[Kenya] Twiga Foods Taps Google Cloud to Improve Food Security and Reduce Waste Production

Twiga Foods has partnered with Google to leverage Google Cloud technologies in increasing accessibility and easier distribution of farm produce.

Through this partnership, Twiga Foods will leverage Google Cloud technologies in running an efficient food value chain that connects farmers directly with vendors to bring high-quality, locally harvested fresh produce to people every day—increasing accessibility to food items in Kenya. The collaboration will also allow for more accurate ordering of food items, which will lead to the reduction of waste of perishable goods during the distribution process.

Twiga Foods decided to establish its core IT infrastructure on Google Cloud when its customer base began growing exponentially in 2015, and the need to scale operations digitally became more critical. Twiga first began to store all of its business and operational data securely on Google Cloud using the Big Query data warehousing product. This, in turn, led to the transformation from a manually driven company to a technology-enabled business that relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools—applied on top of the data warehouse—to make smart business decisions in real time.

Today, approximately 1,000 farmers in Kenya benefit from Twiga’s dynamic pricing capability, ensuring they are paid fairly for their products. The capability is powered by Big Query and Data Studio, Google Cloud’s data analytics solutions, and factors in local dynamics that impact pricing. This functionality enables Twiga to make the correct decision on the price it gives to each of its customers.

The digital transformation of Twiga Foods on Google Cloud also empowers the 140,000 vendors who rely on the company to receive fresh produce for their shops every day. Today, vendors can purchase products on credit based on their credit score. Twiga relies on the analysis of vendor data on Big Query, which leverages insights such as vendor metrics and modes-of-ordering to create a credit score for each customer.

With the help of Google Cloud technologies, Twiga Foods also introduced waste minimization efforts in its value chain for perishable goods. Through analyzing historical data of product purchases and quantities on Big Query and Data Studio, Twiga Foods determines the types and quantities of produce that need to be purchased for each day of the week based on demand and creates a weekly plan accordingly. The ability to plan one week in advance ensures that products are not wasted due to ripening and during distribution.

Niral Patel, Director, of Google Cloud Africa said “The work we are doing with Twiga Foods is not just about an e-commerce platform choosing a cloud provider to run its systems and store data. It also is about showing how technology and the power of AI and machine learning can help a nation address sustainability challenges head on such as waste reduction and food security. Twiga Foods is a pioneering company that is looking at some of the most pressing issues we have in Africa and bringing in technology to come up with viable, long-term sustainable solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Caine Wanjau, Chief Technology Officer, Twiga Foods said Today, Twiga foods enables households in Kenya to have access to higher quality fresh produce that is farmed locally at affordable prices. Shop owners can now dedicate their time to growing their business and spending time with their families, rather than spend hours every day procuring and stocking up products. Farmers get a fair chance at earning decent incomes and being paid adequately for their products. This is all being enabled by bringing in technology to help us look at our business and customers in a profound manner, relying on data in real-time to make the best and smartest decisions for our people and the country.”

In addition to using data and AI/ML to price products and assign credit scores, Twiga Foods also established its warehouse management system on Google Cloud that enables the automation of all the logistical processes and optimization of space at its 20,000-square-meter warehouse that manages an average of 2,000 tons of produce daily. The end-to-end process—when an order is placed to when it is dispatched—is now automated with Google Cloud.

The team at Twiga Foods was also able to reduce 40% of the cost of deliveries with the help of Google Cloud’s route optimization tools. The company’s fleet routing algorithm for deliveries is built on Google Cloud and provides dynamic routing capabilities that schedule an average of 12,000 deliveries based on prioritization and proximity daily. This has also meant that all vendors across 12 cities in Kenya receive their orders before 1 p.m. every day.  

twiga.com

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Google Cloud to start accepting crypto payments in new partnership with Coinbase

Google cloud users will now be able to pay for their services using crypto. This is after Google partnered with Coinbase to allow a select group of customers to make payments with Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin.

