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Next on the Road Preview: An Interview with Pythian CTO Paul Lewis

On October 11, 2022, Google Cloud and C2C Global partner Pythian will be participating in the “Next on the Road” series of watch parties for the Google Cloud Next ‘22 keynote address and announcements. C2C President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) will co-host the event with Pythian CTO Paul Lewis, a regular participant in C2C events and content. The event will include a welcome lunch, a screening of the Next ‘22 keynote, a discussion of the takeaways from the keynote hosted by Josh, a session on Pythian’s 2022 wins and lessons hosted by Paul, and a closing networking reception. We caught up with Paul in advance of the event to discuss his hopes, expectations, and predictions for the event and the broader Next ‘22 program. Read our conversation below. There’s so much programming around Next: from Google, but also from the many partners hosting watch parties. What for you is really going to make this event experience unique? I think it’s the make-it-real aspect. It’s always interesting to hear the keynote and get a full appreciation for where the Google advancements are going to be, or their strategy potentially on acquisitions, or at least incorporating those acquisitions into the organization, into the framework, but the goodness comes from, well, what does all this mean for me? How do I take the announcement I just heard and apply it to my actual application infrastructure strategy? How do I look at my 2023 budget and say, “Should it be augmented based on what I heard, or does my architectural assumption differ because of what I just heard, and what’s the double-click? Not just what it means to me, but what’s the impact to my strategy going forward?” The reality is, the announcements create excitement, but the real work starts now. Looking forward to the keynote, obviously that’s going to be a big draw. What are you expecting as someone who’s been a Google partner for a long time and has a real stake in what’s going to be announced? What are you hoping to hear? What are you expecting to hear? Imagining? I think I’m looking forward to evolution on a few fronts. Front number one: security. They just completed their acquisition, and now they’re going to say, “Well, here’s my holistic security set of offerings.” In fact, we might even hear an evolution of the security pillar to, say, it’s not just either application- or data-centric security, but maybe it goes beyond that. Maybe it goes in networking, in infrastructure and PII, privacy. That would be an interesting foray. Data protection. How do I empower the Chief Information Security Officer? How do I make them my primary buyer? That would be an interesting evolution on the security side.I’d also like to see the evolution of the Google data foundation work. Let that be a primary architectural design, and then everything else they’re going to build on top of that, things like Cortex, things like specific industry solutions from core systems ERP all the way to visualization and Looker. Show me those assets I’ll be able to download from the marketplace, or secondary assets so that I can create out-of-the-box solutions that I can now augment to what makes sense for me personally. That’s number two.Number three I think is innovation. Innovation in AI, innovation in ML, innovation in cognitive, all of the new. Here’s what we spent time and energy on in 2022 that is now going to be available in 2023 for you to consume, so I don’t need you to be an expert in doc AI. I want an easy way for you to consume that and apply that to your actual business problem, and by the way, here’s 15 examples of it working effectively. Last time we spoke, we were promoting an event where you were speaking specifically about AI solutions. We just published a survey of our membership, and one of the big insights was that while AI and ML are not the technologies most users are working with right now, they’re number one in terms of the technologies they’re expecting or hoping to implement in five years, in three years, next year. How specifically do you think AI and ML is going to figure into that innovation forecast for the coming year? I think what won’t be true is more development platforms for creating ML algorithms. Because I think that is difficult to consume. What’s much more easy to consume is out-of-the-box, downloadable, industry specific algorithms that I can apply. So, how do I make it really easy to train? How do I make it really easy to infer? How do I make it really easy to implement within my application process? That’s where I think we’re going to see the value there. They’re going to say in your IEE, in your BigQuery configuration, even in your Looker dashboards, you should be able to apply out-of-the-box marketplace algorithms and make your modifications for it to suit your purpose. So a lot of low-code and no-code? Exactly. While I philosophically don’t believe no-code low-code will displace code––there’s always a reason why there’s code––I think it’ll be a much more dramatic use for things like data analytics going forward. We’re very excited that Josh is going to speak. I’m interested in why it was important for you to have Josh involved. What are you hoping that he’s going to bring to the conversation with the rest of the Pythian universe? It’s the making-it-real conversation. The value of C2C is to say, well, I want to have conversations with my peers. I want to network within the community, and Josh in effect is representing the community in that room. I want to be able to take what we just heard and say making it real means of the eight things we heard, four things are way more important than they might have suggested, and these four things are the ones that are going to contribute the most to changing the value of the CIO, changing the value of IT, shifting IT from being an order-taker to a value provider. That’s the real-time feedback we want to provide to the crowd, and then when we say, “Okay, here’s the four that we think will provide the most value,” let’s then take that conversation to the next step and say, “How does it feel for you, individual CIO?” There’s going to be a session with Josh, and then there’s also going to be a session that you’re leading, which is about your wins and lessons of the past year. It’s interesting to me that at a watch party for Next you’re making the point of taking time to look back and assess what’s really worked up to this point. Why that choice? Why last as well as Next? Because so much of what happened this year affects my strategy for next year. And the biggest, of course, is talent. I lost a decent amount of talent. I am trying to innovate, which requires new skill sets. What am I going to do to acquire or upscale or rescale the talent that I have in order to implement what we just heard? So give me a sense of what capabilities you have, or that you missed. Give me a sense of the value you produced within cloud that you didn’t think you achieved the goal on. Let me get a sense of the investment you want to do in analytics, where it might provide value to you in 2023. Because arguably 2022 was a growth year. It was not unlike in sports. It’s preparing for the championship in the following year. Nobody was winning awards in 2022, because of all those macroeconomic impacts, but now that you’ve prepared for that, where are the banners coming from in 2023? So the wins from last year were preparation for wins in the coming year. Exactly. Do you have any parting thoughts before we leave? I think it’s going to be a great event, personally. I think we’re going to have a lot of people, and the big thing we added to the end was “Birds of a feather” tables. What we really want to do is have people come together not necessarily on tech. While there might be a couple tech tables, industry I think is going to be way more interesting. Let’s get a couple retail together, a couple banking together, a couple manufacturing together. Let’s talk about what we heard and how it impacts us as an industry. And yes, if you want to know a little bit more about BigQuery, that conversation will also occur. It’s a good mix in the room. We’re going to see executives and practitioners and partners and middle ground. I think everybody’s going to be in there, which I think will make for a fun event. Extra Credit:  

Categories:Google Cloud NewsGoogle Cloud Partners

Building for Scalability, Block by Block: An Interview with Carrefour Links CTO Mehdi Labassi

