Atmosphere Live, Google first digital event on interactive media was attended by over 20,000 viewers and went ahead without a hitch for over three hours. The event is now available on demand and here are the two keynotes which caught our eye.
The Next Generation of Cloud (Scroll to 1.36) - Urs Hölze
At Google for 15 years, Urs Hölze is responsible for the technical infrastructure for all Google products and is the leader of their cloud business, Google Cloud Platform. In his keynote, Urs explains that the debate has shifted from “Do we move to the Cloud” to “How do we move to the Cloud”. Although most organisations mention simplicity, freedom from infrastructure complexity, ability to work anywhere and reducing their carbon footprint, the main driver remains the need for agility and innovation.
Developers spend 80% of their time on fix and fiddle and only 20% on the next thing. Google’s mission is to inverse this and allow central IT to become the enabler of change, pushing business forward with shorter time to market and faster innovation rates.
Urs goes on to highlight the economics aspect of cloud and how Google keeps its commitment to Moore’s Law that states that overall processing power doubles every two years. Although Google reset the economics of the cloud in March 2014 with billing per minute, he announced a further 10% drop on Compute Engine. Incidentally, Urs also announced the opening of a 4th Data Centre in Europe, located in the Netherlands and reminded us that it is the only cloud company to operate carbon neutral data centres since 2007.
Inspired Innovation: Bringing Visionary Products to Market (scroll to 2.04) - Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai, SVP of the Android, Chrome and Apps teams for Google, explains how serving businesses is a natural evolution for Google. Productivity is a founding goal for all their products and this started as far back as April 2004 when Gmail was launched. Since then, Google Apps, the Doc suite of editors, has been a major area of focus and investment. Google takes great care to get the suite to work across all platforms, online and offline and the goal of is to have full compatibility with Office.
Google Drive for Work has doubled to 240m active users, with 350% growth year on year on mobile.
The other areas of focus are computing platforms with Chrome and Android, which are part of the whole solution stack. Chrome already works for companies with chromebooks which in just 18 months have moved from under 5% to close to 50% market share in the education sector. Their success come from the fact that they are easy to deploy, manage and scale. The big wiin is also that they enable to bring computing to parts of the organisation which could not have it before.
The next big thing will Android for Work, the combination of Android and an ecosystem of Apps. This is an important project and there are still of number of issues to resolve: how to make it easy to deploy lots of devices and keep them secure, how to segregate personal from corporate data, etc.
His advice to get started is to identify an important subset of the organisation to get on the journey, deploying either Apps or Chromebooks. This gives everyone an opportunity to learn and take their first steps in the Cloud.
Chromebox for Meetings combines Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in a low-cost, easy-to-manage Chromebox, making it simpler for any organisation to have high-quality video meetings without the need for expensive bespoke equipment. Now every meeting room can be a video-conference room and remote users can join from any device, PC, tablet or smartphone in their offices, on-the-road or at home.
The best meetings are face-to-face: we can brainstorm openly, collaborate closely and make faster decisions. Meetings need to catch up with the way we work—they need to be face-to-face, easier to join, and available from anywhere and any device. Now they can be: Any company can upgrade their meeting rooms with a new Chromebox, built on the Chrome principles of speed, simplicity and security.
Meet with anyone on any device – from the conference room, at home or on the road. Join meetings with up to 15 participants – meet with colleagues, or invite customers and partners.
One click from your remote starts the conversation – no more clunky dial-in codes. Share your screen wirelessly and collaborate on documents while you meet.
Plug in your display, complete the setup wizard, and you’re done. Chromebox for meetings is always up to date with the latest features and security fixes. 24/7 support included.
Chromebox is powered by Chrome OS, which means it’s fast, secure and easy to manage. Management and support is covered by a $250 per device annual fee.
Leading VC vendor Vidyo has announced a new software-based solution "VidyoH2O™ for Google+ Hangouts" that enables H.323/SIP video conferencing and IP PBX systems to connect users into Google+ Hangout Sessions. The new product will extend usability by allowing connectivity with existing business voice and video solutions from Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Avaya and Vidyo and will be offered on a subscription basis both on-prem and as a cloud-hosted product. Please contact us for more information.
