Google Cloud Next ‘22 in Munich
Google Cloud Next ‘22 was a hybrid event across the globe. In addition to in-person physical events in New York, Sunnyvale, Munich, and Bengaluru, the content was broadcast and was also available on demand. Mopia Kamdoum and Aline Trautmann from PAC attended in Munich, gaining insights into Google Cloud activities in EMEA.
From PAC’s point of view, the event clearly showed the importance of digital transformation across all industries, and how it affects customers’ current business models. Cloudification is obviously one of the most important and powerful tools in that regard. Google Cloud is one of the companies that enable this transformation, successfully creating value along the journey.
The event has underlined that Google Cloud pursues a “broad openness” strategy. Examples include a data cloud that enables customers to use data from any source, including from other hyperscalers and partners. This includes moving data between platforms, i.e., from other cloud providers to the Google Cloud Platform, and then enabling IT users to use Google Cloud’s strong AI and analytics capabilities.
Google actually prides itself on its expertise in this domain. At Google Cloud Next ’22, several of the announcements made were related to the expansion of these capabilities. For instance, Big Query, a data warehouse solution, is now able to handle unstructured data, too. Vertex AI Vision will help Google Cloud customers use computer vision to analyze video streams and pictures.
It was also evident at Google Cloud Next ’22 that the company is increasingly targeting Northern and Central Europe and topics related to these markets. Five new physical Google Cloud regions (Austria, Greece, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden) were announced, among other things. In addition, Google Cloud’s steps toward cloud sovereignty (incl. data, operational, and software) show the company’s ambition to address the needs of companies handling critical data, the public sector, and consumers in EMEA that are concerned about privacy. We do observe that Google Cloud is pushing ahead with its “Cloud. On Europe’s Terms” initiative, which was announced in September 2021. That means Google Cloud is open to partnerships wherever required by legislation, which might help alleviate customers’ concerns. Currently, Google Cloud is collaborating with T-Systems in Germany, S3NS, a subsidiary of Thales, in France, Minsait in Spain, and Telecom Italia in Italy.
Talking to partners and customers (e.g., Thales, E.ON Brightfield, or the City of Düsseldorf fire department) about their collaboration, PAC gained valuable insights into how Google Cloud helps its customers with their journey. The event has also illustrated how Google Cloud aims at building a safe and secure cloud platform that provides the necessary analytics and AI tools to give businesses better insights into their processes, allow them to rely on AI-based predictions and forecasts, support their decision-making, and provide enough transparency to assess the environmental impact the deployment of Google Cloud may have.