When I ask Mehdi Labassi (@Mehdi_Labassi), CTO of Carrefour Links, what he does outside of work, the first thing he mentions is his family. Mehdi spends a lot of his free time playing with his kids. Sometimes they play video games on Nintendo Switch, but they also enjoy hands-on activities like building with Legos. Lego is a popular interest among tech practitioners building products on Google Cloud––after all, the four letters in “Lego” can also be used to spell “Google.” This connection turns out to be a fitting point of departure for an examination of Mehdi’s journey to a decision-making role on the technical team at Carrefour Links.Mehdi began his career as a software engineer, working first in air travel and then moving on to Orange, “the one major telco in France.” At Orange, Mehdi led the company’s Google Cloud skills center and took part in a major migration to Google Cloud from a historically on-premises infrastructure. “We had a really strong on-prem culture, so we had our own data centers, our own Hadoop clusters with thousands of machines, and the shift to cloud-based services was not something natural,” he says. “There was a lot of resistance, and we needed to really show that this gives us something.”Proving the value of the Cloud to a historically on-prem organization required zeroing in on a specific technical limitation of the existing infrastructure: “As I was driving the big data platforms and the recommendations, I do remember we had a lot of issues in terms of scalability.” Google Cloud turned out to be the perfect solution to this problem. “Then we tried the Cloud, and we found that instant scalability,” says Mehdi. “That’s another level compared to what we had on prem, so this is really the proof by experimentation.” “You assemble and program the thing, and then you need to understand how each brick works.” When Carrefour introduced Carrefour Links, its cloud-hosted retail media and performance platform, in Spring of 2021, Mehdi was immediately interested in getting involved. He reached out directly to the executive team and joined as CTO three months after the company declared the platform. “I joined when the thing just got in production, the first version, the V1. That was kind of a proof of concept,” Mehdi says. In the time since––only a little over a year––the venture has grown considerably: “We have a lot more data from different verticals, everything that’s related to transactions, to the supply chain ecosystem, to finance, a lot more insights, and we are exploring machine learning, AI use cases… so we are scaling even in terms of use cases.”Even a fast-growing platform run on Google Cloud, however, will encounter challenges as it continues to scale. “The first thing is the ability to scale while keeping FinOps under control,” Mehdi says. As he sees it, this is a matter of “internal optimization,” something he believes Carrefour Links handles particularly well. “The second thing is how to provide what I call a premium data experience for our customers, because we are dealing with petabyte-scale pipelines on a daily basis, and however the end user connects to our data solutions, we want him to have instantaneous insights,” he adds. “We leverage some assets and technologies that are provided by Google Cloud to do this.”These are challenges any technical professional managing products or resources on the cloud is likely to face. Overcoming these challenges is also what makes new solutions on the cloud possible. What competencies do IT professionals need to be able to overcome these challenges and pursue these solutions? According to Mehdi, “a good engineer working on the cloud, with this plethora of tools, he needs to be good at Lego.” Mindstorms, Lego’s line of programmable robots, he explains, require a lot of the same skills to build as machines and systems hosted on the cloud. “You assemble and program the thing, and then you need to understand how each brick works,” he says. “I really find a lot of similarities between these activities and what we are doing in our day job.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:InfrastructureIndustry SolutionsDatabasesRetail

C2C Monthly Recap: August 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on for the most essential C2C updates from August 2022.  The C2C team has been on the move! We’ve been unveiling a number of events with the help of our partners, Google, and other members who have joined us to share their journeys and connect with each other. The stories shared at these events are valuable across many industry solutions being created with Google Cloud technology, but we also have a focus on having fun! New YorkAt Google’s office in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, C2C hosted a half-day event all about Google’s culture of innovation. Speakers from Google delivered interactive presentations on topics including Google’s core values and how to inform these values with the principles of DEI, culminating in an innovation workshop that prompted small groups to develop new products to meet emerging needs in the future of work. Afterward, an open networking reception catalyzed numerous customer connections. En Szu Hu-Van Wright of Chili Piper discussed virtual event planning with Boris Sotnikov (@bSotnikov), CEO of KraftyLab, and Kristian Smilenov (@kristian.smilenov) of Prime Holding made numerous new contacts, including Geoff MacNeil of Crowdbotics.“Typically when we talk to our customers, especially in a one-to-many format, it tends to be about product,” said Jessie Hochhalter, Google Cloud Global Culture & Recognition Lead. “So I really like the fact that we got to talk about the people, the processes, the culture, the DEI, those sorts of things, and not just talk about the product and what’s next with Google technology.” Read more below:  ChicagoC2C’s 2Gather event in Chicago––the first face-to-face event for the Google Cloud Customer Community in the Midwestern US––brought together speakers Paul Lewis, CTO of Pythian, Vrinda Khurjekar, Senior Director of AMER Business at Searce, and Meiling He, Senior Data Scientist at Rockwell Automation, for a conversation about cloud-hosted AI and ML solutions. Meiling had never heard of C2C when she was asked to fill in last-minute for her manager Francisco Maturana, but she found the experience to be a pleasant surprise. “I think it was so fun,” she said. “I learned a lot from the perspective, the questions, the answers. It’s so nice to be around people like Lilah and Paul. They’re so knowledgeable and outgoing.”The guests overwhelmingly agreed, including former C2C Executive Director Jeff Branham, now Director of Industry Alliances at Salesforce. “It’s a great place to connect with other professionals, business and also technical, and it’s a really wonderful experience,” said Henry Post of US Bank. “Great food, great presentation, and great people.” Read more here:  Healthcare and Life SciencesOn August 23, 2022, C2C welcomed longtime colleagues Paul Novak (@paul_novak), CTO of Community Health Systems, Steven Michaels (@Steven Michaels), Vice President of Technology Services at Intermountain Healthcare, and Michael Ames (@michaelames), Managing Director of Vertical Markets at SADA, for an inaugural 2Inspire event introducing the new Healthcare and Life Sciences community on the C2C platform. The guests unanimously agreed that the event and the group represent essential community-building opportunities for decision-makers in the HCLS space. “Having that type of collaborative capability to talk to people who have been there and done that, and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful,” said Paul.Michael echoed these sentiments via email in a follow-up after the event. “Customer-led, industry-specific communities are an essential complement to vendor- and technology-focused communities as Google Cloud pushes deeper into the enterprise. But it takes leadership from within the industry to make it happen in an authentic way. It was a pleasure to speak with Paul and Steven, two honest and forward-thinking health IT leaders about their experiences with Google Cloud. I look forward to C2C facilitating many more such discussions.” Read more about the event here:  Looking for more? Browse All Articles   Trying to catch the wave of that energy? We’re eager for more, and we hope you can join us as we add more cities to our list.  Thursday, September 8 C2C 2Gather: Zurich   Tuesday, September 13 C2C 2Gather: Paris  Not quite ready to travel and be part of an in-person crowd? We have plenty of virtual connections to join in on.  Thursday, September 8 2Chat France: Google Cloud   Thursday, September 8 Learn How to Forecast Your Spend on Google Cloud   Tuesday, September 27 2Chat France: Workspace   Tuesday, September 27 Building Looker Dashboards for the BR Radio App   Tuesday, September 27 Let's Talk About Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)   Wednesday, September 28 SAP on Google Cloud Forum  Browse all our events to speak directly with presenters and share your thoughts in open conversation with other C2C members.  Sign Up for an Event   C2C ResearchWe’re unveiling a piece that’s the first of its kind at C2C: a research report on our community! This is only a preview of what we learned, but you have the option to download the full report. Click the link to read an overview and key findings.  Congratulations again to our July C2Champions, @malamin, @JoeyMaller_UCC, and @sebastianmorenoe. Learn more about these outstanding community members in this post:  We also want to highlight some other excellent conversations happening in the communities:  Want to start connecting with the community? Start a Conversation   Of course, the beauty of everything we do is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and have access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience you have here in the online community, so here’s the latest on what we’ve delivered.You may have noticed some cosmetic changes around C2C as we continue to showcase our updated brand styles. We want the look and feel of the community to reflect the enthusiasm and ingenuity of Google Cloud users. New images, colors, and layouts are popping up throughout the community, but our big reveal is… … the new C2C home page! Take a look. It’s bright. It’s shiny. And most importantly, it’s featuring the community members who continue to shine as we deliver on our events, content, and conversations. With the update, you can navigate through what makes C2C the community it is. Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? Stay up-to-date on everything by updating your profile and notification preferences so we can deliver to you the most relevant news in real time.

