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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

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

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

6 Cloud Trends to Watch in 2022

The following article was written by C2C Global President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) as a member exclusive for TechCrunch. The original article is available here. The past two years have been exciting periods of growth for the cloud market, driven by increased demand for access to new technology during COVID-19 and the proliferation of the “work-from-anywhere” culture. IT leaders worked to shift workloads to the cloud to ensure business continuity for the remote workforce, leading to skyrocketing adoption of cloud computing. This momentum is expected to pick up in 2022 and beyond. For many businesses, the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation plans by months, or even years. Reliance on cloud infrastructure will only continue to grow as organizations adjust to the hybrid work model. Gartner projects that global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020. As we start the new year, C2C, an independent Google Cloud community, has identified six cloud computing trends to watch in 2022. More people are harnessing new technologies The pandemic inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs. Whether out of necessity from mass layoffs, a desire for a more flexible lifestyle, or finding the inspiration to finally pursue a passion, millions have started their own ventures. As their businesses grow and digitize, entrepreneurs across industries are embracing the cloud and adopting technologies like machine learning and data analytics to optimize business performance, save time and cut expenses. There are countless benefits to small businesses and startups. For one, the cloud makes data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling the seamless collaboration necessary in a hybrid work environment. Without having to spend on expensive hardware and software, entrepreneurs can invest in other areas as they scale their businesses. We often see founders leveraging the power and ease of use of Google Cloud Platform AI and ML tools to rapidly prototype and build applications. They’ve used this technology to create unique and exciting solutions, like tools that use ML to analyze English pronunciation or ML that predicts one’s mood from their breath. There’s an increased desire for more direct access to product developersAs more users shift to the cloud, there is an increased desire to connect and network with product developers who have worked behind the scenes to bring the latest technologies to market. Online communities, like C2C, make having these conversations possible and easy. These conversations ultimately help users secure the right applications they need and successfully deploy them to ensure operational success. Greater emphasis on security in the cloud Last year, businesses looked to the cloud to reshape their operations and become more agile. While cloud computing certainly offers the benefits of that flexibility and productivity, it also puts organizations at risk of becoming more vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches. For that reason, security is going to become a larger part of the cloud conversation throughout 2022 and beyond. This reality is going to influence a greater emphasis on building more security into the cloud. As the world continues to go digital, organizations are being tasked with ensuring security within the cloud is properly integrated into evolving business models. More organizations will seek out data solutions Almost all enterprises operate in multi-cloud environments. As a result, a lot of valuable data is spread across systems, creating a need to make data accessible to more analytics tools. Cross-cloud analytics solutions are on the rise to help data analysts manage all their insights. At C2C, we’ve discussed the noticeable rise in the number of people and companies looking at data solutions, specifically BigQuery, Google Cloud’s fully managed, server-less data warehouse. These companies are typically mapping out their data strategy, but, interestingly, some companies that are trying to work with AI and ML realize they need a solution that makes their data consistent and easy to store. Productivity tools will become even more sophisticated When the world was forced into a remote work model overnight during the pandemic, many companies were not prepared for the challenge of immediately shifting their processes to a virtual format. The ongoing challenge for many companies that have transitioned to a hybrid model has been determining how to best keep both remote and in-person team members engaged. This opened doors for cloud-based collaboration tools like Google Workspace, which are only going to become a bigger part of our day-to-day operations. These solutions have capabilities like document collaboration, integrated chat features, virtual whiteboards and more. Much of that growth has already occurred: Nearly 80% of workers are using collaboration tools for work in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to Gartner research. Not only are more companies going to adopt these cloud-based collaboration solutions, but the solutions are going to be enhanced and evolve as the needs of the hybrid workforce change. Cloud certifications are becoming more sought after by employers As industries accelerate remote adoption of cloud technologies, certifications and other IT credentials are becoming increasingly important and sought after by employers. And more IT professionals see the benefits of earning these certifications as well. More than 90% of IT leaders say they’re looking to grow their cloud environments in the next several years, yet more than 80% of those same leaders identified a lack of skills and knowledge within their employees as a barrier to achieving this growth. It turns out, the next big challenge for companies will not be how to manage cloud technology, but how to find enough qualified workers certified in it.

Categories:Google Cloud StrategyCloud OperationsC2C News

Let's Not Talk About Repatriation: Rich Hoyer of SADA on FinOps and Workload Balancing

In early 2021, Rich Hoyer, Director of Customer FinOps for SADA, published an opinion piece in VentureBeat that refuted the findings of an earlier published article about the cost of hosting workloads in the cloud. In his rebuttal, Hoyer called the article (which was written by representatives of Andreessen Horowitz Capital Management) “dead wrong” with regard to its findings about cloud repatriation and costs.Hoyer’s expertise and his views on doing business in the cloud make him an ideal participant for a C2C Global panel discussion taking place on January 20, at which he will appear alongside representatives of Twitter and Etsy to talk about whether or not enterprises should consider moving workloads off the cloud and into data centers. Hoyer predicts the panel conversation will lean away from the concept of repatriation and more toward the concept of balancing workloads.“I don’t think repatriation is the right term,” Hoyer says. “To me, it’s much more a decision of what workloads should be where, so I would phrase it as rebalancing—as more optimally balancing. Repatriation implies that there’s this lifecycle. That’s just not the way it works. How many startups have workloads that are architected from the ground up and not cloud native? You don’t see that. If you’re cloud native, you start using the stuff as cloud native.” The panel discussion will focus on hybrid workloads, he says, with a specific eye toward what works from a cost standpoint for each individual customer. “We want cloud consumers to be successful, and if they have stuff in the cloud that ought not to be there, they’re going to be unhappy with those workloads,” Hoyer says. “That’s not good for us, it’s not good for Google, it’s not good for anybody. We want only things in the cloud that are going to be successful because customers know they’re getting value from it, because that’s what’s going to cause them to expand and grow in the cloud.”From his FinOps viewpoint, Hoyer says he will be advocating for the process of making decisions around managing spend in public cloud, and the disciplines around making decisions in the cloud. “The whole process of trying to get control of this begins with the idea of visibility into what the spend is, and that means you have to have an understanding of how to report against it, how to apply the tooling to do things like anomaly alerting,” he says. I expect the discussion to be less about whether there should be repatriation, and the more constructive discussion to be about the ways to think about how to keep the balance right.”  The overall goal of the panel is to present a process for analyzing workloads. And according to Hoyer, that’s not a one-time process—it’s iterative. “I’ll encourage anyone who has hybrid scenarios—some in the data center and some in the cloud—to be doing iterated looks at that to see what workloads should still be in the cloud,” Hoyer says. “There should be an iteration: Here’s what’s in the cloud today, here’s what’s in the data center today, and in broad terms, are these the right workloads? And then also, when stuff is in the cloud, are we operating it efficiently? And that’s a constant process, because you’ll have workloads that grow from the size they were in the cloud. And we’ll hear that same evaluation from the technology standpoint—are we using the best products in the cloud, and are there things in the data center that ought not to be there?”Be sure to join C2C Global, SADA, Twitter, and Etsy for this important conversation and arm your business with the tools needed to make intelligent and informed decisions about running your workloads and scaling your business. Click the link below to register. 

