Image: Google

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital transformation policies and undertakings across industries in recent months. Cloud capabilities are central to many of these objectives and cloud adoption is anticipated to increase moving forward. In fact, a recent report on our sister site, ZDNet details how “cloud computing will power pandemic recovery in 2021.” On Tuesday, Google announced new partnerships to allow companies across industries to deploy new core Google Cloud components such as artificial intelligence, (AI), machine learning, Anthos, and more.

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“With cloud capabilities and applications delivered directly to the network edge, businesses with edge deployments have an opportunity to refine key business processes and deliver new, digital experiences for consumers. This initiative represents a significant step forward in our telecommunications strategy, and we’re excited to work with 30-plus launch partners, as well as our communications services provider partners, to expand what is possible with cloud technology at the network edge,” said Tanuj Raja, global head of strategic partnerships at Google Cloud via email.

In March, Google announced its new telecommunication strategy, formally known as Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC), and Tuesday’s announcement offered a GMEC update as well as new partnerships. Google announced that it is working with industry application providers to deliver hundreds of applications at the edge. In the release, Google explains that there are opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers, transportation companies, and manufacturers with IoT-enabled manufacturing floors “to modernize processes and deliver new experiences with cloud capabilities at the edge.”

Google outlined a number of ways companies can utilize Google and its communication service provider partners’ global networks to enhance operations. This includes the ability to optimize latency, reducing data-processing costs, reducing costs and processes related to data storage, and logistical considerations associated with real-time computations such as eliminating the “need to transport data from the edge to a central location.” Google’s partnership with communication service providers (CSPs), could also allow companies to utilize 5G connectivity across a wide range of network deployments, the company explained.

Google introduced partners joining its ecosystem to deliver new products at the edge. In the industrial IoT and manufacturing space, these new partners include Ayla Networks, Dematic, Dianomic, Litmus, Nex Computers, Siemens Advanta, and Techolution. These partners are making a number of solutions and capabilities available on Google Cloud such as Siemens Advanta’s W3C Web of Things middleware (sayWOT), Techolution’s Edge Asset Management Platform, and Dianomic’s open-source IoT platform, FogLAMP.

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These new partnerships also extend to the media and entertainment industry. New ecosystem partners include Broadpeak, Harmonic, Motojeannie, MediaKind, Multicasting.io, and Synamedia. These partners are making numerous capabilities available on Google Cloud such as Broadpeak’s Advanced Content Delivery Network, Harmonic’s CableOS Platform, and more. These ecosystem capabilities range from enabling immersive AR and VR experiences to “real-time multi-angle video streaming applications for live events.”

In recent months, retailers have incorporated a vast suite of technologies to enhance public safety and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on-site. At the same time, many mainstay retail brands are operating virtual stores to offer more personal online shopping experiences. Google also announced a number of retail partners that will bring new capabilities to Google Cloud enabling cashierless checkout, improved backend inventory management, and more. These partners include Qwinix, Trax, Trigo, and Zebra Technologies.

Google also announced partnerships with providers of horizontal solutions to assist in a number of areas such as device validation, security, and other capacities. Companies such as Apptium, Cellwize, DigitalRoute, Equinix, Expeto, Guavus, and others will make their capabilities and solutions available on Google Cloud. This includes AI-enabled RAN automation platforms such as Cellwize’s CHIME and Guavus’ analytics capabilities based in AI and machine learning.