Categories:C2C News

C2C Global Launches New Google Cloud Community Group Dedicated to Healthcare and Life Sciences

What a great day for our team at C2C Global as we officially launch our Healthcare and Life Sciences community! The new vertical will bring together healthcare leaders, technology experts, practitioners, administrators, and pioneers to share best practices, problem solve and develop new innovative solutions for the future of healthcare. Collaboration in this space is what leads to life-changing breakthroughs for billions across the globe, and we hope that the new community will be a place that serves as a catalyst for innovation for years to come.Read more here: C2C GLOBAL LAUNCHES NEW GOOGLE CLOUD COMMUNITY GROUP DEDICATED TO HEALTHCARE AND LIFE SCIENCES  New healthcare group will facilitate sharing of information, techniques, and best practices to solve problems and spur innovation across the sector   CHICAGO, IL – C2C Global, the largest worldwide community of Google Cloud users, announced today the launch of its newest vertical dedicated to Healthcare and Life Sciences. This latest offering from C2C will bring together healthcare leaders, technology experts, practitioners, administrators and pioneers to share best practices, problem solve, and develop new innovative solutions for the future of healthcare. “In recent years, the healthcare and life sciences community has been placed at the forefront of our lives like never before, and as a result has faced additional challenges. Collaboration in this space is what helps lead to not only industry solutions, but life-changing breakthroughs for billions of people across the globe,” said Josh Berman, President, C2C Global. “By launching a new, dedicated community for these practitioners, we want to provide a place that serves as a catalyst for innovation in an ever-changing, dynamic landscape.” In addition to diverse forums, in-depth case studies and a continuous sharing of the latest news, trends and solutions affecting the industry, the new community will feature executive panel discussions highlighting some of the problems facing the industry today and how practitioners can come together to solve these challenges. C2C recently hosted a discussion with senior leadership from Intermountain Healthcare and Community Health Systems to outline how they have leveraged Google Cloud to meet today’s healthcare needs, especially since the industry has seen a boom in innovation over the past few years in frontline caregiving, virtual care, and patient management.“Creating a community and having this type of collaborative capability to talk to others who have been there and done that and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful,” said Paul Novak, CIO of Community Health Systems. “It allows you to move forward quickly when you’re having problems or trying to innovate. Having this ability to connect is priceless.” The C2C Healthcare and Life Sciences Community will regularly host online and in-person panel discussions and will populate a continuous stream of conversations highlighting the most up-to-date needs facing the industry where members can come together to share best practices and solutions on a daily basis. About C2C Global C2C is the only peer-to-peer community built to support, connect, and educate Google Cloud customers across regions and industries so they can better harness the power of the cloud—and each other—to solve their biggest challenges and drive innovation.

Categories:Industry SolutionsC2C NewsHealthcare and Life Sciences

2022 Technology Trends in the Google Cloud Customer Community

We’re unveiling a piece that’s the first of its kind at C2C: a research report on our community! This is only a preview of what’s included in the full report, but you have the option to download the full report here. BackgroundC2C conducted this research in partnership with the Google Cloud Developer Relations team to better understand cloud users and how they interact with different cloud providers at their organizations. This survey was fielded in June and July of 2022. ObjectivesC2C developed this survey to understand how cloud services are used at different organizations. Research goals included: to recognize pressures users face, to learn what projects customers are working on, and to identify the technologies used to complete these projects. Additionally, we wanted to measure usage of and satisfaction with cloud providers. Key Findings  01 AI and Machine Learning tech is “look but don’t touch.”AI and ML technologies are on the rise. However, most customers are not currently using them. While they have plans to adopt AI and ML and expect to incorporate both more in end-user application development projects, users likely need more information and guidance to prepare to adopt these technologies.    02 Google Cloud is #1 for “cloud native” development.Google Cloud is the cloud service provider used most often to develop “cloud native” apps and processes. Its users are currently most engaged with software as a service (SaaS) end-user applications and development projects, typically for the computer software industry.   03 Storage and migration tools best support high pressures.Due to high pressures on growing and scaling businesses, cloud storage and migration tools are the most used technologies. This is reflected in most cloud service providers being used to deploy on-premises applications to the cloud.     04 Provider satisfaction and open source go hand-in-hand.Google Cloud is the most used cloud provider among C2C members, followed by Amazon Web Services. These providers are also the most committed to open source models. Lower on the spectrum of open source commitment are SAP and Oracle Cloud—the providers most frequently evaluated and rejected—due to lack of support and suitability.  Want the full picture?The report details the key findings with data from the survey, including: Trends in development projects and organizational pressures Current technology use and tech to keep an eye on The competitive landscape of cloud service providers: usage, evaluation, satisfaction, and adoption reasons  Download Report  

Categories:DevOps and SREInfographicResearch

2Inspire: Meeting Today's Healthcare Needs (Key Takeaways)