Categories:Google Cloud StrategyHybrid and MulticloudCloud MigrationStorage and Data TransferInterview

Cloud Migration Cost Analysis: Determining the Value of Your Cloud Strategy

When organizations need to pivot to a different process or adopt different tools to enable more productivity, they can tend to leap into that new system without first conducting up-front research to determine its feasibility. This method of adoption is possible, but it can cause many decision-makers to pivot again after a few months once unforeseeable costs come to the forefront.Take cloud adoption and virtualization, for example. In the early 2000s, companies like Google, Amazon, and Salesforce introduced web-based services to manage digital workloads and make computing more efficient. Quickly, companies adopted multi-cloud or hybrid cloud solutions to manage their businesses and protect their employees’ and clients' information.Now the workforce is going through another revolution. Working from home is more common, many aspects of our day-to-day lives are digital, and companies have a greater need for the level of security and compliance that only private cloud infrastructures can offer. Why, then, has there been such a shift in recent years toward cloud repatriation? Read on to find out more about measuring cloud computing costs and building a cloud computing infrastructure that enables your team to work more efficiently. Measuring Cloud Computing Costs Has Caused Many CIOs to Reconsider Their Cloud Solution Early adopters have the benefit of being at the forefront of the latest technology and innovation. However, being an early adopter comes with its risks, and many CIOs and decision-makers who quickly merged their company’s processes and assets with the cloud are starting to measure their cloud computing costs and choosing to repatriate.When cloud computing is costly, misuse is often to blame. Used incorrectly, cloud computing can seem to cost more, but planning the provision process and accurately configuring assets can correct this miscalculation. Most cloud providers deliver reports and suggestions to help administrators reduce costs.Every major cloud provider uses calculators to estimate costs. Even after provisioning, watch your cloud usage and review configurations. Most cloud configurations can be adjusted to lower budgets and scale resources back. What is TCO in Cloud Computing? One of the first steps of building a cloud computing infrastructure is calculating the foreseeable costs of the move. To do so, decision-makers can use total cost of ownership (TCO) as a helpful metric to compare the cost of their current infrastructure to prospective costs of going hybrid or multi-cloud.But what is TCO in cloud computing? And is it a useful tool for weighing the cost-effectiveness of application modernization? Total cost of ownership refers to the total associated costs of an asset. This includes purchase price, adaptation, and operation. In cloud computing, specifically, TCO refers to all of the associated costs of purchasing and operating a cloud technology.Several factors make up TCO, including administration, capacity, consulting fees, infrastructure software, and integration. To properly calculate TCO, administrators must create a plan for migration and factor in the costs of maintaining the environment after the business relies on cloud resources. Conducting a Cloud TCO Analysis & Determining ROI Another important metric in cloud migration cost analysis is ROI, or return on investment. Many stakeholders and decision-makers may be familiar with ROI as a business term, but less familiar with the term in the context of cloud computing.TCO measures ROI. After the initial investment, the cost savings should be greater than the costs of running the environment every month. Cost savings will be higher than the initial investment if the company runs with a lower budget than it did using on-premise resources.An organization’s ROI is impacted by more than just the cost of infrastructure. It’s also impacted by performance, availability, scalability, and the human resources necessary to maintain it. For example, the costs of running cloud resources every month could be cheaper than on-premise costs, but slow systems reduce productivity and could cost more in constant bug fixing and troubleshooting. Measuring the Risks of Cloud Repatriation After conducting a TCO analysis on your cloud solution, you may realize that there’s room for improvement, or savings, in your cloud strategy. But repatriation, or shifting from a public cloud model to an on-premise private server, comes with its own host of risks and potential migration costs that CIOs and company leaders will need to assess in determining when to shift and when to stay. Repatriation CostsRepatriation is the process of “reverse migration,” which means bringing data and applications back in-house. The costs of repatriation add strain to an IT budget, so migration back to on-premises infrastructure must be planned. Costs include the bandwidth required to migrate data and applications, the hardware necessary to support users and services, security tools, the personnel needed to support and maintain the resources, and any downtime costs. Administrators usually avoid repatriation unless it’s necessary due to the costs, training, and downtime associated with migration. Security & Compliance RisksOne of the most popular reasons for building a cloud computing infrastructure on public platforms is security assurance and compliance. However, this solution may not continue to be feasible for smaller organizations as the cost of cloud services continues to rise. If cloud resources are not configured properly, data breaches can occur. Small organizations with few security resources may find that the risks associated with migration, including compliance regulations surrounding cloud-hosted data, outweigh the associated savings. Consider Your Previous Cloud Migration StrategyYour original cloud migration strategy will play a big role in determining the feasibility of repatriation. For instance, if your team migrated by replatforming, it may be too expensive or time consuming to move back on-prem. Conversely, if your organization took a more “lift-and-shift” approach, there may be an opportunity for you to shift back, if doing so won’t compromise security and compliance.It’s not uncommon for organizations to try cloud migration with limited sample data and applications, and then later move more critical applications. The previous plan and migration process should be analyzed, and lessons learned should be carried into the next migration. This next migration should be smoother, with less downtime. With a test migration, a large overhaul of your system migrated to the cloud could potentially cost less.Do any of these concerns resonate with you? Are you thinking about moving your workloads off the cloud? Come to our Deep Dive on cloud repatriation on January 20, 2022: 

Categories:InfrastructureGoogle Cloud Strategy

The Right Team: Managecore and NextGen Build for the Future Using Google Cloud

Migrating SAP applications to the cloud can be a complicated, time-consuming undertaking. The road to a successful cloud migration project and a stable cloud environment is often filled with twists, turns, and hurdles. Yet, there are steps your organization can take to ensure success. Earlier this year, NextGen Healthcare migrated from a private cloud landscape to a public cloud landscape with Google Cloud while also upgrading to the SAP HANA database in the same project.  “This project is not as simple as moving to a different location,” said Karen Bollinger, Vice President of Business Applications at NextGen Healthcare.To ensure a successful migration project, the healthcare technology organization partnered with Managecore, a technical managed services company focused on SAP. Bollinger emphasized that collaboration was one of the keys to the project’s success and set NextGen Healthcare up with a stable cloud landscape and laid a foundation for future growth on Google Cloud.“If done properly, the promise of the cloud can truly be achieved,” he said. “You just need the right team.” The Need for a Change  Before beginning this project, NextGen Healthcare had been leveraging SAP for about a decade. The company was running several SAP solutions, including SAP ECC, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, SAP Financial Accounting, and SAP Controlling. NextGen Healthcare already had an existing partnership with Managecore when Bollinger approached the organization to assist with doing some security-focused work on NextGen Healthcare’s SAP landscape.The conversations between the two organizations evolved into how NextGen Healthcare would transition to Google Cloud. NextGen Healthcare had been thinking about moving its SAP landscapes from another hyperscaler. Bollinger noted that NextGen Healthcare hoped to work with a managed service provider that offered increased transparency and more flexibility with their cloud environments. Making the Transition  In addition to migrating to Google Cloud, Managecore also updated NextGen Healthcare’s SAP database, implementing SAP HANA in under six months.“When we are moving organizations to the cloud, we are always trying to get the biggest bang for our buck,” Powell said.This led NextGen Healthcare to see a significant improvement in the stability of its SAP landscape, better up times, and overall improved performance. Managecore also helped NextGen Healthcare decrease its monthly hosting costs and gave the organization a foundation to improve its SAP landscape in the future.“The world is their oyster,” Powell said. “NextGen Healthcare is in a perfect position, from a technology standpoint, to take advantage of the Google Cloud Platform.”Bollinger noted that this transition has NextGen Healthcare in a position to migrate from SAP ECC 6 to SAP S/4HANA, giving them both the ability and the agility to tackle that project in the future. Keys to Success  According to Bollinger, one of the keys to this project’s success was having Managecore as a partner.“You need a great partner,” she said, emphasizing that organizations need to collaborate with partners that have both expertise and experience. Powell highlighted the caliber of the team working on this migration, noting that successful teams need to know how to “tune” SAP applications to run in Google Cloud efficiently. Both Bollinger and Powell emphasized that this was a collaborative effort and that the project’s success is due to the expertise and partnership among the project’s team.  Learn More About Success in Google Cloud While many organizations are migrating their SAP workloads to Google Cloud, some are still showing trepidation about tackling such an expansive and complex project.“If you haven’t thought about moving to the cloud or you aren’t convinced, talk to someone who has been successful with one of these projects,” Powell said.Both Bollinger and Powell will be sitting down on Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. CT for a C2C Navigators webcast focused on this project. They will be going into further depth about the ins and outs of their success, and they’ll be able to help attendees figure out how to complete a successful and fast migration. They’ll also discuss how the two organizations have worked together to ensure this success continues after the go-live—interested in digging deeper into this story?  Register here and save your spot!   Extra Credit: Looking to connect with your peers or expand your network? Join the SAP on GCP Community here on C2C.  

