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Cloud Covered: What was new in July on Google Cloud

Google Cloud has stayed busy over the summer with new programs, events, tools and products making their introductions in July. Here are the most popular posts last month from the Google Cloud blog. Making hiring more equitable Last month we announced Google Cloud’s new Autism Career Program, designed to help the expanding cloud industry hire and support…

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Google Cloud has stayed busy over the summer with new programs, events, tools and products making their introductions in July. Here are the most popular posts last month from the Google Cloud blog. 

Making hiring more equitable 

Last month we announced Google Cloud’s new Autism Career Program, designed to help the expanding cloud industry hire and support more talented people with autism. Working with the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, the program will break down common barriers for candidates with autism, and train Google Cloud managers and others involved in hiring processes. We’ll work effectively and empathetically with autistic candidates to ensure our interview processes are structured to include reasonable accommodations like extended interview time, providing questions in advance or conducting the interview in writing rather than verbally. Stanford will also provide coaching and ongoing support to our new Google Cloud team members with autism. 

Expanding access to Google Cloud Next

Our blog announced the opening of registration for Google Cloud Next, taking place from October 12 through 14. Our global digital conference is designed to be open and flexible, with the freedom to create your own personalized experience. Tune in for live broadcasts and keynotes about our latest launches, and learn how customers and partners use Google Cloud to meet their business challenges. Interactive, digital experiences and on-demand sessions that align with your schedule and interests will also be available, including dedicated sessions and programming for our global audiences. Next ’21 is free this year, making the experience inclusive and accessible to all. Register to get informed, be inspired and expand your expertise. 

Connecting global customers to higher performance

To help customers and the public sector in India and across Asia Pacific accelerate their digital transformation, we announced the opening of our new Google Cloud region in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR). This new data center joins 25 existing Google Cloud regions on our connected network, helping our customers better serve their users with faster and stronger performance for their applications. The new region will protect against service disruptions and will offer key Google Cloud products like Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Bigtable and BigQuery. We also announced two new submarine cable systems linking the Middle East with southern Europe and Asia. The Blue and Raman Submarine Cable Systems will help Google users and customers around the globe communicate with friends, family, and business partners. 

Securing the cloud with new solutions

Last month we also announced a wealth of new security products and solutions that bring together the best of Google, help businesses address critical security challenges and deliver a trusted cloud:

  • Cloud IDS will help customers detect and respond to network threats. 

  • Cloud Armor Adaptive Protection uses machine learning (ML) to detect and block attacks targeting applications.

  • Chronicle will integrate with Google Cloud’s analytics platforms Looker and BigQuery to help with reporting, compliance, security-driven data science and more.

  • Autonomic Security Operations will guide businesses through the journey of protecting their assets from modern-day threats.  

  • Risk Protection Program connects our Google Cloud customers to insurers with specialized cyber security programs. 

All these Google Cloud security solutions are designed to help businesses rethink, reshape and transform their security programs.

Helping IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) recommend the next best purchase 

Finally, we shared a story about how global retail giant IKEA experimented with Google Cloud Recommendations AI to deliver a more personalized shopping experience to their customers. Recommendations AI helped IKEA customers in two ways: 

  1. Customers found products that they liked and established their preferred choice among other options more quickly, reducing the number of clicks needed in their shopping journey and increasing IKEA’s clickthrough rate by 30%.

  2. Customers found attractive and complementary products that expanded purchases from a single product to an entire home furnishing solution, giving IKEA a 2% surge in average order value. 

Along the way, Google Cloud was there to support IKEA’s testing. With their strong business results, IKEA continues to explore more places in the customer journey to use the options provided by Recommendations AI, which now powers most of IKEA’s site recommendations.

That’s a wrap for July. Stay tuned to the Google Cloud blog for all things cloud.

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Bay View is open — the first campus built by Google

Taking green building to a new scaleTo deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.The…

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Taking green building to a new scale

To deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.