On August 23, 2022, C2C welcomed longtime colleagues Paul Novak (@paul_novak), CTO of Community Health Systems, Steven Michaels (@Steven Michaels), Vice President of Technology Services at Intermountain Healthcare, and Michael Ames (@michaelames), Managing Director of Vertical Markets at SADA, for an inaugural 2Inspire event introducing the new Healthcare and Life Sciences community on the C2C platform. The hour-long conversation covered virtually every major consideration for HCLS organizations looking to pursue transformation on Google Cloud. For those who weren’t able to attend, read on for an overview of the discussion and a video of the complete discussion.Michael opened the conversation by asking Paul and Steven why a community for Google Cloud customers in the HCLS space is a value-add for their organizations. “This healthcare-specific forum is actually a first for C2C,” he said. Paul was quick to offer an enthusiastic response: “Having that type of collaborative capability to talk to people who have been there and done that, and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful to allow you to move forward quickly when you’re going through and you’re having problems, or you’re trying to innovate and you’re trying to create ideas around how IT can be more of a value-add to the business. So having that ability to connect is priceless in my mind.”Michael and Steven agreed, Michael adding that “a unique opportunity with C2C, because it isn’t a Google-operated community, it’s an independent community, is to sometimes maybe have conversations that are a little uncomfortable.” Michael moved on to ask the guests a series of questions about their experiences with innovation in the cloud. “You do have to challenge from time to time what exactly is it you’re doing and why,”  said Steven, to illustrate the importance of being willing to fail. This prompted the guests to comment on the opportunities for innovation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the change that can come about when IT professionals and teams get ahead of business challenges and innovate to help organizations overcome them.Next Michael asked the guests to talk more about how their organizations are using Google Cloud in particular. CHS has been a Workspace customer since 2018. According to Paul, they are trying to push the idea of collaboration across an organization and share lessons learned across hospitals. The company’s first foray into Google Cloud was migrating an enterprise data warehouse. “Then something fun happened,” Paul said. “We started to think about, well, what are some other ways that we could be using this.” CHS hired a data scientist to standardize all semantic layers of hospital KPI measurement and started making new decisions around palliative care offerings and using documentation to track and potentially impact mortality rates. SADA had a similar experience moving resources from on-premise to the cloud, Michael said. “You realize you’ve opened this door.” “Having that type of collaborative capability to talk to people who have been there and done that, and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful.” For Intermountain, Steven said, the greatest impact of adopting Google Cloud has been speed to scale. “There’s a lot of stuff that used to happen in the background,” he said. “That all gets taken care of when you find a cloud partner like Google Cloud.” Intermountain is extending its Google partnership into hardware by equipping frontline healthcare workers with Google Pixels. Michael pointed out that this addressed an audience question about using technology to improve communications with patients. Then he asked if Paul had anything to add. “No,” said Paul, “I’m just jealous.”Toward the end of the event, Michael started posing some tougher questions. First, he asked each guest what his organization needed from Google that it hadn’t seen yet. Paul said he is interested in “trying to get Workspace to be more corporate-based or enterprise-based to enable ease of use, to enable ease of administration,” while Steven said he would “like to see Google be more deliberate in their partnerships within our technology ecosystems.” When Steven added, “I would love, and I’m sure we would all love, to see Epyc and Google get together and make their platforms a little more partner-like,” Michael raised both hands with his fingers crossed.To wrap things up, Michael asked each guest to share one unpopular professional opinion on the IT industry. Steven believes there is a common misunderstanding that healthcare technology and IT lags behind technology and IT in other industries like retail. Michael agreed, while Paul answered the question from another angle altogether. “I personally don’t think that working from home is a positive thing for the overall environment,” he said. Michael was interested in the questions this comment raised about challenges for hospitals adapting to the hybrid work environment. However, by the time Michael was able to make this last point, the group had run out of time. “Let’s make it another C2C event,” Michael said.Watch a full recording of the event below:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsHealthcare and Life Sciences

Connecting Across Career Journeys at 2Gather: Chicago

When Meiling He, Senior Data Scientist at Rockwell Automation, was asked at the last minute to fill in for her manager, Francisco Maturana (@maturanafp), at 2Gather: Chicago, she had never heard of C2C Global. The next day, she was on a train from Milwaukee preparing to speak at the Google Cloud Customer Community’s first face-to-face event in the Midwestern US. “Yesterday was the first time I heard about this, at around 3:00 p.m.,” she said. “It was new, but my manager sent me the information about what questions would be asked, and he did have his preparation for the event, so I got the information I needed.”From left: Lilah Jones, Paul Lewis,Meiling He, and Vrinda KhurjekarMeiling presented alongside Pythian CTO Paul Lewis, who spoke to C2C in advance of the event about how the company prepares data sets to be used for a variety of AI and ML solutions, and Vrinda Khurjekar, Senior Director of AMER Business at Searce. The panel discussion, moderated by Google Head of ISV’s and Marketplace Sales Lilah Jones, explored how businesses can use AI and ML solutions in general to get the most value out of their cloud adoption. Even though she had had so little time to prepare for it, Meiling’s experience at the event was a pleasant surprise: “I think it was so fun. I learned a lot from the perspective, the questions, the answers. It’s so nice to be around people like Lilah and Paul. They’re so knowledgeable and outgoing.”Meiling was also pleasantly surprised to be able to make her own connections following the scheduled program with other customers in attendance. She appreciated having the chance to talk shop with a fellow data practitioner, Revantage Data Engineer Trevor Harris. Many of the other guests in attendance were satisfied with the opportunity to network as well. “It’s a great place to connect with other professionals, business and also technical, and it’s a really wonderful experience,” said Henry Post of US Bank. “Great food, great presentation, and great people.” Jeff Parrish (@Jeff P) of Redis agreed. “I thought it was excellent,” he said. “It was a good flow, good panel, good interaction, and a good pick of different industries and different people.” “I think it was so fun. I learned a lot from the perspective, the questions, the answers.” Guests mingling at 2Gather: ChicagoThe opportunity to connect with other Google Cloud Customers was also a major value-add for the Google and C2C Partners in attendance. “It was excellent. I learned a lot about Google’s partnership with some of its customers, and got to network with some excellent people,” said Brendan O’Donnell (@bpod1026), a customer success manager at Aiven, which joined C2C as a partner after sending employees to multiple C2C events this Spring and Summer. “I met some representatives from Salesforce. Jeff from Salesforce.”Unlike Meiling, Jeff Branham (@Branham24), current Director of Industry Alliances at Salesforce, knew all about C2C. In fact, as many of our members will remember, Jeff served as C2C’s first Executive Director before moving on to his new role. He was excited to be able to attend a C2C event in person, having left the company with COVID quarantine measures still in place, and was pleased to see how the team had grown. He was also pleased to be able to make some connections of his own, particularly with Paul Lewis of Pythian, who gave him some valuable insights as a representative of a Google partner company about collaboration between CTOs and CFOs.Meiling was also excited to be able to hear from a CTO, as a practitioner who hopes to someday be able to move into an equivalent role. “Since day one of working at Rockwell I wanted to be a data scientist,” she said. “I was the Business Intern, then Data Analyst Intern, then IT Associate, then Data Scientist, then finally Senior Data Scientist, so it was a long journey.” Now that she has reached this point in her career, Meiling is grateful to be able to connect with leaders who inspire her to take the next step professionally. She looks forward to more opportunities to do so at C2C events.“I would like to know what other people are doing at their own company,” she said. “I hope I will be invited.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:AI and Machine LearningC2C Community Spotlight