Categories:Google Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsCloud MigrationSAPHealthcare and Life Sciences

Multi-Cloud Vs. Hybrid Cloud: When Should Businesses Make the Switch to a Hybrid Strategy?

In 2019, the public cloud services market reached $233.4 billion in revenue. This already impressive number is made even more impressive by the fact that this was a 26% year-over-year increase from the previous year; a strong indication that app modernization and cloud migration continue to be winning strategies for many enterprises.But which cloud strategy should a decision-maker choose? When should they migrate their legacy applications into a hybrid, multi-cloud, or on-premise architecture? There may not be single definitive answers to these questions, but there are certainly different options to weigh and considerations to make before officially adopting a new process. Read on to find out more about multi-cloud vs hybrid cloud strategies for startups, and join the conversation with other cloud computing experts in the C2C Community. What is a Hybrid Cloud Strategy? A hybrid cloud strategy is an internal organization method for businesses and enterprises that integrates public and private cloud services with on-premise cloud infrastructures to create a single, distributed computing environment.The cloud provides businesses with resources that would otherwise be too expensive to deploy and maintain in house. With on-premise infrastructure, the organization must have the real estate to house equipment, install it, and then hire staff to maintain it. As equipment ages, it must be replaced. This whole process can be extremely expensive, but the cloud gives administrators the ability to deploy the same resources at a fraction of the cost. Deploying cloud resources takes minutes, as opposed to the potential months required to build out new technology in house. In a hybrid cloud, administrators deploy infrastructure that works as an extension of their on-premise infrastructure, so it can be implemented in a way that ties into current authentication and authorization tools. What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy? Conversely, a multi-cloud strategy is a cloud management strategy that requires enterprises to treat their cloud services as separate entities. A multi-cloud strategy will include more than one public cloud service and does not need to include private services, like in the case of hybrid cloud. Organizations use a multi-cloud strategy for several reasons, but the primary reasons are to provide failover and avoid vendor lock-in. Should one cloud service fail, a secondary failover service can take over until the original service is remediated. It’s an expensive solution, but it’s a strategy to reduce downtime during a catastrophic event. Most cloud providers have similar products, but administrators have preferences and might like one over another. By using multiple cloud services, an organization isn’t tied to only one product. Administrators can pick and choose from multiple services and implement those that work best for their organizations’ business needs. What is the Difference Between a Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Strategy? Though the differences might be slight, choosing the wrong cloud strategy can impact businesses in a big way, especially those just starting out. One of the primary differences between a hybrid and a multi-cloud strategy is that a hybrid cloud is managed as one singular entity while a multi-cloud infrastructure is not. This is largely due to the fact that multi-cloud strategies often include more than one public service that performs its own function.Additionally, when comparing multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud, it’s important to note that a hybrid cloud will always include a private cloud infrastructure. Now, a multi-cloud strategy can also include a private cloud service, but if the computing system is not managed as a single entity, it is technically considered both a multi-cloud and a hybrid cloud strategy.Infrastructure is designed differently, but the biggest significance is cost. Hosting multi-cloud services costs more than using one service in a hybrid solution. It also requires more resources to support a multi-cloud environment, because it’s difficult to create an environment where services from separate providers will integrate smoothly with each other, and requires additional training for any staff unfamiliar with cloud infrastructure. Which Cloud Strategy Has the Most Business Benefits? Every cloud strategy has its benefits, and most organizations leverage at least one provider to implement technology that would otherwise be too costly to host in-house. For a simple hybrid solution, use a cloud service that provides a majority of the resources needed. All cloud services scale, but you should find one that has the technology that you need to incorporate into workflows.Multi-cloud is more difficult to manage, but it gives administrators better freedom to pick and choose their favorite resource without relying on only one provider. A multi-cloud strategy also provides failover should a single provider fail, so it eliminates the single point of failure that most hybrid solutions experience. A cloud provider has minimal downtime, but downtime occasionally happens. With a multi-cloud strategy, administrators can keep most business workflows working normally until the primary provider recovers.It’s hard to stand squarely on the side of one cloud strategy over another. Every business has its own unique variables and dependencies that may make a hybrid model more desirable than multi-cloud, or vice versa. The benefits of an on-premise cloud infrastructure may also outweigh those of both hybrid and multi-cloud. The decision to go hybrid or adopt a multi-cloud strategy resides with the decision-makers of said enterprise. There are, however, some considerations businesses of any size and lifecycle can take into account before finalizing the decision. What to Consider When Switching to a Hybrid Cloud Strategy Before choosing a provider, you should research each provider’s services, feedback, and cost. It’s not easy to choose a provider, but the one integrated into the environment should have all the tools necessary to enhance workflows and add technology to the environment. A few key items that should be included are: Authorization and authentication tools Speed and performance metrics Backups and failover within data centers Different data center zones for internal failover Logging and monitoring capabilities Usage reports Convenient provisioning and configuration Most cloud providers have a way to demo their services, or they give users a trial period to test products. Use this trial wisely so that administrators can determine the best solution for the corporate environment. Multi-Cloud Vs. Hybrid Cloud for StartupsAgain, deciding between a multi-cloud strategy vs. hybrid cloud strategy depends on the needs of the company. For startups, there may need to be a greater emphasis on security and disaster recovery, in which case a multi-cloud management strategy would provide a company at the beginning of its lifecycle the protection it needs to grow.Conversely, to bring up one of the key differences between a hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy, if an entity uses private cloud services, a hybrid cloud model would provide the startup with the flexibility it needs to make changes to their computing infrastructure as they become more established. Do Startups Benefit From an On-Premise Cloud Infrastructure?The short answer is yes, startups can benefit from an on-premise cloud infrastructure. Taking any services in-house, whether it's managing payroll or IT services, can help reduce costs and give businesses more visibility into their workflow. If there is a need to hold on to an on-premise cloud infrastructure, a multi-cloud strategy will allow that enterprise to maintain that computing system while also managing additional public cloud services separately. What Does the Resurgence of IT Hardware Mean for Cloud? Even though cloud adoption has been surging for some time among businesses (Gartner reported in 2019 that more than a third of organizations view cloud investments as a “top 3 investing priority”) IT hardware and in-house services have also experienced a resurgence in popularity. Many believe this new phenomenon, referred to as cloud repatriation by those in the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) industry, is the result of a lack of understanding around proper cloud management and containerization among IT decision-makers. They may initially make the choice to migrate certain applications into a hybrid cloud strategy only to abandon the effort because of workload portability. In light of this shift, hyphen-cloud strategies, like multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud, still reign supreme as a cost effective and secure way to manage legacy applications and workloads. It may take a fair amount of planning and strategizing to decide which cloud strategy matches the company lifecycle to which it applies, but cloud adoption certainly isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Categories:InfrastructureGoogle Cloud StrategyHybrid and MulticloudCloud Migration

