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Google Cloud Next 2019 agenda tips enterprise ambitions

Google’s Cloud Next 2019 conference is coming up and the event session catalog illuminates some of the top priorities for the Google Cloud Platform. Here’s a look at some notable talks slated for the show, which starts April 9 in San Francisco.

Kurian’s time to shine

Recently appointed Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian will deliver his first Google Cloud Next keynote. Kurian proffered up some interesting tidbits at the recent Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, but expect much more about his vision for the platform at Google Cloud Next.

Too many vendor keynotes are little more than long-winded product pitches, but that’s not what Google Cloud Next’s audience wants to hear. Kurian should, and likely will, clearly articulate his vision for how customers can trust Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as a partner with a bigger role in their enterprise IT landscapes, not just a product hawker.

As for the weedier technical material, Urs Hölzle, Google’s SVP of technical infrastructure, will be on hand with his own keynote at Google Cloud Next 2019. For more technical depth, there’s also the Google I/O developer conference later this spring.

Securing its identity

Google Cloud touts AI as a strength in its cloud platform services, but security and access control is another area where it can outpace competitors.

To that end, a session listed in the catalog for Google Cloud Next 2019 features Mailjet, an EU company that sells email services for teams, and one of the first customers to migrate onto Google Cloud Identity for Customers and Partners (CICP).

Mailjet operates under the EU’s strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules and runs its systems on GCP. Its user base of more than 600,000 accounts includes customers such as Microsoft and KIA Motors, according to the session abstract. Mailjet CTO Pierre Puchois will describe the company’s effort to adopt CICP, which Google unveiled in October.

Another rip and replace revealed

The Telegraph, one of the U.K.’s largest news organizations, recently outlined its plans to move the vast majority of its IT resources to GCP — and away from AWS.

These stories are increasingly common as the major cloud providers’ offerings mature, and customers decide that another provider is a better strategic fit for their needs.

At Google Cloud Next, representatives from gaming engine developer Unity Technologies will describe the company’s AWS-to-GCP migration it underwent last year, and completed in six months with the help of Google’s professional services organization. The complex project “involved seven different workstreams in five different countries with lots of dependencies among each other,” according to the session abstract.

Cloud vendors love to spotlight these all-in cloud customers, but Google especially wants them onstage at Google Cloud Next 2019. Despite GCP’s growth in market share, it’s still a small percentage of the overall installed base. Prospects and companies with modest investments in the cloud platform want to learn about the successes of those who took a much bigger plunge.

Great together: G Suite and GCP

GCP’s set of infrastructure and app-development services competes with AWS, Azure and other public clouds. But G Suite, Google’s collaboration and email tools, also fall under the auspices of Google’s cloud business.

This has been the case for years, but Google apparently still feels a need to educate customers on how GCP and G Suite can work together. One session at Google Cloud Next 2019  describes how GCP services can be used to analyze G Suite data, and showcases a set of sample applications that tie together G Suite and GCP.

For Google, G Suite can play a similar role as Office and Office 365 have for Microsoft and Azure. Connections between the applications that rank-and-file workers live in every day and a provider’s underlying infrastructure and services sets the stage for both stickiness and better cohesion among processes. Google wins with the former, and customers stand to gain from the latter.

Office 365 has proven to be stiff competition for G Suite, however, and the battle may not be over very soon.

All hands in for hybrid cloud

Google recently pushed its Cloud Services Platform (CSP) into beta. The software stack for hybrid cloud scenarios is based on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), the managed service for container orchestration. CSP is one of Google’s responses to the demand for hybrid cloud capabilities — it also has a partnership with Nutanix — and, if the Google Cloud Next 2019 agenda is any indication, hybrid cloud will be a big focus for Google in 2019.

There are already 40 sessions tagged as hybrid cloud scheduled for the event, and more could be added in the weeks ahead. Topics on tap so far include GKE, the Istio service mesh, container security and application modernization.

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