The campus is also on track to be the largest project certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) under any of their programs, at any certification level. As part of ILFI’s Living Building Challenge, we’re targeting a Water Petal certification, meaning the site is net-positive with all non-potable water demands being met using the recycled water generated on site. Above-ground ponds that gather rainwater year round and a building wastewater treatment system serve as water sources for cooling towers, flushing toilets and irrigating the landscape. This is a big step toward delivering on our commitment to replenish 120% of the water we consume by 2030.

It doesn’t stop there. Bay View is an example of an all-electric campus and shows what’s possible in regenerative building. Here’s how:

  • The two kitchens that serve seven cafes are equipped with electric equipment rather than gas — a template for fully carbon-free cafes and kitchens.
  • There are 17.3 acres of high-value natural areas — including wet meadows, woodlands and a marsh — that are designed to reestablish native landscapes and rehabilitate Bay Area wetlands. Something that’s especially important as Bay View sits close to the San Francisco Bay.
  • The water retention ponds not only collect water for reuse, but also provide nature restoration, sea level rise protection, and access to the beauty of natural wetlands. New willow groves along the stormwater ponds provide resources for wildlife.
  • The integrated geothermal pile system will help heat and cool the campus. The massive geoexchange field is integrated into the structural system, reducing the amount of water typically used for cooling by 90% — that’s equal to five million gallons of water annually.

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Seniors search what they see, using a new Lens

“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”Seniors in a…

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“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”

Seniors in a country like Denmark are generally very tech savvy, but with digitization constantly advancing — accelerating even faster during two years of COVID-19 — some seniors risk being left behind, creating gaps between generations. During worldwide lockdowns, technological tools have helped seniors stay connected with their family and friends, and smartphone features have helped improve everyday life. One key element of that is delivering accurate and useful information when needed. And for that, typed words on a smartphone keyboard can often be substituted with a visual search, using a single tap on the screen.

Being able to “search what you see” in this way was an eye-opener to many. As the day ended, another avid participant, Henrik Rasmussen, declared he was heading straight home to continue his practice.

“I thought I was up to speed on digital developments, but after today I realize that I still have a lot to learn and discover,” he said.

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Meet the entrepreneur connecting Kenyans to healthy food

When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.Worried that…

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When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.

Worried that her gender would affect Hasanat Ventures’ reputation, Binti considered hiring a man as the face of the business. But she eventually decided against it, standing firm in her pride as a solo founder and committed to tearing down the perception that women-run businesses in Africa aren’t as successful as those run by men.

“I think we should be challenging the outdated narrative that businesses run by men are guaranteed to be more successful,” Binti says. “Based on research, we’ve seen that businesses run by women actually perform better. We should use this as an opportunity to prove that as a woman, you do stand a chance to succeed in everything that you do.”

Just as important to Binti as breaking this bias was giving Kenyans more access to affordable nutrition. “I realized that many people couldn’t afford premium yogurt. So we entered the market with a high-quality product that’s affordable for lower and middle-income earners who have become more health-conscious,” she says.

Binti knew she had to drive awareness for her brand, particularly to reach Kenyans who needed convincing about yogurt’s health benefits. So she turned to Google Digital Skills for Africa, which offers virtual classes to help entrepreneurs grow their skills and businesses, and completed a digital marketing course to help her get Hasanat Ventures online.

“After participating in the course, we knew our online presence had to be bigger than just social media,” Binti says. “Now that we have a fully functional website, we are actually getting leads from outside Kenya.”

As part of the course, Binti learned how to use Google Analytics to measure her website’s performance. She could now monitor traffic insights, analyze pageviews and better understand who was visiting her site.

Binti’s determination and passion for her business are showing up in the results. In its first year, Hasanat Ventures supplied over 300 retailers with affordable dairy products. Three years later, it’s grown to support more than 50 farmers and even built its own production facility to keep up with demand.

“I really want to make sure that I am visible and speaking up in spaces women don’t usually have access to,” Binti says. “As Hasanat Ventures continues to grow, I am confident I can help change the perception of African women in business.”

58% of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women. That’s why we’re empowering them with the platform and tools to grow their businesses. Learn more about our #LookMeUp campaign, highlighting Africa’s women entrepreneurs like Binti who are working to break the bias.

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