C2C Talks: Google Cloud Security Demystified Key Conversations

Cloud security is an emerging technology, and even some of the most seasoned professionals in the cloud community are still learning how it works, or at least thinking about it. If all of your data is stored on the cloud, and all of your apps are running on it, you want to know that those apps and that data are secure, and knowing that the cloud is an open, shared environment might not be an immediate comfort. Luckily, the cloud offers all kinds of security resources you can’t access anywhere else. Understanding how these resources can protect your data and assets is crucial to doing the best work possible in a cloud environment. Vijeta Pai is a C2C contributor and Google Cloud expert whose website Cloud Demystified provides comics and other educational content that makes cloud security accessible and intelligible to the average Google Cloud user. C2C recently invited Pai to give a presentation and host a discussion on all things cloud security, from threat modeling to shared responsibility arrangements to best practices, drawing on her work with Cloud Demystified as well as the content she’s published on the C2C blog.  Watch her full presentation below, and read on for some of the key conversations from her C2C Talks: Cloud Security Demystified.  After providing some background on types of cloud providers (public, private, and hybrid) and the different elements of cloud security (technologies, processes, controls, and policies), Pai broke down the STRIDE threat model. This model defines every type of cybersecurity attack a cloud security system might be required to prevent. The six types are Spoofing, Tampering, Repudiation, Information Disclosure, Denial of Service, and Elevation of Privilege. Watch below for Pai’s breakdown of the definitions and associated security considerations of each one:  Next, Pai explained the different possible models used to share the responsibility for security between an organization and a cloud provider. The three models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), and each allocates responsibility for people, data, applications, and the operating system (OS) differently:  Pai kicked off the open discussion portion with a comprehensive review of cloud security best practices, which referred back to a post she wrote for the C2C blog, 10 Best Practices for Cloud Security in Application Development.  As she does in the post, Pai went through these strategies one by one, from Identity and Access Management Control to Data Encryption to Firewalls. For anyone in the process of actively implementing their cloud security measures, Pai’s full answer is worth the watch:  A unique opportunity for C2C members is the ability to ask questions directly to the experts, and Pai fielded several questions about specific aspects of the technology of Google Cloud itself.  The first question came from C2C member Dickson Victor (@Vick), who was concerned with whether the cloud can support better security than an on-premise system. Pai’s answer spoke to the heart of the issue for most prospective cloud users: the policies, processes, and resources available in an open environment like the cloud versus those available in a locked, private system. Her response was nothing but encouraging:  Pai also took a moment to let C2C community member Lokesh Lakhwani (@llakhwani17) plug the Google Cloud Security Summit, the first-ever tech summit on cloud security:  The discussion wrapped up with a question about cybersecurity insurance and whether it might become an entire industry once cloud security becomes a new standard. Pai wasn’t sure how quickly the industry would explode. Still, she thinks there is room out there for growth and innovation, precisely because of the extent to which technology has become a necessary part of day-to-day life for so many people living through the COVID-19 pandemic, including Pai’s mother, who lives and works in India.  Moreover, the more we live our lives on the cloud, the more we will need cloud security, which, to Pai, means there is plenty of opportunities right now for cybersecurity insurance companies to make their mark: Do you have questions or concerns about cloud security that Pai didn’t answer in this session? Feel free to share them in the comments and also to connect with Pai directly. You can find her on LinkedIn or join C2C to keep up with her work and get in touch with other tech professionals working in the cloud security field.

Categories:InfrastructureGoogle Cloud StrategyIdentity and SecuritySession Recording

Scaling an Enterprise Software: Autoscaling Applications and Databases (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:(2:20) Introduction to Fulfilld (4:10) The team’s buildout requirements for a cloud-based application, including language support, responsiveness, and data availability (9:15) Fulfilld’s Android-based scanner’s capabilities and hardware (12:25) Creating the digital twin with anchor points (14:50) Microservice architecture, service consumption, and service data store (19:35) Data store options using BigQuery, Firestore, and CloudSQL (23:35) Service runtime and runtime options using Cloud Functions (28:55) Example architecture (30:25) Challenges in deciding between Google Cloud product options (31:40) Road map for the warehouse digital assistant, document scanning, and 3D bin packing algorithm (39:00) Open community questions Community Questions AnsweredWhat does the road map include for security? Did using Cloud Functions help with the system design and partitioning codings tasks by clearly defining functions and requirements? Do you give your customers access to their allocated BigQuery instance? What type of data goes to Firestore versus CloudSQL?Other ResourcesGoogle Cloud Platform Architecture Framework Google Cloud Hands-On Labs on Coursera Google Cloud Release Notes by ProductFind the rest of the series from Fulfilld below: 

Categories:InfrastructureGoogle Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsDatabasesSupply Chain and LogisticsSession Recording

[Listen] Journey to Deployment with Fulfilld: How Google Cloud Microservices Make it Easier to Quickly Deploy and Scale

