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

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

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

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

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

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

C2C Deep Dive Series: Automated Monitoring and Microservices with Fulfilld

Don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance to join us yet for one of Fulfilld CTO and co-founder Michael Pytel’s Deep Dives. We record all of these sessions, including Pytel’s most recent Deep Dive, about Fulfilld’s Automated Monitoring and Microservices. Pytel told us in his first Fulfilld Deep Dive that “every modern application today is built on a microservices architecture.” This session explores how Fulfilld uses automated monitoring to ensure that its microservices are reliable and with all the functionality they promise. In Pytel’s own words, “the most important feature of any system is reliability.” Fulfilld monitors application performance, application errors, cloud connectivity, and customer connectivity, looking for “four golden signals”: latency, traffic, saturation, and errors. All metrics and insights collected via monitoring are logged and tracked to allow for profiling and debugging. All of this is accomplished on the Google Cloud Platform, in a multi-project environment comprising Cloud Functions, Cloud SQL, Cloud Run, and other Google Cloud products. The presentation also includes a slide detailing how Fulfilld uses Flutter Fire for mobile monitoring. Pytel will be joining us on October 12 for another Deep Dive, all about using Natural Language to build a digital assistant. However, his insights in the first sessions in this series are crucial to understanding how Fulfilld is disrupting the warehouse management space with a robust microservices architecture, intuitive UI, and a next-generation digital assistant. Watch the most recent session below, and check out the links in the Extra Credit section. We recommend getting caught up before the next event.   Register here for Scaling an Enterprise Software: Digital Assistants and Natural Language Extra Credit: Microservices: The Journey So Far and Challenges AheadC2C Deep Dive Series: User Experience Design to Build with FulfilldC2C Deep Dive Series: Scaling an Enterprise Software with Fulfilld

Categories:Application DevelopmentIndustry SolutionsSupply Chain and LogisticsSession Recording

C2C Deep Dive Series: Scaling an Enterprise Software with Fulfilld

In the world of electronic data, the cloud is the ultimate storage solution. Most products, though, can’t be stored electronically. We can’t digitize food, clothing, or even the phones and computers we use to access the cloud. All of these products take up physical space, which means they can only be stored in warehouses. Google Cloud can’t replace warehouses, but it can change the way they’re organized for the better. Fulfilld is a warehouse management system using the Google Cloud Platform to ensure that the warehouses it services can manage their inventories as efficiently as possible. With hardware and software attributes such as microservice architecture and a variety of ML models and APIs, Fulfilld provides warehouses with management solutions that will make storage in those warehouses as functionally dynamic as storage on the cloud itself. C2C recently invited Fulfilld CTO and co-founder Michael Pytel to give a presentation and explain to our community what this looks like on the infrastructure level. A warehouse is essentially just a large, open space, but once it’s put to use for storage, it becomes much more. Products are shipped in and out, packaged and unpackaged, stacked and removed, and carried from place to place, sometimes by workers on foot, sometimes by large, fast-moving machines, like forklifts. Managing a warehouse requires navigating this space and anticipating this movement well enough to coordinate all this activity quickly and without incident. Pytel described how Fulfilld’s ML models work in concert so that the app understands the warehouse environment intimately. The Fulfilld warehouse scanner can collect location and position data from the surrounding area six times per second, (and in some scenarios, as Pytel revealed later, up to twenty-five times per second). This data collection can be used to identify storage space and to map routes to that storage space throughout the warehouse, so that transportation to that storage space is easily facilitated. Here’s Pytel explaining Fulfilld’s location awareness capabilities below:  The Fulfilld scanning app also uses a 3D Bin Packing algorithm, coded in Python, to use the material dimensions of a specific unit to identify the best possible storage location for that unit:  Fulfilld’s understanding of the warehouse environment also extends to the work that takes place within it. Fulfilld’s location and position data make everything in the warehouse easy to find, as well as the best place to put it. The device also keeps track of the tasks that need to be accomplished in the warehouse, and which items and locations are associated with which tasks:  Breaking down the needs of the warehouse worker, from the location of a certain item, to the fastest route to that item, to the tasks the worker needs to complete associated with that item, reflects the microservices architecture at the structural core of Fulfilld’s design. Pytel acknowledges that “every modern application today is built on a microservices architecture,” but in Fulfilld’s case, that microservices architecture is a natural component of an application run on Cloud Functions; as Pytel put it later during a question and answer session, “using Cloud Functions forces you to think in a microservices architecture.” Here’s a little more from Pytel on how that microservices architecture works for Fulfilld:  Pytel stressed repeatedly that the Google Cloud Platform and Google’s ML models are what enable Fulfilld’s sophisticated technology. Even working with Google’s technology, though, involves negotiating between multiple options and weighing different considerations. Pytel outlined a few of these considerations, including the potential advantages of moving Fulfilld’s runtime from Cloud Functions to Kubernetes, comparing and contrasting the different advantages of CloudSQL and Cloud Spanner, and looking at those different advantages alongside the unique advantages of Cloud Firestore:  These are some of the highlights of Pytel’s presentation, but Fulfilld is a device with so many features and offerings that only the full presentation can do it justice. Watch the full video to learn more about what else Fulfilld can do, including advanced document scanning via language detection and image capturing, and a responsive digital assistant named Phil, who Pytel’s co-founder says speaks in a Southside Chicago accent and who––if Pytel’s personal goal is met––will be a better digital assistant than Siri. Do you work for or with a warehouse? Do you have any warehouse management considerations you would want a device like Fulfilld to meet? Reach out and let us know!