The collaboration will involve Coinbase selecting Google Cloud as a strategic cloud provider to build an advanced exchange and data services. Coinbase will use Google Cloud’s powerful compute platform to process blockchain data at scale, and enhance the global reach of its crypto services by leveraging Google’s premium fibre-optic network. Coinbase will also build its global data platform on Google Cloud’s secure infrastructure and leverage their leading data and analytics technologies to provide Coinbase customers with machine learning-driven crypto insights.

The two partners say this strategic partnership is to better serve the growing Web3 ecosystem and its developers.

Through this partnership, Web3 developers can also access Google’s BigQuery crypto public datasets, which will be powered by Coinbase Cloud Nodes, across leading blockchains. The integration will allow developers to instantly and reliably operate Web3-based systems without the need for expensive and complex infrastructure.

“We are excited Google Cloud has selected Coinbase to help bring Web3 to a new set of users and provide powerful solutions to developers,” said Brian Armstrong, Co-founder and CEO of Coinbase. “With more than 100 million verified users and 14,500 institutional clients, Coinbase has spent more than a decade building industry-leading products on top of blockchain technology. We could not ask for a better partner to help execute our vision of building a trusted bridge into the Web3 ecosystem.”

“We want to make building in Web3 faster and easier, and this partnership with Coinbase helps developers get one step closer to that goal,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “We’re proud Coinbase has chosen Google Cloud as its strategic cloud partner, and we’re ready to serve the thriving global Web3 customer and partner ecosystem. Our focus is making it frictionless for all customers to take advantage of our scalability, reliability, security, and data services, so they can focus on innovation in the Web3 space.”

In addition, Google will use Coinbase Prime, for institutional crypto services, like secure custody and reporting.

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www.coinbase.com

Google Cloud announced Google Distributed Cloud during Google Next ‘21 virtual event

What does this mean?

In simple layman’s terms a customer can now have some Google Cloud services running some certified hardware and software either in their data centers with full autonomy or colocation data centers.

Google Cloud’s simplified preferred definition of Google Distributed Cloud, is a portfolio of solutions consisting of hardware and software that extend Google Cloud infrastructure to the edge and into your data centers.

Where can Google Distributed Cloud be deployed to?

1. Google’s network edge – Allowing customers to leverage over 140+ Google network edge locations around the world.

2. Operator edge – Enabling customers to take advantage of an operator’s edge network and benefit from 5G/LTE services offered by our leading communication service provider (CSP) partners. The operator edge is optimized to support low-latency use cases, running edge applications with stringent latency and bandwidth requirements. 

3. Customer edge – Supporting customer-owned edge or remote locations such as retail stores, factory floors, or branch offices, which require localized compute and processing directly in the edge locations.

4. Customer data centers – Supporting customer-owned data centers and colocation facilities to address strict data security and privacy requirements, and to modernize on-premises deployments while meeting regulatory compliance.

What Google Cloud services are running on Google Distributed Cloud?

Google Distributed Cloud is enabled by Anthos. It helps you to build and run applications on GKE clusters and virtual machines anywhere with a Cloud-backed control plane for consistent management at scale.

Compute Services:

●  Compute Instances

●  Serverless Containers

●  Kubernetes Engine

●  Serverless Functions

Storage Services:

● Object Storage

● Istio Service Mesh

Continuous Integration Services:

●  Build (from Cloud Build)

●   Deploy (from Cloud Deploy)

●  Artifact Registry

Developer Tools:

●  IDE plugins

●  Cloud SDK

APIs Services:

● API Gateway

● Apache Kafka (Partner-provided services)

● Kubernetes Engine

●  Serverless Functions

Security Services:

●   Key Management Service

●   HashiCorp Vault (Partner-provided services)

●  Identity Aware Proxy

Data and Analytics Services:

●   PostgreSQL Database

●   Elasticsearch Service (Partner-provided services)

●   MongoDB Database (Partner-provided services)

●    Redis Data Store (Partner-provided services)

●   Event Streaming

●   Data Lake Storage

AI/ML Services:

● Speech-to-Text

●  Language Translation

●  Machine Learning Platform

●   Video Content Analysis

●   Text-to-Speech

●   Image Insights

Observability Services:

●  Loggin

●   Prometheus (Partner-provided services)

●  Grafana (Partner-provided services)

●   Splunk (Partner-provided services)

Will Google Distributed Cloud make management of the hardware and software harder for me and my organization?