Introducing the July 2022 C2Champions

C2C is a global community where Google Cloud customers and partners can explore new technical solutions and transform their businesses using Google Cloud products. What makes C2C so unique, however, is the opportunity for our members to meet, share their knowledge, and collaborate with one another. Learning which products to use and how to use them is important, but the chance to hear the story of another colleague who has done so successfully or tell your own success story is vital. To demonstrate this value to our membership, C2C has introduced a new program all about recognizing the individuals who make our community so dynamic and rewarding. Read on below to learn more about our monthly community C2Champions. Category: Platform Posts Mohammad AlaminMohammad Alamin (@malamin) has been an extremely engaged member of our community as of late. Mohammad posted 79 times in July, which might just be an all-time record. In his posts, Mohammad always tries to be as analytical as possible, offering sources and diagrams, explaining in detail, and spending a lot of time ensuring there are no questions left. Mohammad is an AI/ML solution architect at Aiiotsys, but his technology journey has been long and eventful. He has worked for the Bangladesh Election Commission and a property management company based in the United Kingdom, and has also taught in various schools and colleges, including at a computer training center he opened himself in his home town. In his spare time, he likes to hike, draw, and watch adventure movies. Mohammad is part of C2C, he says, because “Everyone here is a Google user. They are developing a unique solution with Google Cloud technologies. I may learn from their experiences and occasionally share my own. I may also expand my knowledge and gain confidence in my abilities.” Category: Attending Events Joey MallerJoey Maller (@JoeyMaller_UCC) has been elected a July C2Champion in the Attending Events category for faithfully participating in coffee chats and sharing his invaluable experience and know-how about Google Workspace. Joey is Vice President of Sales at UpCurve Cloud, where he specializes in Google Workspace solutions. A longtime C2C member, Joey has been attending C2C events and contributing to C2C content for almost as long as the Google Cloud customer community has been around. Joey is a mainstay of the C2C Workspace crowd and on the C2C platform in general, and also came out to C2C’s Spring 2022 face-to-face event in Los Angeles, where he connected with customers SADA and Sony and his old friend Jesse Nowlin (@Jesse). Category: Google Support Sebastián MorenoSebastián Moreno (@sebastianmorenoe) has been collaborating with C2C, sharing his knowledge on Google Partners, and presenting at C2C events for some time. Thanks to his recent participation and enthusiasm, our Community Managers have nominated him as a July C2Champion in the Google Support category. Sebastián is a Google Regional Partner Engineer in LATAM leading the development and technical enablement of Google partners. Outside of work, he is a music producer and a racing enthusiast. About C2C, Sebastián says “This is one of the biggest Cloud communities I know with a lot of different topics. I also like the different activities to share knowledge and collaborate.” Do you want to be a C2Champion? There are countless ways to engage on our platform or at our events, but the easiest way to get started right now is to join us as a member! We look forward to seeing you around our community.

Categories:C2C News

Problem-Solving and Organizational Change at Google Culture of Innovation in New York

“The biggest problem was having to be in office at all times while balancing at home having an elderly dog,” said En-Szu Hu-Van Wright, Talent Operations Manager at Chili Piper, outside the Zoetrope Event Studio on the thirteenth floor of the Google Chelsea Market office in New York, New York. “The solution we came up with was creating a hologram of the receptionist, coupled with a robot that would do a lot of the basic duties and functions, because a lot of these things could be done by a robot.”En-Szu does not have an elderly dog, but in a group activity during C2C’s recent Google Culture of Innovation event in New York City, she played the role of a receptionist at an ad agency who did. The group’s assignment was to create an innovative solution that would prepare En-Szu––or her character––for a future of work in which she could staff the reception desk and take care of her dog at the same time. In another group, Crucita Gonzalez, Director of HR Benefits and Wellbeing at Planned Parenthood, and Jake Owens of Google designed a home workspace that eliminates distractions and non-essential communications so Crucita could separate her work life from her home life without commuting two hours both ways to the office every day.After discussing theoretical solutions during the workshop, the guests convened outside the studio to share current projects. Boris Sotnikov (@bSotnikov), CEO of KraftyLab, a company that runs virtual team-building events for companies with remote and hybrid office models, offered En-Szu Hu-Van Wright some strategies for connecting and engaging members of remote teams. Kristian Smilenov (@kristian.smilenov) of Prime Holding, a development company that builds cloud-based software for US-based startups and scaleups, exchanged ideas about solution delivery and vendor client relationships with Geoff MacNeil of Crowdbotics.Guests in conversation between sessions atGoogle Culture of Innovation in New YorkThe small-group innovation workshop was a condensed version of a full-length session Angel D’Souza, Cloud Culture & Recognition Program Manager at Google Cloud, often leads at Google events. Bringing the workshop to this audience of Googlers and customers was refreshing for Angel. “What was really cool about this opportunity was it was one-to-many, so not only did [the customers] get to learn from Google, but they got to learn from each other, and we got to learn from them,” she said. Jessie Hochhalter, who opened the program with a discussion of the history and evolution of Google’s company culture, felt similarly: “Typically when we talk to our customers, especially in a one-to-many format, it tends to be about product, so I really like the fact that we got to talk about the people, the processes, the culture, the DEI, those sorts of things, and not just talk about the product and what’s next with Google technology.”Between Jessie’s and Angel’s segments, Jessica Guerrero, Google’s Global Head of Cloud GTM Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), led a discussion using the principles of DEI to complicate the framework Jessie’s presentation introduced. A consistent focus on DEI was part of what made the event stand out to the attendees as well. “We’re getting a different perspective on how Google is attacking DEI from a larger company, and taking some of their best practices as a result,” said Dana Barrett, Vice President of Human Resources at Cureatr.The most important question the event raised for SADA Director of Strategic Information John Taranu was the question of how Google Cloud customers can make the transition from evaluating their own organizational cultures to bringing about change within them. “The Google innovation story, and the way it’s being told, is, I think, something every company is trying to do,” he said. To succeed, he explained, customers need a “shepherd”––someone to guide them through the process of implementing cultural change. One group that can play that role, he suggested, is Google partners.Chatting with John during the reception, Jessica Guerrero elaborated on her presentation by laying out three paths to changing the culture within a company: leadership from the top, structural alignment within the organization, and revolution––change from the bottom up. John is partial to the second option, having seen it come about successfully at SADA and at Google Cloud, where he worked for five years previously. He doesn’t rule out revolution, however. “Some of the greatest change in human society has happened through revolutions,” he said, “but they are chaotic.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