It’s a dream scenario: choosing your own cloud platform when designing, architecting and building a global cloud enterprise software application. And that’s just where the Fulfilld story begins. Fresh off the launch circuit the SaaS company is breaking the fourth wall and is taking the C2C Google Cloud customer community behind the scenes and along for the ride with their development, engineering to business leadership teams. They’ll candidly share their successes, challenges and your engagement is welcome. This series will be a mix of articles, discussions, on-demand content and even live events where you can bring your questions and comments directly to the teams. To kick off the journey, we begin with understanding who FulFilld is, why they chose to build on Google Cloud and how micro-services are enabling them to quickly deploy features, develop an intelligent enterprise warehouse management platform and support high-volume transactions that can scale globally.  First Things First - Why did you choose Google Cloud?  Michael Pytel, CTO, shared that he and his team is working to deliver an enterprise-grade application that enables a warehouse digital twin using 5G ultra-wide-band powered devices. From supporting high-volume transactions across the globe, to analytics, to machine learning and natural language processing that powers an industry first warehouse digital assistant, Google Cloud Platform became their go-to platform when looking at functionality, pricing, scalability, performance, and innovation.  Listen and Join the Journey  In our first conversation, Pytel and C2C cover the following: What key decisions contributed to choosing a cloud platform for the SaaS application   FullFilld’s requirements for a globally available application Why they need a combination of in-memory databases (Firebase) and traditional SQL-based database (Cloud SQL) Why they were so focused on leveraging the autoscaling features of Kubernetes for application logic  Rather skim? Key questions are shared below along with the full transcript with edits only for clarity. __Michael Pytel, CTO, FullFilld (MP):  Fantastic, Sabina. Thank you so much. I've worked in enterprise applications, really all my adult life. So I started as a night operator supporting an earpiece system called pix. Then I supported JD Edwards and PeopleSoft and then SAP, enterprise ERP and spent the last decade there. Now with FullFilld, we're building a brand new company, and at this brand new company, we create the digital twin, which is really just a digital representation of the physical warehouse...so that you can visually look at how do people move in my warehouse, and how inventory moves in my warehouse, that's our secret sauce. That's our thesis as to why we're going to be successful and we're getting a lot of good feedback for the market on our product today. Sabina, C2C (C2C): So tell me a little bit about that feedback, what's resonating? MP: This is where Google Cloud Platform comes into play, a lot of our customers love that it's very low total cost of ownership. You know, there's no server to deploy on premise. Everything is cellular connected, and Wi Fi connected. So we have that backup, if the customer's Wi Fi network in the warehouse goes down, it falls over to 5G connectivity. So it's a really low cost of ownership, really easy and quick to deploy and our application is auto scaling, which I think is another benefit of Google Cloud Platform, meaning our customers don't need to worry about running out of resources, right? As they grow from a 50-person warehouse to 100-person warehouse and then add the fourth, fifth, seventh and 10th warehouse, the application auto scales on Google Cloud Platform with the customers growth. So they never really have to worry about “am I maxing out the server? Are we over utilized? Is the system going to be slow when I add this new product line?” We don't need to think about this. We can think about the business challenges we have. We don't need to think about server capacity, which I think is a big benefit with running on Google Cloud Platform. C2C:  Yeah, yeah. So talk to me a little bit about that decision, then to go with Google Cloud. That is, did you build knowing that you would use Google Cloud? Or was that something that came up later? Talk to me about that decision.  MP: Yeah, so there's multiple, you know, infrastructure as a service organizations out there, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, you have other providers out there as well, that are smaller, but still very innovative. So we had to find that right mix of brick and mortar stability and investing in new technology, and constantly innovating. When you take a look at Google and their ecosystem, the way that they share knowledge, the way that they share their product roadmap, the way that they create content on YouTube, for developers to watch and articles for us to read. We just felt like, “wow, this is a fantastic organization that's continually innovating, continually pushing the envelope of what they can do and what they can't do.”  Also, enabling startups like us to run an enterprise level application and enterprise grade application at the lowest cost possible [is another benefit]. So, it’s cost optimized, super innovative, great content, great partner program, easy for us to learn and ramp up resources. That was part of my personal scorecard when determining what platform to run on. Google Cloud Platform really just checked all those boxes for us.  C2C: What are you most excited about with Google Cloud?  MP: So personally, you know, their ability to run essentially functions with it for your application and in an auto scaling manner. A lot of cloud providers can run Docker and Kubernetes, so Google has the Google Kubernetes engine and we can run code in the backend on Google Kubernetes engine, and it auto scales. Microsoft can do that, too. And Amazon could do that, too. But then there's this feature in function called Cloud Functions, which even further drives our costs of operating even lower.  And they're really innovative. I can use TypeScript to node and Cloud Functions. This is probably getting, you know, super technical... C2C: ...Our community loves technical, go for it, give us the details! MP:  Fantastic. So, you know, looking at Cloud Functions, we just loved the way that they worked in the function. We loved how they're cost optimized and when users are logging in and using the application, it can auto-scale and grow. I don't need to really take on the management of Kubernetes and Kubernetes clusters and the management of how many nodes are active, I can just use this thing called Cloud Functions. Another thing within Google Cloud platform that we really loved was Firebase. We use a mobile application in the warehouse, where you can picture yourself as a warehouse worker, and a garage door is open, and there's a truck that you have to unload. A lot of times, you're not unloading that truck, and it has pallets and has different products on it and  those products are going to different places, you don't typically unload a truck by yourself, you have a team member and a teammate or a group of people that are going to help unload this truck. So we needed a mobile application that was super responsive, super fast.[For example], I receive 10 baseball gloves that are sitting right in front of me and somebody else grabs another 10 baseball gloves, we need to update each other, letting each other know that we both receive 10, we need to let the backend system know we've got 20 total, and we need that to happen very fast. So we're using Firebase, the cloud-based no SQL data in memory database, we're using Google Flutter to build our mobile application handling authentication there as well. It’s just a very responsive, very fast application because of these cloud technologies. You know, we could have gone a traditional API route with a traditional SQL database, but Firebase has been super responsive for the mobile application making it so that the warehouse worker can just keep working, keep working, keep working and not wait on the application to update the screen. So it's been fantastic so far.  C2C: How does that translate into the business outcomes for your customers or your clients?  MP: So within the supply chain world, there are tremendous pressures to get products to customers, right, we learned we read about this all through COVID. There's more DTC shipping and more direct-to-consumer.Brawney paper towels, Georgia Pacific, they were so used to shipping whole pallet loads to Sam's and Costcos. Now they have to ship individual piece products directly to consumers. This is happening across the industry, so there's just more things, more movements, more activities, more documents in the warehouse. Anything we can do to make sure that the user in the warehouse is supported is not encumbered or you know, they don't view the system as a  bottleneck, they view it as an enabler, that's what makes us look great makes the warehouse worker feel good about their job, meaning they know what to do, they know what they need to do and they can get it done very quickly and they’re waiting for them on the system to process it.So us being very responsive and very quick enables that warehouse worker to do their job effectively throughout the day and enables that organization to do more.That's what we're trying to do is we're trying to make it so the individual warehouse worker can  improve their throughput by 50% by navigating them through the warehouse very effectively using Google's Auto ML and machine learning models for routing in the warehouse.Being super responsive, supporting that worker throughout the day, and just enabling organizations to do more. That’s our goal. C2C:  [Are you ready to compete with Amazon?] MP:  We get this question a lot. Amazon's a massive company and they run a lot of their own software naturally being one of the largest companies on the planet. In North America, there are 40,000 other customers and 40,000 other companies that make a product and need to ship their product to a customer. Our goal is to democratize the technology typically used by large companies and make it available to midsize companies.So being able to create that digital twin of the warehouse, yeah, Amazon already did that. But they have billions and billions of dollars. You know, what about the $200 million manufacturer of equipment in Durango, Colorado or the, you know, the upstart shoe manufacturer, and they're making shoes in the US, and they're selling it directly to consumers?  They want really sophisticated warehouse management application, something that's going to help them be super effective as they move product through the warehouse, reduce collisions, reduce the number of times we touch a product, optimize the picking route, the way that people are walking through there, what if they want that technology and they're not a billion dollar company? What do they do? Well, that's where FullFilld comes in, really trying to democratize that large enterprise level of features and bring it down market into those midsize companies. C2C: It's.. It's really cool...and... that's your that's your why, right? That's your big mission, your core every day. Was this a COVID born decision? Or where did this come from? MP: We definitely founded the company in 2020. We started the company during the pandemic. We saw the need there. But there were also some other cool things that were in the mix here from a technology perspective. There's a technology called ultra wideband, which is not specific to Google or anybody else, but ultra wideband is a location indoor positioning technology that enables us to understand where an object is in a physical space.So there was a convergence of the need, meaning the need was COVID and direct consumer was going to continue to grow and that every analyst agrees, it's going to continue to get even bigger. So we knew that logistics and supply chain space was going to have growing pains. We had this new technology that's being adopted more and more and then we have Google Cloud Platform, which enabled us to stitch it all together. Now we're using machine learning in Google Cloud Platform, to make recommendations to customers on where to store products in their warehouse. Because of this location technology, we understand where the product is and  because of the application we built, we understand what needs to be moved, what are the orders, what are the sales orders, what needs to be moved to the customer. So blending it all together, they're on Google, it's really cool. C2C: [How did the application begin?] MP: When we started the application, we started with a UX design and beta test with a few customers. We created a website, we created the design of the application, we communicated to the market, what we were doing and what we're building. As we were just in the beginning, just starting to build the application, we got pinged from Deloitte in Europe, and they had found us and one of their large retail customers had taken an interest. They said, “Wow, you guys are doing location tracking indoors to make employees more effective in the way that they move inside of the warehouse?” They thought, well, “could I use this in a retail scenario where I've got large retail? I need to move people around at night, because I want to turn my retail stores into warehouses” So while we have to be able to run in multiple data centers around the globe, that obviously, is something Google's very good at. We needed different features and functions within Google available in European data centers right away, which was fantastic. Google already had a partner that also can help us understand some privacy laws in different countries and Google has a lot of information that showed us, you know, or gave us leads on how to handle different privacy and GDPR compliance within European data centers, which was fantastic. So that  was number one, we knew we had to run in multiple data centers, we needed to be multilingual. And again, just tacking on all the little components we needed. We needed an in memory database, we needed an attritional database, we needed to be auto scaling because we wanted to have, you know, really low operational costs, runtime costs. The next thing that we wanted to do was build a world's first natural language digital assistant. So the Siri or Alexa, the Google assistant of the warehouse, meaning I could hold up a device, my Google Pixel, and I could say, “where's my next pick? Where's this material? What's the status of the next delivery? How many more tasks do I have?” Natural language digital assistant on devices in the warehouse specific to my job function and  Google offered that as well, the ability to have a natural language digital assistant in multiple languages. So we were able to use their application to build a digital assistant that can speak Spanish and Swedish and English. As we continue to grow, we can continue to add more languages and be more global. So we definitely knew from the beginning, we wanted to be a global company, and GCP has those features to help us do that. C2C: That's, that's awesome. Thank you for sharing that whole story. That's a nice succinct way of how it started and where you are now to set everybody up. One of the other things that we offer to set up the community with is a solid criteria that can be used when determining the right platform for your application. Are there certain key makers or decision points that you can share for others that are evaluating whether or not they want to build on GCP? MP:  Yeah, that's a good question. The big thing is the developer community and the developer community support, right? If you're transitioning a developer into a platform, are they going to be able to ramp up quickly on the knowledge required? Are they gonna be able to participate? Are they going to be able to have test environments and demo environments, at a very low cost? So that one thing was just developer community and developer community support.  I think Google is very developer friendly and supports developers. The next one was service availability and data center availability. Can I run in all the countries that I need to run?” And Google had that check mark there in terms of innovation, you know, as an organization they have a well thought out roadmap. They clearly communicate to the community what they're building and what they're sunsetting. We need to know, as we're building an application. If we're using a specific technology, what does the roadmap for that technology look like within your company? Is this something you're going to continue forward with? Or is this something you're going to kill and create something new? So as we are betting our futures on different technologies, whether that's Kubernetes or natural language processing, or x, what does that product roadmap look like so I can lay out my product roadmap. I think that Google's doing and has done a very good job of laying out what the roadmaps are in specific use areas. There's always room for improvement, we always want more information, right? I'm never gonna be happy. But that's one thing you need to look at when choosing a cloud provider is, “what does the product roadmaps look like? How far out are they forecasting? And are they meeting the goals that they're setting so that you can plan your product around that company's product roadmap? So product roadmap, developer support, developer adoption, service availability, data center availability, were kind of our top three. C2C:  Yeah, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you wanted to ensure people understood about the FullFilld or why you chose Google Cloud?  Because my last question, then, if there isn't anything, which I'm sure there probably is, is why you are excited about the C2C community and how you see yourself contributing or being a part of the community? MP: In terms of FullFilld, we want to share not only our product and what our product is, what our vision is with the warehouse management logistics community, we are also eager to share how we're building this platform with the development community.We're eager to share our experiences, talk about it out loud, get feedback, and ask good questions. One thing I've learned in my technical career is the more I share, the more I learn and so we are here fulfilled, we definitely want to share everything that we're doing. We want to share how we're building it, where we're building it, our timelines and the functionality that we're using. We're looking forward to engaging with the C2C community to have those open conversations because we're going to learn something that we didn't know. Someone is going to ask a question of, “why did you do that?”  We need to defend it or adapt and move to something else and in. We don't want to build our application in a silo. There's a wonderful community of people out there and specifically within C2C and we want to tap into that community, solicit feedback, solicit ideas and hopefully find some people that want to work for FullFilld in the future. Also, I hope that we are sharing enough information so that as other individuals are out starting their company, building a new platform or building a new application within a larger organization, they can learn from our mistakes, hear about our challenges, and adapt and grow from there. That's, that's what that's really one answer for both questions. C2C: Yeah, that's, that's amazing. Awesome. That's all I got. Do you have other things you wanted to add? MP:  No, thank you so much for the opportunity, support, excited to share and really hope that we get lots of great q&a and questions from the community. C2C: Yeah, me too. Me too. I'm really excited to share this out. And so thank you so much for your time, Michael, and I'm sure we'll talk with you soon.  MP: Yep, see you soon. The Fulflld Journey to Deployment continues with the following events:   

