At the keynote presentation of Google Cloud Next 2021 held on October 12, Google and Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai, alongside Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, announced exciting new products, features, expansion plans, partnerships and more.
Pichai said that Google Cloud is currently present in 28 regions with plans for ten more. “It’s all connected by 19 subsea cables. Our Grace Hopper transatlantic cable will be the first to incorporate novel optical fibre switching,” he added. This year, it expanded to Warsaw, Delhi, Melbourne and Toronto.
Citing Google Assistant, he said Google Cloud has a unique ability to connect the customer ecosystem with the enterprise ecosystem, improving enterprise customer experience and increasing satisfaction. And the underlying visual technology that enables Google Lens to help people shop or learn about a new flower in their garden can also help manufacturers identify defects.
Further, he said that Google Cloud offers comprehensive security that helps organisations, including theirs, to protect what matters. “Security is foundational to everything we do. We have a long history of building it into every layer of the computing environment. We are a pioneer of zero trust computing and have a deep experience of running this model at scale,” said Pichai.
Highlighting Smart Canvas in Google workspace, BigQuery, Omni, etc., he said that Google Cloud continues to drive innovation through their products. “Over the past year, we have had more than 1500 product and feature releases. That is about four a day,” said Pichai.
Throwing light on the latest partnerships, Pichai said the company has teamed up with global telecom leaders like Erricson, Nokia and T Systems to deliver 5G edge and hosted computing solutions. “What I am most excited about is how our strengths in cloud, consumer, security are helping top enterprises accelerate their transformation,” he added, citing Ford and L’Oreal. “We are humbled that so many organisations continue to put their trust in Google Cloud. And we are committed to helping you solve the biggest challenges you face,” said Pichai.
“No, it is not a secret that many of the biggest and most innovative technology companies, leaders such as Spotify, Twitter, Shopify… and so many exciting startups and tech leaders choose Google Cloud to help them build, scale and innovate,” said Kurian. He said:
- The Home Depot, for instance, used Google’s contact enter AI to reduce customer resolution time by 91 million minutes.
- Procter and Gamble (P&G) created personalised omnichannel journeys from over 275 million consumer records. IKEA retail used recommendations AI to increase e-commerce click-through rates by 30 per cent and increase order value by two per cent.
- FIH, a Foxconn company, used visual inspection to identify defects ten times more accurately.
- Mr Cooper, a leading mortgage services provider, used document AI to process mortgage documents, 400 per cent, more efficiently.
- Bank of New York Mellon developed a liquidity solution that predicts nearly 40 per cent of security settlement failures with 90 per cent accuracy.
Kurian said they are helping many businesses drive durable innovation through long term partnerships with Google’s transformation cloud. For this, he said they focus on five key themes:
- Are we the best at understanding and using data in that industry?
- Do we have the industry’s leading technology infrastructure?
- Are we creating the best hybrid workplace for our passionate and talented employees?
- Are our data systems and users secure now, and will they be secure in the future?
- Lastly, how are we working together to address the most important challenges facing the world today?
“We help organisations address these important questions,” said Kurian.
Other key announcements:
At Google Cloud Next 2021, Kurian said they would integrate Tableau with Looker, Google Sheets, and BigQuery. “Tableau customers will soon be able to use Looker’s semantic model, enabling new levels of data governance and access to data,” he added.
In addition to this, Kurian revealed the launch of Google Distributed Cloud, a portfolio of hardware and software solutions that extends its infrastructure to the edge. Some of the customers using these services include HP, Dell, Cisco and NetApp, among others.
Plus, Google Cloud introduced Smart Canvas to help content creators remove friction from workflows and enable teams to stay connected outside of meetings to foster well being and reduce video call fatigue. “We made communication and collaboration completely seamless. For instance, users can easily present and collaborate in meetings, create meeting notes from the calendar, presented meet directly from docs, sheets or slides and collaborate directly from chat and spaces; we optimise collaboration from all mobile devices to provide great experiences for frontline workers who make up 80% of the global workforce,” said Kurian.
Lastly, Google Cloud announced that it is now making its SLSA (pronounced ‘salsa’), a Google framework to mitigate tampering with software components services, available for all applications, including modern and legacy, web and desktop, and even to production environments.
Towards Safe Hybrid Work Environment & Sustainability
Google Cloud believes that security is top of mind for businesses of all sizes and the public sector. However, despite the progress that has been made in cybersecurity, large scale breaches continue to make headlines. To tackle this, in August, Google announced that it would invest $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen cybersecurity. “That includes expanding zero trust programmes, helping secure the software supply chain and enhancing open source security; a new challenge is keeping collaboration secure and private,” said Pichai.
Further, he said that Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, and it has matched its operations with 100 per cent renewable energy over four consecutive years. “Last year, we set out to make our third decade of climate action. Our biggest year included a bold commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy across our offices and data centres by 2030,” said Pichai. Citing the IDC report, he announced new ways to help 1 billion people make more sustainable choices for enterprises. Earlier this year, Google introduced customers to choose the cleanest regions to run their workload.
“We are expanding our portfolio of solutions and partnerships to help reduce your carbon footprint,” said Pichai. In addition, he said they are focusing on giving greater transparency around carbon emissions data.
For this, Google announced the launch of Carbon Cloud Emission Data, a new service to measure, track and report the gross carbon emission associated with Google cloud usage. It will be integrated directly into Salesforce, sustainability cloud. “Having this data at your fingertips is important, and we know that many customers track sustainability data in other places,” said Pichai.
He said that this tool would alert businesses when they have idle workloads and recommend reducing carbon emissions. “So, part of our goal is to help make your cloud transformation secure and sustainable and solve for what’s next,” concluded Pichai.
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Amit Raja Naik is a senior writer at Analytics India Magazine, where he dives deep into the latest technology innovations. He is also a professional bass player.