While we don’t do a lot of product coverage here at Cloud Wars, a visionary new solution from Google Cloud that fuses two extremely vital digital-business processes gets my vote for the Product of the Year.
A big factor in my enthusiasm for this new solution is that rather being a one-off idea, it is instead just the first in what could be an interrelated suite of solutions that help business leaders evaluate, analyze and reimagine their operations.
On top of that, this new hotshot solution—and I promise I’ll actually mention what it is in just a moment—represents another example of Google Cloud’s large-scale efforts to help businesses and other organizations “harmonize” formerly disparate and fragmented data.
So: Google Cloud’s Supply Chain Twin enables companies to create digital models or digital twins of their physical supply chains. In doing so, the purpose-built solution breaks new ground in two significant areas:
- first, it fuses two dynamic processes that will be indispensable in the digital economy: supply-chain optimization and digital twins; and
- second, it enables business to harmonize and optimize data from their own internal systems, from their partners’ systems, and from public sources.
This is how the Google Cloud executive whose team created the Supply Chain Twin described its relevance for business customers:
“Siloed and incomplete data is limiting the visibility companies have into their supply chains,” said Hans Thalbauer, managing director of Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions, in a press release. “The Supply Chain Twin enables customers to gain deeper insights into their operations, helping them optimize supply chain functions—from sourcing and planning, to distribution and logistics.”
And here’s why I believe this new product’s significance transcends its own capabilities and qualifies as my choice for Product of the Year: because it will trigger new and high-profile and high-impact solutions purpose-built for the new and extreme demands of the digital economy. For example:
- Why not follow Supply Chain Twin with Demand Chain Twin?
- And wouldn’t an Inventory Optimization Twin make sense?
- How about a Talent Optimization plan for CHROs to use in recruitment and development planning?
- Could we see a Finance Operations Twin drive new capabilities for the Future Office of the CFO?
- I can foresee a Product Design Twin for product-development and engineering teams as a first step; and
- The second step being a CoCreation with Customers Twin for modeling optimal ways to weave customers more deeply into product design and creation.
Since taking over as Google Cloud CEO in January 2019, Thomas Kurian has championed the idea of these type of industry-specific solutions, and that has been a primary factor in Google Cloud rising to #3 on the Cloud Wars Top 10 from its original position at #9.
And Kurian’s focus on creating new AI-powered solutions to new-age business problems is built on the idea of addressing new and unique ways to meet the challenges of the digital economy and its requirements, rather than trying to compete with incumbent enterprise applications.
So kudos to Google Cloud for this superb new innovation—and we should all expect a new wave of digital-twin solutions from not only Google Cloud but other major cloud-applications providers such as Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Workday and others.
Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Google Cloud was among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.
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