Categories:Application DevelopmentGoogle Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud StartupsSupply Chain and LogisticsInterview

Dan Stuart, Southwire, on Why Google Cloud Was the Secure Choice

 Transforming a global manufacturing powerhouse, like Southwire, to a cloud provider is a significant decision. But with 30 years of experience in IT and manufacturing to pull from, Dan Stuart knew the right questions to ask to drive the right decision for Southwire as it navigated a cyberattack, refreshed its hardware, and was in growth mode. As a result, in July 2020, Southwire migrated its SAP environment to Google Cloud Platform, setting a benchmark in the industry for successfully moving an entrenched manufacturing business to the cloud. “Southwire is building a foundation for growth and innovation with the cloud, beginning with the migration of its core SAP business systems and services to Google Cloud,” said Rob Enslin, President at Google Cloud. “We’re proud that Southwire has selected Google Cloud to power its digital transformation.”But how was that decision made? Weren’t there concerns about the business, and more importantly, how secure is it? C2C sat down with Stuart, the senior vice president of IT services at Southwire.“So, I was looking at security, scalability, and modernization of our whole industry, which needed to be fast, flexible, and agile,” Stuart recounted. “But I also wanted to replace our current data centers and move into a more standard Cloud Platform cloud environment, and Google was the right one for us.”A bright brick backyard offset Stuart’s tall frame and created a perfect yellow hue surrounding him, perhaps the light or his proud disposition; Stuart’s confidence in the decision beamed through the Google Meet window. After all, the decision was tough and occurred at an even more challenging time for Southwire, but it proved to be profoundly beneficial, especially when it came to security. “When it comes to security, and you look at the competition out there, Google surpasses,” Stuart said. “From the encryption piece of it, right up and down to their security monitoring, they know what they’re doing.” Google Cloud truly does take security seriously. Their data centers are built with custom-designed servers that run their own operating systems for security and performance. With more than 500 security engineers, Google also has the best minds focused on thwarting risks and is focused on continuous improvement. “As we all know, security just keeps getting more complicated and complicated, and having a partner like Google that you know will stay on top of their game is exactly what we needed,” Stuart said.  Completing the Migration  To complete the migration, Southwire ran through four major cycles of testing, which occurred over more than ten weeks and involved more than 4,000 scripts. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they did the entire operation remotely via conference calls and Microsoft® Teams.The move to Google Cloud will ensure that Southwire remains up to date on the latest supported systems, improves security protocols, and provides a solid foundation for future upgrades, tools, and services to benefit both the organization and its customers.“By moving the SAP environment to Google Cloud, this creates a secure, flexible and scalable environment for Southwire to embark on new projects that move the company forward in areas of strategy important to the long-term growth of the company,” Stuart said. Making the Decision Beyond Google Cloud Platform’s reputation, there were a handful of critical decisions and lessons learned. Among them, which will be shared in more detail in the upcoming Navigator, Stuart said the ability to have a fast and seamless migration was the most important.  As they prepared to migrate, the Google Cloud Platform move wasn’t the only major IT project happening. They updated the enhancement pack, the process orchestrator, updated to BW/4HANA. “We didn’t miss a production beat,” Stuart said with emphasis. “We kept on track of our outages at our manufacturing shops, and everything went seamless. Google brought the support; they put the people that needed to be there on this team from the beginning, middle, and at the end.” The 71-year-old manufacturing business just made history. Despite not having any Google experience, they were able to make it happen, and it’s been proven to be a wise decision. Google provided training, education, and a strong governance program, too. But, setting up a governance program earlier in the process is one lesson Stuart can offer others making a lift and shift like this, “Make sure you got the governance in place, make sure you got the right architects helping you build your bill of materials for your deployment of Google and get that training and education upfront for your associates,” Stuart said. “It'll make them more relaxed at knowing what Google's doing, why they're doing it, and what they can expect, and it's helped set the expectations.” Join Us! Stuart sits down with Chief Customer Officer Sean Chinkski for a C2C Navigators discussion on May 18. Register below and bring your questions; Stuart will be answering them live.  

