Newman’s the guy to ask. Despite the current library of Google Cloud knowledge taking up space in his brain and the desire to obtain the Google Certified Collaboration Engineer in the near future, he maintains the most important way to approach this work is by focusing on the people.“Far too often, companies expect technology to drive digital transformation and business results, but if people lack the mindset, skills, and engagement necessary for a successful transformation, … adoption and return on investment will suffer,” Newman warns.Building relationships allows solutions to be tailored to specific client goals, making everyone more successful in the end. Talk Google Cloud Products to Me. Do You Have A Favorite? “Google Meet has got to be my favorite Google Workspace app right now. … It brings us closer together at a time when we’re forced to be far apart and need human connection more than ever.” As a Google Cloud Platform Expert, What Drew You to C2C? “I got involved with C2C to learn from others, develop my skills, be helpful, and work together to meet [the] collective goal of improving lives with Google Workspace,” Newman says. Get Connected Since C2C is all about bringing people together. How can the community best get in touch with you? Visit my website, connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email. Wanna Talk About It?Have a story to share and want to be featured? Email Sabina Bhasin, content manager. Want more C2C content or curious about who we are and why we’re here? Visit our website. 

Categories:Google WorkspaceC2C Community SpotlightCareers in CloudGoogle Cloud PartnersInterview

One-on-One with Google Cloud's Lori Mitchell-Keller

This article was originally published on September 3, 2020.She’s the new voice in the room at Google Cloud, having been brought on board not even four months ago, but Lori Mitchell-Keller is already amplifying the call for transformation in Google Cloud’s five commercial industries. These include: financial services; health care and life sciences; industrial and manufacturing; retail; and media and entertainment, telecommunications, and gaming.   Mitchell-Keller has spent more than 30 years as a strategic global leader committed to helping transform organizations with innovative technology. In her new role at Google Cloud—VP of industry solutions—she’s responsible for leading a team charged with not only understanding customer requirements across various industries, but also predicting where the market is going over the next few years.  Lori Mitchell-KellerWe all heard Mitchell-Keller at Google Cloud Next '20: OnAir talk about her goals of helping drive business transformation for organizations across key industries. (If you didn’t, check it out here). But C2C wanted to dig a little deeper into how she sees her role evolving and what that really means for you, Google Cloud customers."We need to know both customer and industry trends, so we can better design and execute a solution portfolio that will meet current and future needs,” she said. “We want to meet the challenges our customers are faced with whether it’s today, tomorrow, or years down the road.”Rallying Cry for Solutions that Cross IndustriesAs organizations large and small are tackling several different challenges, what’s consistent—across industries and across the globe—are those challenges associated with COVID-19. “These range from providing virtual care in health care, delivering better omnichannel experiences in retail, adapting to new ways of working in manufacturing, and more,” Mitchell-Keller noted. “Technology is a huge enabler to driving business continuity, and we’re focused on developing industry-specific solutions that help customers in new ways.”C2C recently shared “4 Industries’ Takeaways for Google Cloud Customers.” During our conversation, Mitchell-Keller added some more color to the initiatives her team are working on now. “We believe that a partner ecosystem makes our solutions stronger,” she said. Google Cloud has announced several strategic partnerships that will expand the company’s impact across industries—including a recent one with Amwell that will transform access to virtual care with Google Cloud artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and collaboration tools, as well as one with Tenemos that will accelerate banks’ digital transformations with new financial services offerings.The current pandemic has brought to the forefront pressing issues that span all industries—supply chain management is one, and delivering better customer experiences is another. “As we emerge from this pandemic,” she explained, “companies are thinking about how to build more resilient supply chains for the future. We recently formed a new global supply chain, logistics, and transportation team that will support each industry with a dedicated go-to-market strategy and solution road map.” A couple of early focus areas she mentioned include a demand-forecasting solution for retailers and a last-mile optimization solution for manufacturers. As for delivering better customer experiences, Mitchell-Keller said that Google is a data company at its core, and it has invested in accelerating innovation through the smarter use of data at scale. However, she pointed out, “the underpinning of our Google Cloud industry solutions road map is our AI platform, where we’re focused on embedding easy-to-use AI and machine learning in solutions that deliver new value to customers across industries.”Your Voice Is Your MoonshotAlthough relatively new to the Google Cloud team, Mitchell-Keller is not new to working on complex issues or developing comprehensive solutions. She has held numerous leadership positions and worked on everything from product and solution development, to management, to building and nurturing partnerships. “My grandmother taught me true empathy,” she said. “But she also taught me to trust myself enough to take risks in order to achieve more. I think we all need to take risks to innovate.”  As she looked inward and then forward, Mitchell-Keller said this: “I’m most passionate about solving difficult, complex problems with the simplest of solutions.” It’s that same mindset that has allowed her to use her voice and platform to not only help business leaders transform and succeed, but also to help others do the same on a personal level. She tweeted not too long ago, “I’m a strong believer in the value of volunteering. Aside from the good it can do for others, it can make a difference in your productivity at work, too.” We talked about how her own volunteer work has shaped her professional narrative, and in turn, her contributions.Mitchell-Keller spends her time volunteering at two organizations that are near and dear to her heart: Retail Orphan Initiative and Autism After 21 with the Madison House Autism Foundation. She recalled a trip she took to Honduras with her then-two-year-old son on behalf of the Retail Orphan Initiative. The goal of the organization is to help build schools to provide education, as well as provide food, clothes, and other necessities to underprivileged and orphaned children all over the world. “For our first trip, my son and I gathered hundreds of stuffed animals that we carried in our luggage. The experience that followed struck me so profoundly,” she said. “As we handed out stuffed animals, it became clear that we would not have enough to give to every child. As we walked off, we were approached by a mother asking if we had just one more so that her child did not feel left out. Being a mother myself, I understood that ask from her more than anything else. I knew what it meant to be a mother and to want only the best for your child. I handed her a stuffed animal intended for the next stop. I realized in that moment the power in asking for what you want.”Mitchell-Keller continued, “We all have things we want to accomplish professionally, but we sometimes hesitate to ask for what we want or need to make it happen. We have to ask for help from others to attain those goals that seem so out of reach sometimes. I have applied that mindset to the way I work, as well as to the way I lead. Your voice—our voices—are the stepping stones to launching technology moonshots.”Lori-Mitchell-Keller: The Quiet Drum that Beats  I asked Mitchell-Keller what she would write if she had to leave for a year and the only communication she could have with her team was a message sent via email. She paused for a minute and said: “I would say trust yourself, trust your instincts, and trust your experiences. We all have it in us to be better than we sometimes think we can be, and often we just need a reminder of that.”She wanted to make sure to remind all of you that, although 2020 has been an unpredictable year, she hopes that you lean into C2C, ask for what you want, and feel empowered to stand on each other’s shoulders to share experiences, learn from each other, and enable more informed business decisions with cloud technology. She reflected, “As Issac Newton said, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ That’s what I want for C2C members—to see further and to do it together.”

Categories:Careers in CloudIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud PartnersHealthcare and Life SciencesManufacturingRetailSupply Chain and LogisticsInterview