No. Google Distributed Cloud is a fully-managed integrated hardware and software solution, meaning you don’t have to worry about the underlying infrastructure and can focus on your application and business initiatives. Google Cloud aims to simplify operations leveraging Google’s expertise and track record in areas like skill deployment fleet management and site reliability engineering. This allows you to focus on your business priorities and leave the complexities to Google Cloud.

Wil this meet our data sovereignty needs?

Yes. Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) enables customers to have a full spectrum of control.

Data Sovereignty (Keep data within the sovereign cloud): Data is allocated on your premise and under the control; No data transferred outside of your isolated environment.

Operational Sovereignty (Fully control your own platform): Operated independently of Google Cloud and global networks.Can be operated by customer directly or a trusted partner, on dedicated networks and with local control plane.

Software Sovereignty (Cloud as a trusted local service): Google Cloud’s open core and open API helps reduce vendor risk and enable operational and software continuity even in black swan events. The benefits of cloud are delivered locally.

Will I need to have my Google Distributed Cloud on premise connected to Google Cloud?

No. Google Distributed Cloud includes a hosted mode to run sensitive workloads. Hosted mode helps you meet sovereignty needs by addressing data residency with strict security and privacy requirements all while providing you with a way to modernize on-premise deployments. Customers can manage this directly or host through a designated and trusted partner. This will not require connectivity to Google Cloud at any time to manage infrastructure and uses a local control plane for operations. Upgrades and patches are offered by Google and verified by the trusted partner.

References

How to extend Google Cloud services with Google Distributed Cloud – Hosted Mode

Driving transformation with Google’s Distributed Cloud

With over 10 years of proven expertise in technical consultation and related services, Incentro, the only Google Premier Partner in East, West and Central Africa has become the go-to partner for successful business transformation in the continent.

From Enterprise CollaborationCloud Migration and Smart Application Development, we proudly serve over 26 countries in Africa and are growing. Whatever your ambition is, we’ll aim for maximum impact. We dive deep into your organization, challenge your plans, build solutions swiftly and make sure they work.

Matthew Munyiri is the Online Marketeer at Incentro Africa. He is an ambassador for cloud and consumer technology and how it pertains to increased efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Want to know more? Get in contact with Matthew – matthew.munyiri@incentro.com.

www.incentro.com

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[South Africa] Google Cloud and Cybereason Join Forces to Drive XDR Innovation

Cybereason, a leader in operation-centric cyber attack protection, and Google Cloud have announced a joint collaboration between the two companies to create and bring to market unprecedented Extended Detection and Response (XDR) across endpoints, networks, cloud and workspaces at record-setting speed.
 
Cybereason delivers the most comprehensive protection available on the market today, analysing more than 23 trillion security-related events per week — five times the volume of any other solution in the market. Using its patented Malicious Operations (MalOps™) engine, Cybereason reveals the full attack story across every device, user identity, application and cloud deployment.
 
Meanwhile Google Cloud’s cybersecurity analytics platform Chronicle ingests, normalises, and analyses petabytes of data from the complete IT environment on planetary-scale infrastructure.
 
The combination of these capabilities delivers a cloud-native XDR solution, Cybereason XDR powered by Chronicle, that automates prevention for common attacks, guides analysts through security operations and incident response, and enables threat hunting with precision at a pace never before achieved.
 
“Google Cloud’s ability to hunt through petabytes of data at the speed of search, combined with Cybereason’s revolutionary correlation capabilities and behavior-based detections delivers unparalleled speed and accuracy in the prevention, detection, and response of advanced attacks,” said Cybereason CEO and co-founder Lior Div.
 
“We founded Cybereason with a mission to reverse the attacker’s advantage and return the high ground to the defender, and we are excited to have Google Cloud partner with us in furthering the success of this mission.”
 
