Top 7 Takeaways from Amsterdam’s Google Cloud Summit 2018

The Google Summit at Wednesday 28th of November 2018 was the #1 place to supercharge innovation. This was not just another slogan! It was proven by a nice mixture of presentations: production level implementations / use-cases, show off of very interesting new Google products and services, presentations by the experts, and hands-on labs/ demos. That innovative feeling was also recognizable by the vibrant buzz that you could feel, hear and smell being there. In summary: very happy to have been there.

1. Google builds collaboration from the ground up

This was also mentioned in the keynotes in relation to G-Suite and really resonated very well with our Devoteam colleagues and visitors at our booth. There were numerous “war” stories. Just an example of a team: people working very hard together on an offer, while also working on their other assignments, and like most of us, also having private lives. Working seamlessly together in one “versionized” document, presentation or spreadsheet really makes the difference between a messy process (as we all did before working in shared documents) and a very transparent/collaborative way of working together. The exact same currently happens with data scientists working in a Google collaborative environment instead of on individual Jupyter notebooks.

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Devoteam Senior Vice President Hervé Thoumyre presenting on GSuite and GCP with interesting client case.

2. Google is openly driving innovation

Although Google is not a very old company. It already has made significant impact on technology and algorithms. To name a few: HDFS, Tensorflow and Kubernetes. The trend here is to deliver more transparency and more open source. The insight for me is that innovation is something you need to push and share. With that fact in mind Google delivers value for us all. As some of my colleagues say “we can all stand on the shoulders of giants”. This constant drive for innovation, based on a real need to reduce costs and enable scaling, delivers production ready tools. One currently hot topic to mention is Istio. Istio is an open source independent service mesh tool that provides the fundamentals you need to successfully run a distributed microservices architecture. Adoption within the market of this very young product tells the story of how useful these type of tools are.

3. Differentiators of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Considering Cloud technologies, we as Devoteam take an independent position: we will continue to focus on the best solution for our customers. In my opinion the key differentiators of GCP are:

  • Extremely scalable: An example is multi peta byte level self service scale storage.
  • Very low latency world wide: For example Google owns optimized inter computer centra networks (they deliver and own their own sea cables).
  • Very secure: They have proven to be able to handle large scale ddos attacks.
  • Containerized almost from start and works natively with Kubernetes.

One of the key things for me, which might not be a real differantiator, is Knative and GC on premise which you can set up on your own laptop / in your own computer infrastructure in a cloud-native way.

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4. Google is AI First

Although this may sound like just another marketing cry out. It is not. Giving AI tools to developers, starting within Google but also to partners and customers, really makes a difference. In almost all presentations there were examples of the way AI technology finds its way into products and services. Just a few examples: speech technology improvements, natural language improvements (advising on what to type next in your mail, to doing translation or spelling correction), and partners like Devoteam showing numerous vision-AI examples. Google is also bringing AI to the market of non-developers through its AutoML.

5. Contact Centre AI

“Designed to work with existing contact center technology, Contact Center AI makes it easy to train an AI model to interact with customers and provide insightful direction for agents” – From Google’s website.

How it was shown on the Summit – Demonstrations were given of how you could use an FAQ website and simple spreadsheets to answer basic questions with voice by a virtual agent.

This product is currently in alpha phase, but already attracted quite some interest. So not ready yet, but expected to become beta in Q2 2019 and we as Devoteam certainly want to offer this to our clients in the future.

6. Devoteam is the EMEA partner of Google

I think we surely did a good job in presenting ourselves in this dynamic and vibrant environment as one of the most interesting players to deliver Google solutions. I also feel that Google recognizes our strength. This partnership can only grow stronger.

Devoteam rewarded as Google Cloud EMEA Services Partner of the Year

7. So much exciting stuff

Because of all the cool technologies and presentations, I unfortunately could not spent any time on topics like IoT and the Edge TPU. There was really nothing boring. Life is about making decisions and there was so much to choose from. These topics will get some more attention next time.

Closing notes

Yes, yes it was very busy and buzzing day! But with the help of all the personnel at the venue it was well managed. Big thank you to the organizers! Also a really divers public, from C-level management to developers from all kinds of countries and backgrounds. Personally I also met a lot of influential advisers of current and previous assignments. And good to see that our peers in the AI/ML space were also at the Summit. The fact that this was the place for innovation was also reflected in the many enthusiastic innovation related questions at our booth: starting from more general questions about how Devoteam could help them to innovate with Google products and services to very detailed questions about how we can help with consultancy on AI/ML/Apigee, and questions on how to transform an existing IT landscape to the Google Cloud Platform.

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Last but not least there was a mindblowing keynote from magician/illusionist Victor Mids. The magic of Google!

google cloud summit victor mids show

Of course our friend Pepper, some friendly, open and enthusiastic Devoteamers around the booth, and some great branding/presentation material at our booth helped a lot in triggering all these interesting conversations.

See you next year!