4th generation Intel Core i7 processor
HDMI and DisplayPort++
Ethernet and built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Full HD 1080p (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels)
Automatically switches resolution based on available bandwidth
Carl Zeiss® lens with autofocus
Automatic low-light correction
Microphone / speaker
Wideband frequency response
Built-in DSP for speech clarity
Omni-directional microphone with noise filter
Mute, end call and volume buttons
Full QWERTY keypad on rear
RF based (no line of sight necessary)
Nano-sized USB adapter
Although computers can seem like they're everywhere these days, there are still many jobs that have yet to be touched by IT. That's usually because previous generations of technology were either impractical – getting in the way of workers doing their jobs – or too expensive to deploy, maintain and support for a remote workforce numbering in the hundreds or thousands. Sometimes, both reasons applied.
In 2014, the combination of low-cost Android devices – in a variety of sizes and formats – and tools that allow custom cloud-based apps to be developed and deployed quickly and easily will allow organisations to transform the way staff work in areas that have traditionally not used IT. Google App Engine, for example, lets you prototype and deploy applications to users anywhere in hours, using the same robust and secure infrastructure that powers Google Apps, and lets you easily scale from a few users to thousands.
The result will be that tablets will increasingly replace paper for capturing data and allocating tasks in areas such as catering, retail, maintenance, warehousing and inspection.
"Everyone is on gmail personally, so tools which work in the Google ecosystem are more popular,” said Antoine Lepine, HR Generalist at Demonware
"A system that worked with Gmail and Google calendar was imperative”, explains Linda Ferrari, HR and Operations Manager at Esna
The first big storm of this winter got us thinking about how we deal with unexpected events, whether that's extreme weather preventing our staff getting into work or a more local emergency like a flood, fire or burglary at our offices.
Business continuity isn't the first reason (or even the fifth!) why we and our customers choose to use Google Apps for Business, but we've been reminded that the way Google Apps is designed lets us easily minimise the disruption to our business caused by snow, storms, floods and other disasters.
We were lucky this time that our offices and our people weren't seriously affected by this morning's storm. Only one member of staff wasn't able to make it into work because of travel problems, but he's being just as productive working from home – and able to collaborate just as easily with the rest of us – as if he was here. We're glad we can rely on Google Apps to help smooth over the bumps in the road when the unexpected happens.
A technology company which makes online sharing and storing easier has made it into the finals of three national awards.
Ancoris, based in Lily Hill Park, Lily Hill Road, Bullbrook has been named as a double finalist in both the UK IT Industry Awards and the Channel Re-seller Awards, as well as reaching the finals of the E-Learning Awards 2013.
The businesses, whose Bracknell office was opened by Councillor Shelagh Pile Bracknell Town mayor last year, sells and manages Google Apps after acquiring Cloud Skills, a provider of e-learning and training services, and Google Cloud Platform development specialist, Appogee.
Google Enterprise integrator Cloud Sherpas has swallowed London-based cloud consulting minnow Stoneburn Software Services.
The terms of the cash deal was not disclosed but it is unlikely the owners of SSS will be able to retire, as the firm turned over less than £5m in the last filed accounts at Companies House.
David Nottingham, CEO at US-based Cloud Sherpas, which already has offices employing 70 staff was talking big after closing the deal, predicting the group will exit 2013 with revenues of $150m.
"The UK and Western European cloud and Google Enterprise markets have very quickly transitioned from early adopter phase to established businesses," he said in a canned statement.
Roughly 10 per cent of Cloud Sherpas biz is generated in Western Europe, already he claimed.
SSS is a Premier Google Apps and Google Search partner, accredited across EMEA. It sells to small and medium sized enterprises in retail, media, manufacturing, and transportation/ logistics. It also flogs ServiceNow and salesforce.com.
Ciaran Cosgrave, co-founder at SSS will become veep for Cloud Sherpas Google business unit in the UK and his business partner Nazir Ul-Ghani is to become head of sales for Cloud Sherpas Google division.
David McLeman, boss at rival Google integrator Ancoris, told us consolidation in the cloud channel is "likely to continue" - his firm has acquired Google partners Cloud Skills and Appogee.
"Google Apps remains strong," he told us, "future growth is also [expected] from new areas as Google offers new services such as their Cloud Platform which competes with AWS and the new platform offerings in the Geo space such as the Google Map Engine".
“Collaboration is a big deal for us – we’re linking up with international clients and partner agencies all the time.”
— Simon Corbett, Managing Director, Jargon PR
“With Google Apps, you don’t even need to think about whether or not it is going to work – it just does”
— James Cole, IT Director, World Trade Group