Sometimes Dragons

A Quick Take on Google Cloud Next ’20: OnAir

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In the before times, Google Cloud Next ‘20 was scheduled to take place in San Francisco from April 6-8, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was not only moved online, but also postponed. Having the benefit of seeing how other vendors and organizations ran their events in the spring and early summer (and you can see this RedMonk Slackchat for some of our impressions of these earlier virtual events), Google Cloud reimagined Next as Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir, in which on-demand content was released every Tuesday for nine weeks running from July-September. Content was organized around nine topics as follows:

Screen shot of the the graphical layout of the nine topics covered during Google Cloud Next '20 on Air.

  1. Industry Insights (July 14)
  2. Productivity & Collaboration (July 21)
  3. Infrastructure (July 28)
  4. Security (August 4)
  5. Data Analytics (August 11)
  6. Data Management & Databases (August 18)
  7. Application Modernization (August 25)
  8. Cloud AI (September 1)
  9. Business Application Platform (September 8)

The clearly organized and distributed nine-week format at times made me feel like I was taking something between a quarter-length and semester-length graduate course on Google Cloud, but the distributed schedule and on-demand format let me focus on different areas in my own time: a nice contrast to events that have demanded my concentrated attention to follow real-time broadcasts (although such real-time events have their merits).

By way of reflecting on the format and announcements made at Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir, my colleague James and I have each filmed a quick take with our thoughts on the events. I will let James’s quick take speak for itself:

In my quick take I cover the following topics:

  • A Distributed Event Format
  • Productivity & Collaboration
  • Developer Velocity & Enablement
  • Consistent Cloud Experience
  • Data, Data, Data

It is worth noting that this week Google Cloud is wrapping up a condensed five-week EMEA event (combining, for instance, Data Analytics, Data Management & Databases, and Cloud AI into one week), suggesting that it is already iterating on its distributed event format.

We will also be watching to see how other vendors and organizations might incorporate some of Google’s distributed format into their own events.  AWS: re:Invent 2020, for instance, promises a  combination of live and recorded content that is scheduled to be broadcast (as opposed to be released on demand) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from November 30 – December 18, 2020. Dreamforce 2020 has been announced (although scheduling information is not yet available) with the promise of spanning “November–December 2020”.

Disclaimer: Google Cloud is a client, and sponsored this video content. AWS and Salesforce are also RedMonk clients.

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