A telco playlist for Google Cloud Next ’21

There’s a crispness in the air and the days are getting shorter, which can only mean one thing. It’s hyperscaler event season! Are you ready (are you going?)?

Google Cloud Next is the first of the three this year, running from October 12 – 14. Microsoft Ignite will be the first week of November, while Amazon re:Invent kicks off the last week of November.

A telco playlist for Google Cloud Next '21

​​If you haven’t been participating in free cloudy events like these, you should be. What’s so great about them is that they not only give you content for free, they also help you keep up with the big, new things coming your way.

Google Cloud Next is all online again this year, and the event has been shortened from six weeks to three days, so no excuses allowed. You can watch from anywhere. So make some popcorn and settle in.

Google has been busy signing big partnerships with telcos, like its agreements with OrangeTelusBell CanadaVerizonMaxis, and Vodafone. Vodafone has been particularly busy around analytics work, moving all of its analytics from on-premise systems into the cloud. We even wrote a case study about it, showing that Vodafone probably saved nearly 70% on its TCO with the move.

My team and I have been poring over the Google Cloud Next session catalog, plotting which ones we’ll be watching. Use it as your cheat sheet for what matters most for telcos.

And to get you started, I picked out the top three that I think you should definitely check out:

The other sessions on our list, grouped by topic:

Moving the telco industry to the public cloud



The real impact of the cloud telecommunications revolution

Did someone at Google steal my talking points? Or did they just read the writing on the wall? Telco execs: Do not miss this session. Marshall Berkin, a VP at Canadian telco TELUS, joins two Google Cloud execs to talk about his experience shifting to the public cloud. They’ll cover the whys and hows of moving to the public cloud, as well as successful telco deployments: multi-cloud 5G networks, edge ecosystems, and data-driven customer experiences – as well as all the various services that provide behind-the-scenes muscle.

Industry transformation

Delivering 5G networks and ecosystems with distributed cloud

The combination of 5G and edge computing offers telcos an opportunity to reimagine how they deploy and monetize their networks. The highlight of this session is to hear directly from Jitin Bhandari, CTO of cloud and network services at Nokia, about what he makes of this moment.


Edge computing is the future of an extended cloud continuum

Here’s another for your can’t-miss list. Edge computing is so important for telcos because it paves the way to new service offerings and revenue streams.

Technically, we’re talking about compute and storage for applications that live at the “edge” of the network, closest to users and data sources. From a business perspective, edge computing is about optimizing data sources, enabling new analytics, and supporting new applications to make your service offering that much better than competitors.

This session covers how to optimize those data sources, and how to enable new analytics and applications on the edge, to generate even more data to further optimize your network.

Application modernization

Transform your data into value: trends and best practices

Telcos have a ton of data, and with the advent of 5G and the shift to public cloud, there is opportunity to do more with it. We’re looking forward to hearing from Paul Lewis, CTO of data- and cloud-services provider Pythian, as he talks about current trends and best practices for getting the most out of your data.

This session is a good complement to the one on edge computing.

Business application platform

Trust the cloud more by trusting it less: Ubiquitous data encryption

If you’re worried about data security on the public cloud, this session is for you. One of the main reasons telco execs tell me they can’t move to the public cloud is security. ‘We have sensitive data. We have to keep it safe. The public cloud isn’t safe. Therefore, we can’t use it.’ This just isn’t true. This session covers how to make public cloud work for you by using available security services and encryption everywhere. No more excuses!


SLOs in a coffee break

To meet your service-level agreement (SLA), you need defined service-level objectives (SLOs), which are the goals you have to hit (uptime, response time, etc.) to keep your end of the SLA bargain. This session aims to provide a basic understanding of SLOs in 10 minutes.

Application development

Improving customer experiences with AI and ML



Customer impact with Conversational AI

Want to hear from three telecommunications companies about how they used artificial intelligence to improve their customer experience while reducing wait times and handling more concurrent calls? Me too!


Design conversational flows for your agent

A great follow-up to “Customer impact with conversational AI,” this lab session sounds like it’ll walk through how to use the Google Cloud service Dialogflow to create a basic conversational interface. Very cool!


Bring the power of senses to your applications with Cloud AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, but also computer vision, chat, text, speech and translation. It’s all advancing so fast that it’s hard to keep track if it’s not your day job. Attend this session to get an executive-summary-type catch-up, along with info about developing your own AI apps with Cloud AI APIs.


Machine learning and AI learning path

Ready to start developing your own AI and ML apps? This session covers some Google Cloud services that will help.


Getting to know cloud databases



Innovating with transformative databases for an always-on digital world

You know that the load subscribers put on your networks and applications is growing exponentially. And it’ll only continue to grow as more of them rely on mobile devices for more things. To power the kind of services people expect today, your operational databases have to keep up. Google Cloud Platform offers services to help. This technical session covers Cloud Spanner, Cloud Bigtable and Cloud Firestore – what they are, how companies are using them and all the latest updates.


The future of mobile and web app development with cloud databases

Databases are key to app development. They’re also key to the public cloud. Want to make them work together? This session covers options for how to do that. The first is about Firestore, a cloud-hosted, NoSQL database that your iOS, Android, and web apps can access directly via native SDKs. The second is about bringing your own stack with Cloud SQL and Google Kubernetes Engine, and coupling that with Google Cloud databases.


Research reports



State of Data Science and Machine Learning in 2021

The more machine learning advances, the more telcos use it for network optimization, anomaly detection, managed services, and lots more. This session covers the current state of machine learning from the perspective of people currently employed as data scientists – what they’re doing, which tools they use, what they think is coming down the road, and more.


State of DevOps Report–Meet the authors

Better DevOps creates better products and services. Better products and services drive organizational performance. It’s easy to say, but can be hard to do.

This session covers best practices in DevOps, based on this year’s Accelerate State of DevOps Report. Tune in to hear from the authors as they discuss what distinguishes the highest- and lowest-performing teams – and how to improve your own culture and processes.

Application modernization

Simply innovate: Data cloud customer panel

Conduct your own research at this one, which features Jaime Tatis, VP of data strategy and enablement for Canadian telco TELUS. He’ll talk about how he and his team are working closely with Google to transform the business with insight-driven enterprise analytics.

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