Meet’s day-over-day growth has surpassed 60% in the last few weeks and the usage has surged by 30 times to what it was in January 2020.
The Covid -19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on businesses across the globe. “The one thing we have seen from this unexpected outbreak is the rapid adoption of digital tools as more agile organisations turn to technology to stay connected and productive,” says Karan Bajwa, managing director, Google Cloud India. “As more and more businesses rely on connecting an at-home workforce to maintain productivity, we have seen surges in the use of Google Meet, our video conferencing product, at a rate we’ve never witnessed before,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:
What are the biggest challenges your enterprise customers are facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Due to lockdowns and social distancing norms a majority of employees across organisations are working remotely. This has led to an increase in demand for private cloud networks to improve the internet connectivity and security of vital data. We have seen surges in the use of Google Meet, our video conferencing product, at a rate we’ve never witnessed before.There has been a surge in demand for collaboration solutions from companies and governments to track the spread of Covid-19. Businesses have been facing unprecedented challenges in terms of forecasting demand from customers and the impact of Covid-19 on their overall supply chains.
Although these are extraordinary moments of uncertainty, Google Cloud continues to work tirelessly on these and other initiatives to support users, customers and communities in times of need. We’ve activated remote customer service agents and our enhanced support protocol for peak periods, we’ve detailed plans to manage our capacity and supply chain, and we’ve rigorously tested the resilience of our infrastructure and processes.
How are you helping businesses during the current times?
Financial services firms have had to maintain up-time and reliability of critical infrastructure while providing important products and services to their customers and the economic system at large. Our partners around the world are helping many of these institutions leverage Google Cloud technologies.
In response to Covid-19, educators have had to quickly enable remote or work-from-home scenarios, while researchers quickly looked for ways to apply cloud computing capabilities to their search for effective therapies. Many universities began implementing technologies from Google Cloud to enable remote work and to help accelerate important research
To help offices, corporations and business communities figure out how to accommodate remote workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic, we rolled out BeyondCorp Remote Access. This new cloud-based product allows employees to securely access their company’s internal web applications from any device or any location. With a way to quickly get secure access to browser-based applications we can help employees adapt to new ways of working.
Which products and services from your company are most in demand during these times?
Over the month, we’ve seen Google Meet – G Suite’s video conferencing solution – help millions of people stay connected, whether it’s colleagues working at home, companies livestreaming to global employees, doctors caring for patients, banks providing loans, retailers and restaurants helping the elderly place orders for home delivery or curbside pickup, social services conducting welfare checks, governments serving citizens, or schools staying in session.
Google Cloud is helping a diverse set of organisations, from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based company Fluid AI efficiently manage their workloads across remote locations. Kochi-based conglomerate Muthoot Group has been using G Suite’s collaboration tools to stay connected and carry business as usual during the lockdown period.
What are the advantages of Google Meet compared to its competitors?
Google Meet is accessible directly through Chrome and other modern browsers without the requirement of additional plugins. One can also host a meeting directly through a browser without any limitations. We have also rolled out new features to enhance the security in Google Meet.
What is the overall response on Google Meet? How diversified is the user base?
Meet’s day-over-day growth has surpassed 60% in the last few weeks and the usage has surged by 30 times to what it was in January 2020. Overall, more than 3 million users have been connecting on Meet every day and are spending more than 3 billion minutes together – more than 3800 years of secure meetings in a single day.
What are the current technology trends you see? How do you see these trends playing out in the future?
The one thing we have seen from this unexpected outbreak is the rapid adoption of digital tools as more agile organisations turn to technology to stay connected and productive. Companies and individuals across the globe have transitioned from in-person meetings to video conferencing rapidly, some even overnight. Digital transformation will be the new foundation for the future and will be an inevitable transition for enterprises, public services, health care systems and education.
Some key trends foreseen are:
- Cloud will become the bedrock for every organisation in the future;
- The post-Covid-19 phase will witness exponential growth in cloud computing as it is affordable, easy to use and highly customised to requirements of scalability
- Governments and organisations will have to embrace digitalisation for seamless access to these services with faster responses and more efficient resource management
- Businesses and companies will require more applications to be hosted online through the cloud platform
- Post-Covid digitisation of companies is going to accelerate dramatically and will fuel innovations in healthcare, online education, retail, supply chain and logistics telemedicine and e-commerce sector.
- Growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning will also happen.