Interview with Shailesh Shukla, Vice President and General Manager, Networking, Google Cloud
The Edge Event: How have you seen the edge landscape change in the last few years?
Shailesh Shukla: The edge landscape has been evolving rapidly and there is an amazing amount of synergy building among edge computing, cloud, and telecommunications that is unlocking new possibilities, ideas, and collaboration. The current pace of growth is shaped by three important trends: (1) the rise of 5G (2) the emergence of network-centric business models, and (3) higher-than-ever customer expectations due to modern connected devices and applications. With the rise of these trends, the edge landscape looks more promising than ever, and there is a profound opportunity for telcos, cloud providers, and enterprises to work together to define and build this new edge by leveraging all the innovations across 5G and cloud.
EE: Why do you see telco partnerships as a now being a central component for the hyperscaler edge strategy?
SS: Telcos are in a race to transform their business, from being providers of connectivity to providers of technology services and platforms. Edge computing and 5G are crucial building blocks, and the step change in technology will unlock new capabilities for consumers and hundreds of new enterprise innovations. By partnering with telcos, we will jointly deliver 5G and edge solutions, provide an open, cloud-native platform to deploy and secure edge applications, and enable a global distributed edge. At Google Cloud, we’re leveraging the telecom mobile network edge, as well as partnering with telcos to light up thousands of Google edge locations that are already deployed in telecom networks.
EE: How can end users expect to benefit from newly formed edge partnerships between telcos and hyperscalers?
SS: Telcos have rich expertise in infrastructure with massive networks and edges. At Google Cloud, we bring our global edge cache, core compute, AI and data analytics, to solve real industry problems in partnership with telcos. By combining these areas of expertise, telcos and the public cloud work together to transform healthcare, retail, manufacturing, media and entertainment and other industries, creating business value for brands in those industries and ultimately delivering accelerated, more immersive, and more convenient experiences for the end consumer.
EE: In your opinion, how will Google Cloud evolve in the next 10 years given increasing demand at the edge?
SS: We are excited about the new opportunities that edge represents and we are partnering with the communications industry – including telcos such as Orange, Telefónica, and AT&T – to bring helpful innovations to end users. Our vision is to enable anyone to build and monetize applications for the 5G/edge ecosystem, whether those are applications jointly developed by telecommunications companies and Google or network-centric applications from third-party developers. Much like Android provided an open source, globally available platform for mobile, our vision provides a robust ecosystem of solutions and applications, a single platform, and globally distributed, secure infrastructure to help bring value.
EE: What has been your biggest challenge with implementing edge defined products at Google? How did you overcome them?
SS: The biggest challenge was determining which edge solutions would solve meaningful business problems. Edge computing is an enormous opportunity and still in the early stages, so it is important to prioritize and set a clear vision. To that end, we partnered closely with enterprise customers to define those priorities and key use cases. We also honed in on verticals such as retail, healthcare, media and entertainment to customize solutions for those industries’ needs.
EE: What are you most looking forward to about being part of The Edge Event 2020? Why did you decide to join the speaker line-up?
SS: The Edge Event brings together enterprises, telcos, data centre operators, and edge/IoT solution providers, as well as cloud providers like Google Cloud. All of these players must join hands, as it will truly take an ecosystem to deliver the future of edge computing. A single company cannot do it alone. I look forward to the collective conversation.