Beltug challenges Google: on pricing models, exit clauses, compliance and regulations, privacy and much more. Takeaways from the Challenge


With cloud growing as an established phenomenon, companies continuously seek to understand the different players in the cloud market.  Recent announcements make it clear Google Cloud is positioning itself: Google's strategies on multi-cloud, the use of serverless infrastructure, the announcements of flexibility and end-to-end management, the use of open APIs, and the co-operation with open source companies for data management and analytics.


With expectations high in the corporate market, we had good reason to invite Google to the table for a discussion – and a chance to challenge them.  During this users-only session, together with Google, we went over our members' questions, touched on the themes that interested them, and discussed the experiences and concerns of participants interactively.


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Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as part of Randstad’s multi-cloud vendor environment


First, we heard a real-life case from Randstad, and its 'cloud first' strategy when choosing a cloud provider. Then, after an overview of the company’s strategy, Google’s representatives were open to hearing the participants' concerns and answer their questions.


Günther Ghijsels, CDO & CIO at Randstad Group Belgium, started the session with his real-life experiences with Google Cloud.


Driven by digital, Randstad's strategy is built on 3 pillars, enabling a more human touch with technology:

  • Drive business results
  • Strengthen digital foundation
  • Learn how to change


It’s all about the customer experience, Günther explained - both for people visiting the offices and for customers online.  Furthermore, Randstad wants to go fully for the cloud.


In 2015, Randstad started centralising its infrastructure (slide 6).  Initially, the company intended to standardise its network and voice environment with BT.  However, this didn't work in the Belgian context.  A first lesson learned: even when aiming for worldwide standards, at times you have to adapt to a local context.


G-Suite is one of the SaaS solutions the company chose.  It’s a nice solution, Günther described, but raises a few compliance/security risks when it comes to how users use it.


Randstad selected GCP (Google Cloud Platform) for its Big Data and Machine Learning solutions.  This is a service that fits with the company's 'cloud first' strategy.  Günther summarised the lessons learned and important points of attention from Randstad's journey (slide 11).


Randstad's real-life case sparked a highly interactive discussion and many questions.


Is the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) ready for the enterprise?


Next it was Google’s turn, with Tom Schepers, Customer Engineer at Google Cloud, taking about Google's enterprise-readiness.


Tom started by explaining that Google is committed to protecting customers' data.  It has all kinds of certifications to support that guarantee (slide 5). Then Tom elaborated on the data processing terms that Google commits to contractually (slide 6).


Cloud security requires collaboration, he continued: between you (the customer) and the cloud provider. The provider is responsible for securing infrastructure; you are responsible for securing your data.  Providers can help you though with best practices, templates, products & solutions.


'Trust nothing' is Google's mantra when it comes to securing its cloud; so it provides a defence in all the different layers of the architecture:

  • Internet communication
  • Identity
  • Hardware infrastructure
  • Operational and device security
  • Storage services
  • Service deployment


In the second part of his talk, Tom tackled the topic of migrating and modernising the enterprise workload.  Then he outlined what assessment tools, cost simulations and planning tools are available.


To close his talk and open the round table, he zoomed in on the possibilities of using machine learning to innovate even more with your data.


The round table discussions then touched upon many different topics: pricing models, exit clauses, compliance and regulations, privacy, data locations, etc.






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