C2C Monthly Recap: July 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on for the most essential C2C updates from July 2022.  The C2C team has been on the move! We’ve been unveiling a number of face-to-face events with the help of our partners, Google, and other members who have joined us to share their journeys and connect with each other. The stories shared at these events are valuable across many industry solutions being created with Google Cloud technology, but we also have a focus on having fun! Speaker Panel at 2Gather: San FranciscoSan FranciscoThe C2C team has spent enough time in California over the past year that a NoCal roadshow was long overdue. At the end of July, C2C’s own Josh Berman (@josh.berman), Alesha Neely (@Aneely), Kathy Sullivan (@Kathy Sullivan), and Marcy Young (@Marcy.Young) made up for lost time by traveling West for two events in San Francisco and Sunnyvale. 2Gather: San Francisco brought speakers Peter-Mark Verwoerd (@PMV), Associate CTO of Infrastructure at SADA, Ethan Lo (@ethanwlo), VP of Infrastructure & Security at Premise Data, Kavish Seda (@kavseda), Manager of Customer Success in the Americas at Aiven, and Anthony Wang (@anthonyw), Infrastructure and Platform Engineering Manager at Bevy for a packed agenda.First, Peter-Mark and Ethan sat down for a fireside chat breaking down the custom solution Premise Data built on top of their Security and Command Center on Google Cloud. Kavish and Anthony followed with a second fireside chat about Bevy’s Google Cloud adoption. Finally all four speakers reconvened for a wide-ranging panel discussion before the crowd wound down with food and drinks. Andrew McIntyre (@amcintyre), a guest from MariaDB, particularly appreciated how the event brought customers together to share common interests and discuss the solutions helping their businesses. Lena Kannappan (@lena), Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at Healthcare Triangle, Inc., says he loved the community and conversation. SunnyvaleSpeaker Panel at 2Gather: SunnyvaleThe team continued their mini-tour with another stop in Sunnyvale, where speakers Tim Csontos, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Automation Anywhere, and Shalini Mayor (@smayor), Sr. Director of Enterprise Automation at Salesforce, grabbed time for a fireside chat and then a panel discussion with Allen Leibovitch (@Allen Leibovitch), Senior Manager of Cloud Solutions at AMD, and returning guest Spenser Paul (@spenserpaul) of DoiT. Of course, no panel featuring Spenser is complete without his yellow labrador Milton. As usual, Milton kept his comments brief.Anantharamu Suryanarayana (@Ananth), founder of Camphor Networks, had already attended some virtual events on the C2C platform, but he especially enjoyed networking in person with the other guests, and will be on the lookout for more events from our Google Startups team. Thomas DeMeo, Director of Product Management for Google Cloud Platform Developer Tools, was excited to be able to get actionable feedback from customers on the products he develops. He will be connecting with Yuval Drori of DoiT to discuss DoiT’s product challenges and help provide solutions.You can also find recordings from virtual events, interviews with Google Cloud thought leaders, and other news and content from C2C by browsing all our articles by solution area, industry, or hot topics in cloud.  Trying to catch wave of that energy? We’re eager for more, and we hope you can join us as we add more cities to our list.Not quite ready to travel and be part of an in-person crowd? We have plenty of virtual connections to join in on.Browse all our events to speak directly with presenters and share your thoughts in open conversation with other C2C members.   Congratulations again to our June C2Champions, @MoiGonzaga, @Vick, @MarkusK, and @Niaz Tadayyon. Learn more about these outstanding community members in this post We also want to highlight some other excellent conversations happening in the communities.  Want to start connecting with the community?  Of course, the beauty of everything we do is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and have access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience you have here in the online community, so here’s the latest on what we’ve delivered.New Group: Connected LeadersThis group features the Google Cloud Connected Leaders Exchange, whose purpose is creating an inspirational community for women, under represented groups and allies across Google, our Customers and our Partners. Their vision is to connect, make an impact and drive positive change for all through sharing stories, learnings and collectively making a difference to many through working as one community.Join the Connected Leaders group.  Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? Stay up-to-date on everything by updating your profile and notification preferences so we can deliver to you the most relevant news in real time.

Categories:C2C News

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

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

Categories:AI and Machine LearningC2C Community SpotlightGoogle Cloud PartnersInterview

Introducing the June 2022 C2Champions

C2C is a global community where Google Cloud customers and partners can explore new technical solutions and transform their businesses using Google Cloud products. What makes C2C so unique, however, is the opportunity for our members to meet, share their knowledge, and collaborate with one another. Learning which products to use and how to use them is important, but the chance to hear the story of another colleague who has done so successfully or tell your own success story is vital. To demonstrate this value to our membership, C2C has introduced a new program all about recognizing the individuals who make our community so dynamic and rewarding. Read on below to learn more about our monthly community C2Champions. Category: Platform Posts Moises GonzagaMoises Gonzaga (@MoiGonzaga) started his career journey as an Analyst. He has since had the chance to work as a Senior Analyst and a Product Owner, and now serves as a New Technologies Engineer at Nidec-MCE, supporting on-site applications and proposing new technologies to improve daily activities. He loves learning and is always researching and trying new tools and platforms, but he also loves teaching, which has led him to serve on the faculty of two different universities in his home of Mexico, teaching about programming, databases, and other tech topics including cloud. Moises has been a very active user on the C2C platform, notably welcoming other users to the community, and contributing essential posts. For these efforts, our community managers have nominated him as a June 2022 C2Champion. Category: Solving problems Victor DicksonVictor Dickson (@Vick) started his journey in tech as a novice, coming originally from a non-tech background: the construction industry. In his words, Vick was able to make the pivot that transformed his career “through hard work and perseverence.” Now he is a DevOps Engineer and an Instructor at New Vision Institute of Technology. Apart from the work he does as a DevOps Engineer, he’s passionate about impacting knowledge and helping those who are new to tech navigate their way through. Because of this commitment to helping others, Vick responds regularly when member share their technical problems, which is why our community managers have nominated him as one of this month’s C2Champions. Category: Attending Events Markus KoyMarkus Koy (@MarkusK) is the founder of thefluent.me and a Google Build Partner and AI enthusiast based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Markus has 18 years of experience as a Business Analyst, IT Project Manager, IT Consultant, Strategic Controller, and Developer. Born and raised in Germany, Markus immigrated to Canada in 2008. His hobbies include fishing, snowshoeing, and hiking. Markus has been nominated as a June 2022 C2Champion for being a regular presence in our events since the beginning of C2C. Markus has also collaborated with the C2C team by presenting and giving demos in events, and is a well known entrepreneur in our community. Read our Member Spotlight on Markus here:  Category: Google Support Niaz TadayyonNiaz Tadayyon (@Niaz Tadayyon) works with strategic customers and partners to design and execute on their conversational AI and transformational customer experience visions. Her strengths include analyzing clients’ business requirements, ideation and qualification, developing business cases and defining digital strategy, articulating AI impact on business, designing a simplified architecture, data foundation and data science solutions, delivering challenging projects, and, finally, scaling AI to gain full value. She has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics in Computer Science and a Master’s in Computer Engineering. Niaz was an engaging host and moderator at our in-person event in Irvine, guiding meaningful discussions and ensuring a successful and impactful event to bring the C2C community together, and has since expressed interest in presenting at future events. For this willingness to participate, our community managers have nominated her as our Google Support C2Champion for June. Do you want to be a C2Champion? There are countless ways to engage on our platform or at our events, but the easiest way to get started right now is to join us as a member! We look forward to seeing you around our community.