Cybereason has succeeded in protecting customers and experienced impressive growth over the last year, being recognised as a leading innovator by respected third-party organisations.

Where many solutions failed, Cybereason protected customers from headline-making attacks like SolarWinds, the Microsoft Exchange Server attacks, and crippling ransomware attacks from DarkSide, REvil and other ransomware gangs.
 
That level of protection is why Cybereason was recognised on the CNBC 2021 Disruptor 50 list, and received top scores across every aspect of testing in the MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK Evaluations.
 
“Google Cloud is dedicated to delivering the industry’s most trusted cloud to accelerate customers’ digital transformation efforts with security products that meet them wherever they are. Cybereason continues to disrupt the market and deliver on their vision for a future-ready extended detection and response defense platform,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud.
 
“We’re excited to partner with Cybereason to help customers quickly secure their hybrid and cloud environments with the combined capabilities of Google Cloud and Cybereason’s XDR services.”

www.cybereason.com

Google Cloud and Workday Announce Strategic Partnership to Digitally Transform Enterprises Around the World

Google Cloud and Workday Inc. a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, have announced a strategic partnership that will enable businesses across the world to further their digital transformations. As a Workday preferred cloud partner across core industries—such as healthcare, financial services, and retail—Google Cloud will help businesses run Workday enterprise applications for finance, HR, and planning in a public cloud environment, with ease-of-management, and low network latency.

As the way people work continues to evolve with hybrid and remote models, it’s critical for businesses to adopt digital strategies that help improve employee productivity and operational resiliency. This includes providing cloud solutions that give employees secure access to applications and data. Workday, with more than 50 million users and serving more than 8,000 customers globally, supports finance and people operations for some of the world’s largest organizations, many of which have varied requirements regarding where their data can be stored, accessed, and managed. 

The strategic relationship will provide customers with greater choice to meet their specific business needs. Customers will be able to deploy Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and Workday Adaptive Planning all on Google Cloud’s scalable and reliable infrastructure.

“The combination of Workday and Google Cloud provides customers with an exceptional public cloud experience where they can take advantage of leading innovation services from both companies, helping to drive greater value from their enterprise investments,” said Chano Fernandez, co-CEO at Workday.

“Together, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver industry-leading cloud capabilities so organizations can enhance workforce productivity and accelerate their digital transformations.” 

“More than ever, businesses are looking for increased flexibility, openness, and choice when it comes to where their data is stored, accessed, and managed,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “By running Workday on Google Cloud, organizations can adhere to commercial data requirements, while maintaining the enterprise-grade security, scalability, and performance they expect from a trusted cloud leader like Google.”

Through this multi-year relationship, Google Cloud and Workday plan to build strategic, joint, go-to-market programs that include co-marketing activities and establishing co-selling programs to increase awareness among customers and prospects across the U.S.. Additionally, the two companies will explore opportunities for co-innovation, bringing even more innovative and transformative technologies to business in industries such as retail, healthcare, and financial services. 

www.cloud.google.com

www.workday.com

[South Africa] Google Cloud appoints Niral Patel Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa

Google Cloud has appointed former Oracle South Africa Managing Director Niral Patel as Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Before Oracle, Patel also held various leadership roles at global tech companies including Microsoft, IBM and Hitachi. 

Patel brings with him more than 20 years of tech sales leadership to his new role and will be based in Johannesburg. He will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s business across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

“We have been seeing strong customer momentum in Africa, and companies ranging from digital natives to large corporations are coming to us to help them digitally transform and reinvent their business models,” said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Managing Director, Turkey, Middle East and Africa at Google Cloud. 

“We are thrilled to have Niral join us as we accelerate the next stage of growth with our local teams, partners and customers. He brings a wealth of experience to the Google Cloud family.”

With 24 regions and 73 zones in 17 countries, Google Cloud delivers high-performance, low-latency cloud services to customers. It’s is the world’s third-largest cloud computing infrastructure provider after Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.=

Google Cloud has been a key partner in accelerating African businesses’ growth strategy using Cloud-based solutions like Google Workspace, Chromebooks, and Cloud infrastructure.

www.cloud.google.com