Google Next was an inspiration, to say the least. The tech giant hasn’t always been the first to put marketing and events above what they do best – building technology. But this year they added some serious hype around the announcements of their tools. And it was absolutely incredible. The event was twice as big as their annual developer conference, with more than 10,000 people in attendance.
Google’s Leadership ensured that Google customers are secure, effective, and well-positioned for growth and scale. The event itself had an impact – didn’t matter if you were a CEO, CIO, CTO, Data Architect, Engineer, or Sales & Marketing Director. Here are some of the lasting impressions the conference had on these attendees.
Google Next from a CEO’s Perspective
Google is making the hard problems easy. Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics are one and the same and Google Cloud's innovative platform is simplifying complex processes to predict observations like what customers want, predict when parts need to be replaced, and make sure that your enterprise can be proactive instead of reactive in their dealings with their customers, a huge competitive advantage. What we’re seeing now is already inspiring, but the engineering talent we’ve seen will only continue to propel GCP and Google Cloud as a whole.
Google is serious about the enterprise, with large enterprises trusting their most important data on GCP as well as G Suite. This message came loud and clear from Keynote speakers ranging from Disney to HSBC, eBay, Colgate, PwC, Palmolive, to SAP and others. According to PwC, the average person's productivity increased by 9 hours/week by moving to G Suite. Google is increasing the bottom line for everyone that takes advantage of their Cloud.
Google Next from a CIO/CTO’s Perspective
Security. It’s one thing to increase productivity, but you would never want to risk security as a tradeoff. With Google, you get both productivity and security. With their announcements of DLP (Digital Loss Prevention) for files and email, Data Loss Prevention API for Google Cloud Platform, and Google Vault for Team Drives & Google Groups, there’s no question that security is the first and foremost consideration. Security Key enforcement was also announced.
Partners. Google has created an inclusive partner ecosystem to meet companies’ demands quickly and efficiently. Partners like Cloudbakers were there to build on the keynotes and sessions, and are making these solutions a reality for companies of all industries. From Healthcare to Manufacturing to Media & Entertainment and more, everything Google Cloud is offering is possible and made easy through proven change management processes that these partners bring.
Google Next from an Engineer’s Perspective
Cloud Spanner is a game changer. Aside from the speed of the regional database, it’s scalable, consistent across locations (via atomic clock synchronization), and a NoOps platform. In other words, no DevOps are needed!
Machine Learning and AI is something Google has a lot of internal experience with and they're definitely looking to leverage that and make that expertise available in the form of open APIs and easy to use machine learning and data science tools like TensorFlow and Datalab. We knew that going into the conference – what's interesting, is how much time and attention they devote to that particular subject. They know that Machine Learning and AI are going to be a huge part of future IT and they're looking to position themselves as long-standing experts on the subject.
A good way to look at it is this: The first step was Google helping everyone to organize their data. Now Google is giving everyone a way to aggregate that data and make it actually produce results. The first company to get their data to actually tell them how to move forward and succeed will be the first to scale their business exponentially. Everyone has been collecting so much data for years, now is the time to capitalize on it and put the data to use.
Kubernetes and the orchestration of containers was also a common thread throughout the conference. One of the challenges of running VMs versus using managed services like Cloud SQL is that it is up to the end user to maintain the OS and software running on all of the virtual machines. For one or two, this isn't a big deal, but the more VMs you have, the harder it gets to maintain them. Kubernetes helps to mitigate this challenge by providing a service that containerizes different software and allows for the orchestration of these containers across different VMs. The quicker you can scale up and scale back down on demand, the more efficient your application runs, and the better it can beat out the competitors by using Google's methodology for redundancy.
(For those is you reading this who are not in this type of role, here is a great way to understand Kubernetes.)
Google Next from a Sales & Marketing Perspective
Team Drives is official! Now we can create files to be shared with our entire Sales or Marketing team in a structure that makes our IT department happy too. And remember when we started using Slack? Those days may be over due to the new enhancements for Google Hangouts. They’re bringing ‘virtual rooms’ into the picture, which will replace the way we use channels in Slack. In addition, Hangouts is allowing more participants, and dial-in access to meetings.
What we’re most excited for is the new way to whiteboard: Jamboard. How often are you taking a picture of the whiteboard after your meeting? Or working on positioning your conference room camera to have the whiteboard in view, so that you can write down the entire brainstorming process. With Jamboard, everyone, everywhere, holds a dry-erase marker in their hand. Here’s a snapshot of Andrew in action:
These are only snippets of information compared to the mass amounts learned at Google Next. Want to learn more yourself? You have some options.
- Take a look at the 100 Announcements that came from Google Next.
- Keynotes and sessions are posted online for you to view.
- Jumpstart what you’ve heard by working with a Google Cloud Premier Partner who can not only relay the information to you, but do so in a way that relates to your business specifically.