Google Next ‘18 - MapsPeople Highlights

If we were to describe Google Next ‘18 in just one word, it would be ‘incredible’. It’s been three and a half weeks since the conference ended but at MapsPeople we’re still high on amazing experiences.

Google Next is the biggest cloud conference of the year with more than 23,000 participants from the Google Cloud Community. This year, there were more than 290 customer speakers and hundreds of breakout sessions.

Recapping an event of that size isn’t easy, so instead I sat down with some of the MapsPeople representatives to have a small chat about the conference. Participating in the interview was:

  • Michael Gram, CEO
  • Jonas Berntsen, CCO and General Manager MapsPeople Inc.
  • Rasmus Andersen, CIO
  • Jannik Brouwers, CSO
  • Christian Frederiksen, Head of MapsIndoors

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The MapsPeople delegation: From the left - back row: Michael Gram, Christian Frederiksen, Jannik Brouwers, and Jonas Berntsen. Front row: Stevie Grossman, Steven Root, Gary Wood, and Maj Nedergaard.

Malou Damgaard (MD): You’ve had almost three weeks to digest Google Next ‘18. What are your top three experiences from the event?

Rasmus Andersen (RA): If I have to highlight three experiences, the Hybrid cloud support in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) must be one of them. Hybrid cloud is the combination of private and public cloud and Google is now turning their focus on this. 

Michael Gram (MG): For years Google and other software companies have focused on making everything happen in the cloud but there are still a lot of companies that aren’t ready to go all-in on cloud. They need to run some things on their own servers on premise.

RA: Yes, some data are too sensitive to put in the cloud. That’s why Google is now making a new version of their management and production tools and services available for companies to use on their own servers combined with the things they have in the cloud.

MD: Okay. What about the rest of you, what are your highlights from the event?

Jonas Berntsen (JB): Well, two of the biggest and very interesting topics were Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, which were included in a lot of the sessions.

MG: And what was really interesting this time was the introduction of Cloud AutoML, which is a suite that makes it both faster and easier to implement Machine Learning.

MD: What exactly is AutoML

RA: You could say, AutoML are pre-trained machine learning models that Google provides out of the box. AutoML is a suite of machine learning products that enables developers with limited machine learning expertise to train high-quality models using their own data standing on the shoulders of Google’s own Machine Learning expertise.

MD: Okay.

MG: I know it’s old news but real world gaming is also one of my highlights. Google has opened up Maps to game developers so they can create real world games through Unity. When you combine that with today’s augmented reality, you get Pokémon Go on steroids.

MD: Jannik [Brouwers] and Christian [Frederiksen], do you share the same highlights?

Jannik Brouwers (JBR): For me, learning about the Google Cloud product portfolio in general and how it can compliment our current offering, was a big highlight. Another thing I found really important was the key message that we need to master and be the expert in the verticals we operate in.

Christian Frederiksen (CF): I really enjoyed our event at SPIN and also talking to customers and partners at the conference.

JB: Yes, that’s also one of my highlights. The sessions are always great and very interesting, but meeting partners and Google and talking to them is really important.

JBR: I agree. The MapsPeople event with customers, partners and Google is also one of the best experiences for me.

RA: Me too, the social events and meetings with Googlers and Google partners is also a highlight for me. There is a ton of knowledge out there that when combined with ours can do wonders for our internal processes and our products.

CF: And of course meeting Gary, Stevie, and Steven [our new MapsPeople colleagues in Austin who were also at the conference, red.].

If you want to read more about Google Next ‘18, check out Google’s 105 announcements or watch the sessions here.