I love this time of year. It’s fall for me, so it’s time for college football, sweater weather, and … hyperscaler events! Historically, the “big three” public cloud vendors have spaced out their annual shindigs, but Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are facing off this year during the same week. So, instead of dedicating a separate blog to each of their events, we’re making them share airspace and doing a combo.
Google Cloud Next (GCN) will start live streaming online at noon EDT on October 11 and will run through October 13. It’s also holding events in various physical locations. Microsoft Ignite starts a day later, running October 12-14, with events happening both online and in Seattle.
Google Cloud Next: your shortlist
Google Cloud has been oh so nice and has put together a Telecommunications Industry Playlist. It includes the Opening Keynote with Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, which is about using cloud technology to build for the future, and seven breakout sessions:
From the Modernize track, it highlights:
- Enabling cloud-native networks and 5G edge for telecommunications
- Modernize your data center and accelerate your edge with Google Distributed Cloud
- How Vodafone is supercharging AI/ML at scale with Google Cloud (Vodafone is the poster child for moving telco analytics to the public cloud, so this should be a great session.)
- What’s next for enterprise architects and developers
From the Analyze track, check out:
- What’s new in BigQuery (Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have a TON of data. BigQuery can help you get a handle on it.)
- Get a grip on your data: Top strategies for better governance at scale
- How TelevisaUnivision uses Analytics Hub to securely share and exchange data
Those are Google Cloud’s picks. I also recommend these two sessions from the Analyze track:
- Why now is the time to migrate your apps to managed databases
Is migrating your apps a pain? Sure, but the improvement in performance and price is worth the effort. This session brings a Google Cloud product manager together with a customer (Major League Baseball) to talk about how to make the move successfully. As I covered in a recent blog post, different cloud databases are tailored to handle different kinds of workloads. Hopefully, this session will get into specifics about how to select the right service for your needs. Might be a fun way to learn about swapping out dinosaur, on-premise databases for the new hotness that is cloud databases.
- Delight customers in every interaction with Contact Center AI
Customer experiences in the telco industry leave a lot to be desired. One way to improve them (along with your net promoter score (NPS) and average revenue per user, or ARPU) is to make them smarter with artificial intelligence. Verizon uses Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI, and you could too! Cutting-edge services like this one are a huge benefit of using the public cloud.
Additionally, encourage your technologists to take a look at the technical playlists for specific topics like building with AI and getting Google Cloud Certified.
As of right now, GCN listings don’t include times for when specific sessions will be streamed. Register today, and hopefully, you’ll get more details from Google Cloud before the event so you can plan your diary.
Microsoft Ignite: my best guess
It ain’t easy to find the telco-relevant content on the Ignite website with a staggering 751 sessions presented by an impressive 660 speakers. We searched for our Azure for Operators contacts in the speakers list and scoured the session catalog for “Azure for Operators” and iterations of “telecommunications.” We even checked the Microsoft Telco Twitter handle, but came up dry. We did find a session featuring someone from AT&T, but it isn’t really about telco. (Does Azure for Operators have its own show that we don’t know about?)
Microsoft has identified some sessions by themes: agility, efficiency (including automation and AI), workforce, accelerating innovation, and security. Here’s what I recommend:
- If you’re still kicking the tires, or if you’re new to Azure and still learning, spend time in the security sessions. Think of that as the “beginner” track.
- If you want to understand how the cloud can help you innovate, focus on the accelerating innovation theme. Once you’re up and running in the public cloud, your teams need to learn how to program with the various services of the cloud to quickly assemble new applications. That’s why you’re in the cloud—to use it. So do it.
- If you’re ready to take your Azure deployment to the next level, look at the efficiency/automation/AI theme. These sessions are all covering advanced topics. Here you want to use analytical insights to drive actions into your business applications, wherever they may reside, whether on-premise or on the public cloud. THAT’S the power of the public cloud.
The opening session always gives a good intro to the whole event—and generates plenty of water cooler talk.
Wednesday, October 12, 9:00-9:50 AM PDT
Wednesday, October 12, 4:00-4:50 PM GMT
Thursday, October 13, Midnight-12:50 AM SGT
How modernizing enterprise applications gives you a competitive advantage
This should be a good, general session about moving your apps to the public cloud, with an emphasis on how Azure can help make it easier.
Wednesday, October 12, 1:00-1:45 PM PDT
Wednesday, October 12, 8:00-8:45 PM GMT
Thursday, October 13, 4:00-4:45 AM SGT
Metaverse was a huge theme at last year’s event, so it’ll be interesting to see how things have evolved since then. Also, the metaverse needs an awesome network to work, so telcos have to be part of the conversation.
Wednesday, October 12, 10:25-10:45AM PDT
Wednesday, October 12, 5:25-5:45 PM GMT
Thursday, October 13, 1:25-1:45 AM SGT
Build better customer experiences and business processes with Applied AI & Cognitive Services
Public cloud services, like cutting edge AI, are a huge benefit to partnering with a hyperscaler. This session focuses on how to put them to use to improve customer experiences by sharing products, features, use cases, and case studies.
Thursday, October 13, 10:00-10:30 AM PDT
Thursday, October 13, 5:00-5:30 PM GMT
Friday, October 14, 1:00-1:45 AM SGT
Okay, I think that covers it! Time to pop some popcorn, stock up on pamplemousse La Croix, put on the headphones, and settle in for a few days. We’ll see you on the other side, when we’ll recap the biggest news to come out of both events—so keep an eye on this space. We’ll also curate a playlist for AWS re:Invent, coming at the end of November and held live in LAS VEGAS!
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