Categories:Google Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsHybrid and MulticloudIdentity and SecuritySAPManufacturingInterview

Take the 2021 State of DevOps survey: Shape the future of DevOps

We are so excited to partner with Google Cloud on a research project testing and improving the performance of software delivery teams in a live C2C Talks event on June 9 and discussion on the results on June 23.Read on to learn more about the survey and how C2C community members can get involved.  What’s the survey about?  DORA's State of DevOps research program represents six years of research and data from over 31,000 professionals worldwide. It is the longest-running academically rigorous research investigation of its kind, providing an independent view into the practices and capabilities that drive high performance in technology delivery and ultimately organizational outcomes. Our research uses behavioral science to identify the most effective and efficient ways to develop and deliver software.Use our quick check tool to discover how you compare to industry peers, identify specific capabilities you can use to improve performance and make progress toward becoming an elite performer.Google Cloud and the DORA research launched the 2021 State of DevOps survey this week. The survey takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, and we are looking for C2C Community members to participate. Why do our answers matter? Your answers will allow the Google Cloud DORA team to understand better the practices that teams are employing to improve software delivery performance and, in turn, generate powerful business outcomes. Tell me more about the DevOps report, please. The State of DevOps report provides an independent view into the practices and capabilities that organizations can employ to drive better performance irrespective of their size, industry, and region.  Like the past six research reports, the goal this year is to perform detailed analysis to help various teams benchmark their performance against the industry as elite, high, medium, or low performers. We also look to show specific strategies that teams can employ to improve their performance. The table below highlights elite, high, medium, and low performers at a glance from the last report.Achieving elite performance is a team endeavor, and diverse, inclusive teams drive the best performance. Likewise, the research program benefits from the participation of a diverse group of people. Please help us encourage more voices by sharing this survey with your network, especially with your colleagues from underrepresented parts of our industry. The survey is for everyone, regardless of where you are on your DevOps journey, the size of your organization, or your organization's industry. There are no right or wrong answers; in fact, we often hear feedback that questions in the survey prompt ideas for improvement. Also, you can put many of the ideas into practice immediately. Some of the key topics we look to deep dive into this year include: Metrics and Measurement: Practices employed by high performing teams  SRE and DevOps: How do they fit together and how they impact performance How to best integrate security & compliance as a part of your app development  The impact of cloud, monitoring & observability, open-source, and documentation on performance Distributed teams: Practices to improve work/life balance and reduce burnout The state of multi-cloud computing  How can I get involved? We’re looking for one  C2C Community member to take the survey like with the DORA team on June 9. You’ll need to meet the criteria noted below to be considered and will be selected by C2C on May 27. The advance notice is to allow you and your teams to prepare and answer any preliminary questions.Feel free to reach out to Sabina@c2cglobal.com with your interest, or comment below. Criteria for consideration: You are open to having your team’s performance shared in a live C2C Talks event. You can attend the follow-on discussion on June 23 to share and discuss your results.  You’re open to participating in a case study with Google Cloud after June 23.Final Thoughts For those interested in the data but not eager to participate in the live event or being considered, you can check it out on your own. The survey will remain open until midnight PST on June 11, 2021. Stay tuned to our Events page for registration to both C2C Talks events. 

Categories:Google Cloud NewsGoogle Cloud StrategyDevOps and SRE

Critical Conversations: The Future of Work with Kelly Ducourty of Google Cloud and Peter High of Metis Strategy

Responding to the needs of one of our most active communities, C2C Connect: Workspace, C2C set out to bring the experts in for an authentic conversation about the future of work. The series will continue through the year and will explore all angles of our professional lives. What will culture look like, and how will employees remain engaged? What about security? How have consulting businesses pivoting, and what will they do going forward? What about Google Cloud customers? How are they remaining connected and productive through disruption?We kicked off the series with a discussion between Kelly Ducourty, VP of GTM strategy at Google Cloud, and Peter High, a strategist, lecturer, and author of "Implementing World Class IT Strategy,” and president of Metis Strategy. High began the conversion with a keynote about understanding what the future of work will look like in the post-pandemic world. You can watch the keynote below.  Ducourty, who runs a massive global team, shared how Google Workspace has enabled the future of work. You can watch her explain below. High then shared his perspective on the market holistically; hear his answer below.  Doubling down on this concept about the employee experience, we wanted to understand if roles and responsibilities will continue to evolve into the future.Innovative Inventions Born out of Necessity  As the conversation pivoted to discussing the balance between employee experience, customer needs, and speed of innovation, certain new norms sprouted. These inventions, born out of necessity, as the saying goes, have had a profound effect, and we were curious about how these innovations will continue. Hear Ducourty and High share their views.   How has a virtual environment enabled a more inclusive environment? How will that be maintained into the future of work?  Some key ways that Ducourty mentioned include the following:  Speech to text supporting those with disabilities and helping them feel more included Location details, letting people know which physical location you are in at the moment, enabling understanding about how to work with one another Scheduling email sends, which allows people to work when convenient while maintaining professional boundaries Some of these features are still within Google as the team tests and iterates before releasing to the market. Hear Ducourty and High share more about inclusivity and how they foresee DEI initiatives.KPIs and Productivity Measurement  As employers develop the future of work and how employees will engage and continue productivity, there is a sense of employees enjoying working from home. And for employers, they’ve enjoyed the increase in productivity. A study conducted by Prodoscore found that employees are 200% more productive than they were pre-pandemic. So, we asked the experts, what are some KPIs and metrics that organizations have used to measure the effectiveness of the success? What is being used today? What will continue in the future?  Culture and the Future of Work  One of the critical discussion points centered around culture. Google and Alphabet are known for maintaining a culture of innovation; as Google continues to grow and redesign for the future of work, how will Google ensure that culture, for which Google has become famous, will continue? Hear what Ducourty said about that business goal. High offered a view from the industry. “Chief Information Officer Ben Freed is a great somebody I greatly admire, and I asked him that very question: how does Google as it has become a behemoth maintain its entrepreneurial spirit, its ability to innovate? He talked about the importance for companies to change a core competence and that that's something that Google has constantly had. Also, he talked about how the organization has these bureaucracy-busting days, where employees list ideas when bureaucracy is beginning to rear its ugly head and unwinding those very activities. He added that being deliberate around this really can facilitate having that innovator’s edge, even as an organization grows large.” We will continue this conversation and explore how leading organizations are leveraging cloud collaboration tools to keep their teams moving forward on June 24.   C2C Community Questions We love hearing from the community and getting their perspectives on the issues we are bringing to the fore in the C2C platform. A community member shared with us in advance of the session a fundamental question on all business leaders’ minds: Who owns the project of restructuring and redesigning the workplace?What is the role of the physical office in the future? What about hybrid offices? Do you see differences forming around industry lines for the future of work? What are you seeing, hearing out in the market with customers on these types of progressive approaches?   Extra CreditGoogle Workspace and The Evolution of G SuiteTop 20 Google Workspace Features of 2020C2C Talks: Top 20 Workspace Features in 2020, Predictions for 2021, and Hybrid Work FuturesJavier Soltero Answers Customer Questions on Google Workspace and Collaboration in the Cloud  