Categories:Industry SolutionsSupply Chain and LogisticsSession Recording

Scaling an Enterprise Software: User Experience from Design to Build (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:(3:10) Introduction to Fulfilld (6:00) The team’s goals for user interaction, including recommended actions, building flexibility, and determining personas (8:00) How to get to a modern, intuitive user interface (11:00) Developing personas and some examples of Fulfilld’s personas (14:20) Demo: road map and feature planning (16:50) Human-centered design and Fulfilld’s design process (18:40) Demo: user stories and site mapping (22:10) Demo: low-fidelity and high-fidelity mockups (26:10) From design to build (29:05) Material UI (31:05) From code to deploy (35:30) Demo: Google Cloud Platform console (40:40) Open community questionsCommunity Questions AnsweredDoes your code model your process closely? How did you use Flowmapp to build your business process engines? How useful is the Figma heat map generated from user demos? How many personas have you developed to successfully identify functionality use cases for your application?Other ResourcesGoogle Cloud Platform Architecture Framework Google Cloud Hands-On Labs on Coursera Products used by Fulfilld: Flowmapp (User Stories) Aha! (Product Roadmap Software) Figma (UX Design) Material UI User Interaction and Design ConceptsFind the rest of the series from Fulfilld below: 

Categories:Application DevelopmentIndustry SolutionsSupply Chain and LogisticsSession 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

Insights on what a $100 Million Series D Startup Is Building Using Google Cloud and AI

A cellist, programmer, and oh yes, CTO of Ironclad, the legal technology firm he co-founded, Cai GoGwilt is a millennial’s renaissance man, and C2C got to sit down with him to discuss how AI is used to improve the contracting collaboration process and so, so much more.  What You Wanted to Know About Ironclad As a company, Ironclad is experiencing tremendous growth from marking the end of 2019 with three times the overall revenue growth and 90% customer growth, and also 250% product usage increase. But that’s not all. It also snapped up $100 million in Series D funding.  For the end-user, Ironclad aims to power the world’s contracts. Using AI and a platform to streamline the contract collaboration and negotiation process can improve the entire experience and enable businesses to move faster. Ironclad’s easy-to-use platform allows non-technical users to create workflows for automating the most repetitive parts of the document handling process. Also, legal teams can customize a contract’s text fields and specify the parties who need to sign or approve it and store the agreement in a centralized archive once finalized.  Get to know what the company does, directly from GoGwilt, and hear a use case in the video below.     Why Is Ironclad Is a Google Cloud Shop? Let’s talk tech. Ironclad has been using Google Cloud since 2014 and has continued to build its products using Google Cloud Platform. Watch the clip to understand the thought process; what resonates with you?    Suppose we understand that contracts are unstructured, unstandardized, and use nuanced legal language but are vital for organizations to bar against rare but detrimental occurrences. How does Ironclad solve them using Google Cloud’s AI/ML tools?   The CTO on Leadership, Music, and Starting a Business There is a fascinating confluence of three disparate skillsets—music, programming, and leadership—that compose GoGwilt’s day-to-day, like an electric orchestra adding beat drops to Mozart. Cool, right? Hear about GoGwilt’s day-to-day in the clip below.  Get to know his philosophy on how music helps him be the type of leader he also admires.  Have a billion-dollar idea? Hear GoGwilt’s advice on starting a business and why you should genuinely love it.  The 1 Word You Should Know When Building a Powerful Team: Integrity Building engineering or development teams—specifically, the right teams—is a challenge. Learn about how Ironclad does it and how it has scaled to meet its rapid ascent to Fortune Magazine’s Next Billion-Dollar Startups in 2020 list.  What makes Ironclad’s culture unique?    Final Question: If Ironclad Were a 10-Episode Netflix Series, what Episode Are We on Today?    IronClad and GoGwilt will also be sharing the latest advances in contracting at its flagship summit, State of Digital Contracting, on March 25. Extra Credit  GoGwilt’s favorite book is Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute. He said it helps the reader get out of the self-victimization framework and provides tools to change your mindset and be a better teammate with strong personal and professional relationships.   His favorite podcast is The Daily by The New York Times.   His favorite color is blue, has a love-hate relationship with “Silicon Valley” (the show, obviously!), and will probably beat you in any TI-83 Dance, Dance Revolution game.   

Categories:AI and Machine LearningIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud StartupsFinancial ServicesSupply Chain and LogisticsSession Recording

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

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

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