Categories:C2C News

Financial Services Case Study: Magnum Real Estate, Blockchain Transactions, and Google Cloud

Realtors trade property for cryptocurrency for various reasons. It’s cheap, because crypto is transacted over the blockchain, a distributed, shared ledger. There are no middlemen, like notaries, lawyers, title companies, brokers, banks, or attorneys, which affords agents drastic savings. It’s also fast. A blockchain-processed transaction slashes standard home-buying timelines from around three months to three weeks. The peer-to-peer transaction cuts out the hassle of hiring and working through intermediaries, and the seller and buyer secure documents on a ledger that automatically updates and distributes these forms among stakeholders. This eliminates the hassle of back-and-forth review of paperwork.Blockchain is also transparent––because all blockchain participants communicate in real time and review transactions as they cross the blockchain––and secure. Realtors use the blockchain ledger to encrypt titles, leases, and other contracts on the premise that its allegedly unhackable network is arguably safer and more secure than the centralized cloud. Fractional Investment in Tokenized Real Estate Some modern realtors trade pieces of property for crypto, in hopes of democratizing the market for buyers. Relatively few people have the money to invest in quality real estate. Fewer still have the funds for premium commercial property such as offices, nursing homes, or hotels. However, for buyers with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple, the property is simply divided into pieces. Each block is auctioned off for a specific amount of cryptocurrency, so instead of buying the entire infrastructure, interested parties simply buy that bit off the premise, making it more affordable. That fractionalized asset can later be traded for fiat or cryptocurrency, or retained for lodging or business purposes. Smart Contracts and Blockchain-Processed Real Estate All PropTech transactions are paired with blockchain programmed smart contracts that protect and secure the transaction process. Smart contracts automatically release funds when contract conditions are met and withhold them in cases of dispute. These digitized smart contacts allow buyers to claim that proffered property once they’ve paid the realtor the required amount of Bitcoin and fulfilled the conditions listed in that contract. Example: Magnum Real Estate GroupNew York-based Magnum Real Estate Group, which uses the Google Cloud Platform for its realty services, started selling condos for Bitcoin back in 2018. Google Cloud helps Magnum automatically update its commercial real estate listings and provides real-time updates that gives its team timely insights into real estate performance and pricing. Prospective tenants and their representatives have immediate access to the dashboard’s functionalities, helping them see details on properties as they update. Google Cloud also automatically scales workloads up and down and drastically reduces cloud hosting costs, among other benefits. In short, Google Cloud provides a continuous integration and deployment model with fast and accurate data and unprecedented scalability that gives Magnum an edge over competitors.In September, 2021, Magnum made headlines by advertising that they would sell three retail condos in Manhattan’s Upper East Side for the equivalent of $29 Million in Bitcoin. Magnum’s step was significant, since it marks the most robust property investment opportunity for crypto investors yet. Managing partner of Magnum Real Estate Group Ben Shaoul has sold more than $25 million worth of commercial and residential real estate in cyber currency since 2018.All crypto transactions are completed by Magnum using BitPay, a crypto payment processor with substantial experience in property transactions. Buyers deposit Bitcoin payments in BitPay’s “wallet.” BitPay converts this Bitcoin into fiat and wires those funds to Magnum. The entire transaction is completed overnight, in contrast to the standard thirty to ninety days required for fiat.By using blockchain-transacted cryptocurrency, Magnum can now transact faster, cheaper and more securely with traders from around the world. It’s a digital wallet-to-wallet process that cuts out legacy banks and their legislations, costs, and time lags. The process is vetted by blockchain participants. PropTech realtors say the company is considering tokenizing its properties in the future. Impact of Blockchain-Processed Real Estate According to Ben Shaoul, “Accepting cryptocurrency for select condominiums in our New York City portfolio enabled us to expand our buyer pool.” That’s because “you are opening up real estate investment to a whole new demographic of investors,” Shaoul says. “Crypto currency holders are a different type of person. They aren’t just finance people, or doctors and lawyers who own stocks. These are bus drivers, school teachers, and cab drivers.”Speaking to Yahoo Finance, the Magnum developer said: “There’s a demand for real estate and there’s nothing being offered to the holders of crypto. Our idea is to offer something that’s unique and try to pair the holders of crypto with those who want to sell real estate.” Extra Credit:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsFinancial Services

C2C Monthly Recap: June 2022

Each month, C2C shares the latest news from the team and the best highlights from all of you here in the community. Read on below for the most essential C2C updates from June 2022.Jump to:Where We’ve Been... ...And Where We’re Going In the Community Newest Features for YouWhere We’ve Been... EventsThe C2C team has been on the move! We’ve been unveiling a number of face to face events with the help of our partners, Google, and other members who have joined us to share their journeys and connect with each other. The stories shared at these events are valuable across many industry solutions being created with Google Cloud technology, but we also have a focus on having fun! São PauloOn June 1, C2C hosted an in-person event in São Paulo, Brazil, featuring speakers Marco Bravo, Head of Google Cloud Brazil, and Dr. Wade Holmes (@wadeholmes), Google Cloud Solutions Manager for Security Global Lead, and moderated by Renato Marcovitti, Cloud Security Specialist, Google Cloud. The first C2C event hosted in Latin America, this event marked the official launch of C2C’s regional LATAM community. The program explored Google Cloud’s security benefits and how new developments in cybersecurity, including Zero Trust concepts, are helping Google Cloud eliminate cyber threats. “I really liked the opportunity to have contact with other customers of other clients and with the Google Cloud community,” said Renato Wada (@rmwada) of FIS. Jéssica Romão (@jessica.Romão) of BV Financeira agreed. “I think this kind of event is very important for security and to the people," she said. “To know new things about security, and to know each other, also.” CambridgeC2C’s in-person event in Cambridge was the first C2C in-person event produced specifically with C2C’s Healthcare and Life Sciences group in mind. The program featured speakers Taylor Lehmann (@taylorlehmann1), Director of the Office of the CISO at Google Cloud, Jonathan Sheffi (@sheffi), formerly a Director of Product Strategy at Veeva Systems and Google Cloud, and Luke Ge (@Liangwei77ge), an AI Solution Specialist at Intel, as well as moderator Yee-chen Tjie (@yeetjie), Google Cloud Life Sciences Head of Customer Engineering. For a full recap of the program and some onsite reporting from the networking reception that followed the event, complete with interviews with speakers and guests, follow the links below.You can also find recordings from virtual events, interviews with Google Cloud thought leaders, and other news and content from C2C by browsing all our articles by solution area, industry, or hot topics in cloud.  ...And Where We’re GoingTrying to catch wave of that energy? We’re eager for more, and we hope you can join us as we add more cities to our list. Not quite ready to travel and be part of an in-person crowd? We have plenty of virtual connections to join in on. Here are a select few we recommend joining live so you can speak directly with presenters and share your thoughts in open conversation with other C2C members. Looking for more? In the CommunityCongratulations again to our May C2Champions, @chanelgreco, @HayesJohnD, and @shaijut. Learn more about these outstanding community members at this post below. We also want to highlight some other excellent conversations happening in the communities.  Want to start connecting with the community? Newest Features for YouOf course, the beauty of everything above is having one central place for all Google Cloud users to come together to solve problems, connect and re-connect, and have access to everything from C2C. We strive to continually improve the experience you have here in the online community, so here’s the latest on what we’ve delivered. Navigation UpdatesOur homepage may look different to returning users. Previously, our topic categories had prominent real estate on the homepage of the community. This new navigation now makes clearer the three main purposes of logging in: finding your topics of interest, reading C2C-published articles, and signing up for in-person and virtual events.Main navigation: community, articles, and events The newly-activated community overview page is the dedicated home to everything for technology-based conversations, including the member leaderboard and popular tags added to topics. These categories—sorted by Google Cloud solutions, industry solutions, and Google Workspace—are available to start discussions and get questions answered.We also merged the previously listed “Shape” page from the top navigation into the “Community” sections. Now, shared resources are included among the conversations in a one-stop-shop. New User Roles: Team Leaders and ModeratorsThe C2C community managers (@ilias, @Dimitris Petrakis, and @Alfons) work directly with C2C members to keep the conversations lively and appropriate in our topic categories and regional groups. You can now easily identify these individuals marked by the “Moderator” or “Team Leader” tags on their profiles.Example of the “Moderator” role on a the profile for @MarkusK  If you’re interested in becoming a team leader or moderator, reach out directly to @ilias. Want to make sure you’re in the loop and don’t want to wait for these posts each month? Stay up-to-date on everything by updating your profile and notification preferences so we can deliver to you the most relevant news in real time.