Categories:Google WorkspaceGoogle Cloud StrategyDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Session Recording

Can Technology Help Solve Climate Change?

The human pursuit of solving challenges is the cornerstone of progress. Some could argue that technology is simply that desire, amplified. But what happens when we’ve solved so well, our iteration of efficiencies and productivity is becoming dangerous? Barry Schwartz, an emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, researched efficiencies and when frictions occur — when does efficiency become a bad thing? “Some motivation produces excellent performance; too much motivation produces choking. Some group collaboration produces cohesion and enhances productivity; too much of it leads to staleness. Some empathy enables you to understand what another person is going through; too much could prevent you from saying and doing hard things,” Schwartz wrote. And, in this case, the “bad thing” is efficiency. But can what got us here also get us out —can technology solve climate change? The answer lies somewhere between yes and no, as most complicated solutions do. Still, perhaps prompted by the ongoing pandemic, some companies’ efforts have directed curiosity toward climate change, honestly acknowledging that decisions today will shape our futures to come.  How Technology Can Also Get Us Through  Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007 and is working toward being carbon-free by 2030. “...that’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week at all of our data centers across the world,” said Mark Innes, VP, Australia, and New Zealand and Asia Pacific Industry Verticals. “We’re building tools and technologies to help others improve the planet, and for us at Google Cloud, that means building new tools and technologies to help our cloud customers track and report on the impact of their own IT operations,” Innes said. “Every customer that comes to Google Cloud automatically reduces their emissions running on our programs.”Deloitte is also working toward being carbon-free by 2030, and one way they’re doing so is by reducing travel, and increasing virtual hybrid was of working. They are also “pairing their buildings with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Richard Deutsch, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte, Australia. For example, Google Cloud looked at the millions of miles UPS trucks traveled, Innes explained. “We created algorithms in conjunction with UPS to look at those tracking routes to optimize those routes, Innes said. “UPS now saves $400M per year and has reduced fuel consumption by 10M gallons per year, just by using those algorithms.”There are other companies, too. Organic Valley, for example, arms its farmers with solar energy resources and gives them complete control over their farms. But there are countless examples. Most recently, these 11 organizations in Europe received funding support from Google to instigate positive environmental change.For example, Materiom provides open data on how to make materials that nourish local economies and ecologies. They’re working following the FAIR digital Object Framework, “which help enable the FAIR Data Principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.” To do this, they use Corda and an extended implementation of schema.org. “The platform will enable Linked Data, or Semantic Web technology allowing data to be shared and reused between applications, organizations, and communities. Data from numerous distributed producers will be referenced with unique, persistent identifiers, and a public-facing API will enable the community to develop apps for reading and writing data. Our use of schema.org/DefinedTerm will enable agile development in response to user needs as we contribute to an emerging vocabulary for biomaterials across communities of research and practice.” Get to know them and the ten other companies in the clip below.  Curious about your climate impact?  Deloitte whipped up an interactive quiz to help companies and individuals alike answer that impact question. Trvst, a social impact agency, breaks down reasons for why and how technology impacts the environment and what can be done about it. You can also learn how Google is working with digital-native companies across the globe to build a greener future. __Stay with C2C all week; we’ll have more content and events coming up to keep you thinking about how you, too, can work toward creating a healthier world. 

Categories:Google Cloud StrategySustainability

Navigator Key Moments: Culture and Leadership with Bob Evans from Cloud Wars

We got to steal an hour from Bob Evans’s dynamic Cloud Wars analysis to talk all about Google Cloud, leadership, and where the cloud powerhouse can continue to win. We laughed, we discussed, and now we break down the key moments from the conversation. As you read, listen, and watch, we want to know what sticks with you. Have you encountered similar challenges? Share them with us below. C2C: You’re famous for the top 10 lists. Can you tell us a little background about them and why your coveted top 10 list now has Google Cloud in the top three, claiming Salesforce’s spot? C2C: How do the company leaders react when they’re moved around on the list? C2C Community Question: What can companies do to be at the top of the list, now and three years from now?  C2C: We encourage our members to share their perspectives and questions, and if they’re able to get them to us early enough, we can work them into our Navigator conversations. Guillaume Blaquiere, one of our most active C2C members and leader of the C2C Connect: France group, wanted to know, “How would you characterize the differences in strategy between the three major cloud providers?” Blaquiere added that he’s focused on Google Cloud, so it’s often hard for him to stay up to date on what the other players are doing.  This question also spurred an interesting discussion around the cloud’s globalization as it teeters into the current data center discussion and debate. Hear how Evans thinks about globalizing cloud and how that will continue to accelerate, and companies need to build plans to meet the customer expectations.  C2C: After continuous conversations with the CEOs of the top players in the space, what is the intersection of change management in terms of adopting digital transformation from the front office to the back?  Despite the complexity of the question, Evans offered a straightforward solution, “push customer experience to the top of everybody’s priority list and open up the data … to let everybody throughout the organization understand things, so they can participate and be engaged and ultimately make bigger and better contributions.”  Hear Evans explain more below:  C2C: Let’s dive into Thomas Kurian and his strategy a little bit. One of the key ways he’s leading Google Cloud leadership is to think about the customer’s voice. Why is that so important? Why do communities like C2C matter?C2C: Another critical way Google Cloud is setting itself apart from the competition is by focusing on industry-specific solutions. What do you think about that approach? What makes sense about it?  BONUS: BOB EVANS DISCUSSES THE AUTO INDUSTRY AND THEIR DIGITAL STRATEGY WHEN FACED WITH CHALLENGES LIKE CHIP SHORTAGES.   C2C Community Question: After talking with most CEOs and their leadership teams over this past year, what is the number one thing you were most surprised about on their agendas?    When we asked Evans our famous question, “If Cloud Wars is a limited-edition 10-episode Netflix series, what episode would you say we’re on?” He answered, “just wrapped up episode one and put up the teaser for episode two!” So, get in on the ground floor, and join the journey with Cloud Wars. ________ If you have Navigators you follow, share them with us! We’d love to learn where the experts go to get better.  

Categories:Google Cloud StrategyIndustry SolutionsAutomotiveSession Recording