Categories:C2C News

C2C Connect Live: Cambridge

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

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

Reduce Time to Value by Rapidly Onboarding SAP Data on GCP (full recording)

You have options if you want to reduce the time to value for SAP deployments on GCP. Google Cloud solutions such as BigQuery, CloudSQL, AutoML, and Spanner⁠—among others⁠—are available to onboard and will accelerate insights on SAP data. Mike Eacrett, a senior product manager at Google Cloud, and Chai Pydimukkala, Google Cloud Head of Product Management, recently joined C2C for a technical session for SAP architects, data integrators, and data engineers to cover important options for SAP deployments on GCP. The session provided an overview of available solutions, technical requirements, and customer use cases. Watch the video below to see the live presentations, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the segments most relevant to you:(1:50) Mike Eacrett Introduction and Reference Architecture (3:20) BigQuery Connector for SAP: SAP Data Integration (4:25) BigQuery Connector for SAP: Highlights & Value (7:30) BigQuery Connector for SAP: Solution Overview (10:30) BigQuery Connector for SAP: How does it work? (14:35) Data Type Mapping Overview (17:40) Supported Software Requirements (19:55) Chai Pydimukkala Introduction and Cloud Data Fusion (23:15) Cloud Data Fusion Key Capabilities and Personas (31:25) SAP Table Batch Source (34:50) SAP SLT Replication Plugin (36:45) SAP ODP Plugin (38:45) SAP OData Plugin  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Storage and Data TransferSAP

Patient Advocacy and Speaking from Experience at C2C Connect Live: Cambridge

“I was at the hotel one morning working at a hospital in Missouri, noticed blood on my t-shirt, and said ‘What’s that about?’” Sitting at a high-top conference table outside the Boston Common auditorium on the fourth floor of Google’s Cambridge, MA office, Michael Preston (@Preston14) of Healthcare Triangle briskly recounted his struggle to find effective treatment for melanoma. Before he was able to eliminate the cancer with immunotherapy, he explained, he underwent chemotherapy and experienced near-fatal complications. “That medicine that I qualified for because of my gene mutation nearly killed me,” he said. “How do you get genomics to reflect how a patient will interact with a medicine, not just whether or not they qualify for that medicine based on their genomic profile?”Jonathan SheffiPreston had come to the office for a C2C Connect Live event for Healthcare and Life Sciences professionals in the Boston-Cambridge area. This last question is the same question Preston asked Jonathan Sheffi (@sheffi), a director of Product Strategy formerly of Google and Veeva Systems, who had taken the stage earlier for a presentation and panel. Sheffi’s presentation focused more broadly on use cases for cloud technology in genomics and clinical trial matching, but the content resonated with Preston enough that he was moved to share his personal experience with the rest of the group. This kind of personal connection to technical and business-related discussions is typical of the HCLS space, Preston said. “Something will resonate, whether it’s my grandmother, my grandfather, my neighbor down the street, or me. If you can’t bring your own perspective into a conversation with a client or a partner, then it’s too generic.”Sheffi agreed: “Working in healthcare and life sciences, no matter what industry you work in, everyone’s a patient, and everyone knows some patients.” Before he began working in technology, Sheffi was able to experience firsthand what it’s like to serve in a patient-facing role. “I was actually a pharmaceutical sales rep early in my career, and met patients who would come up to me and would say, ‘your drug saved my life,’” he recalled. “I feel weird taking the credit, because I didn’t develop it, I didn’t manufacture it, I was just making sure that they had access and had it available to them, but there is nothing quite like meeting a patient who’s actually been impacted by your work.” Although Sheffi has held executive-level positions at several major tech companies, he has organized his career around the opportunities he sees to serve patients and meet their needs. As he put it, “I’m here because I’m excited about what technology can do for patients.” Guests mingling before the eventThe program at the event, which included presentations from Sheffi, Google Head of Cloud Sales Engineering Yee-Chen Tjie, Taylor Lehmann, Director of the Office of the CISO at Google, and Luke Ge, an AI Solutions specialist at Intel, and a panel discussion with Ge, Tjie, and Sheffi, was largely technically focused. However, patient experience dominated the conversations that followed, which Sheffi and Preston both cited as a unique value of a community space for HCLS professionals in the tech field. “Another gentlemen talked about his parent, who had cancer,” Sheffi recalled. “He had to push for a more medically appropriate treatment option that wasn’t initially recommended by the physician.” “Working in healthcare and life sciences, no matter what industry you work in, everyone’s a patient, and everyone knows some patients.” Sheffi was referring to Raj Tuliani (@tuliani), a customer engineer with Google Life Sciences who shared his experience caring for his sick parents during the panel discussion that closed the program. “I was trying to give my perspective as a patient advocate, as a patient caregiver,” he says. “There’s a good use case for a patient advocate to use the genetic data that’s being given as a way to guide treatment, not only from the provider perspective, but from the patient side as well.” Tuliani had wanted to be a doctor from a young age, and when he started at Google he had already worked as a senior director of technology at Anthem and at Johns Hopkins, and had also taken time off from work to be a full-time caregiver to his parents. As a patient advocate, Tuliani appreciates that Google’s life sciences products are “are all about helping everyone,” with “the emphasis on helping and everyone.”A focus on patient experience is that much more impactful at an event where technical and business professionals are convening to share ideas and make new connections. Once the guests started opening up in the room during the prepared program, they were primed to engage candidly during the networking reception that followed. Making himself vulnerable in front of the others in attendance only made Preston more eager to connect one-on-one with his colleagues and peers. In the middle of describing the security risks his clients in the small- to medium-sized community hospital space face when they don’t have resources like a CISO, he caught sight of Lehmann walking past. “I’m going to go hunt him down and talk to him more,” he said. Extra Credit:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsC2C NewsHealthcare and Life Sciences