Make your business more productive with Google Workspace’s built-in AI features
15 February 2021
Save time with AI features
Last year, Google announced a better home for work. G Suite was given a revamp and is now Google Workspace. This reflects the new collaborative interface that has been adapted to a new, remote way of working.
We have discussed the collaboration and productivity benefits of Google Workspace many times, but the built-in AI features, that we take for granted on a daily basis, are what set it apart from its competitors.
2020 was about enabling remote work. Google’s latest productivity tools with built-in AI allow this remote work to be our bestwork.
Many of us may have heard about AI, but have not realised we are using it every day when working with Google Workspace.
These built-in AI features are what makes Google Workspace ahead of the competition, and save time when writing an email, as one example. Google has integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their collaboration and productivity tools. Their goal is not only to increase individual productivity but also efficiency when getting your work done.
Below are some examples of the built-in AI features that you may not have considered:
Smart Reply on Mobile
Ever typing out an email on your mobile device and suggested words and phrases appear before your eyes? This is the built-in AI in action.
Smart Suggestions on Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, & Forms
Similar to the suggestions in email, this feature is also present in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. As you are typing, Google will suggest words, saving you time.
Cloud search makes searching through your organisation’s data/documents easier. Cloud Search utilises Machine Learning to surface the most relevant suggestions or responses. What Google search does for the web, Cloud Search does for enterprise search and for your business.
A new year brings new trends and motives. Be that your own personal ambition to cut down on alcohol for January or not eating meat. Whether it’s to get out and exercise more or whether it’s career progression, we all have aspirations at the start of the year…..and so does the tech industry.
One of the big topics this year I can see having sat on a number of webinars and read numerous blogs is Ai but more importantly the ethical use of Ai.
Ai is becoming such a big part of what we do, whether it’s generating a personal suggestion stream on Netflix….or deciding if your credit rating is good enough to provide a loan. This is why it’s as important as ever to ensure that it’s used in an ethical and correct way. There are boundaries we need to set when using Ai, and these need to be understood correctly and adhered to. So much work has been done globally to improve equality, we need to ensure that everything we do meets this standard.
What is Ai?
Ai can be defined as:
A computer or a robot controlled by a computer being able to perform similar tasks as any other highly intelligent living being
Simulation of human intelligence processes by computers which includes learning, logical reasoning, or problem-solving
If used correctly it can have a number of benefits:
Offering better Customer Service through tailored, personal recommendations
Protecting business through analysing historical data & mistakes and using technology to learn from those mistakes
Automate the manual process and improve operational efficiency
Reducing Human Error improving results & outcomes
Holding us all accountable based on the data!
If you would like to learn more on Ai, we’ve created a White Paper that goes into a deep dive on the subject.
Ai in Fintech
If we look at the Financial Industry and how Ai can be applied, it really opens us up to some great products which is why the Fintech industry is thriving and one of the most exciting to be involved in.
Use Cases for Ai in Finance :
Fraud Detection: Analyse anomalies against historical data to detect fraudulent activity both for the business and consumer
Credit Scoring: More accurately provide a credit rating improving the application process resulting in more reliable & accurate decisions
Personalised Products: Can we use Ai to offer personalised financial advice based on our spending patterns, age, salary etc..
Focused Saving: Using Ai to generate automatic savings based on our spending patterns.
Business Protection: Are we taking on customers who are a risk?
These aren’t necessarily new use cases and by no means an exhaustive list, some are already being executed extremely well by the major players in Fintech but also up and comers as well. However with such a broad range of use cases and its increasing involvement in one of the most integral industries, surely we need to make sure Ai is being used in an ethical way?
So what is Ethical Ai & how do we ensure we are using it correctly?
Ethical Ai is pretty much what it says on the tin, Ai that adheres to certain rules, responsibilities & accountability to ensure the decisions it makes & the suggestions it produces are free from bias and unethical thinking, making sound & accurate decisions that have a benefit.
We have to remember the power technology now has, how much of an influential part of society it has now become, and ultimately how much we need to control it. It’s therefore important to ensure as we develop these Ai algorithms & machine learning models, they are based on sound ethics and principles to ensure they are not biased, prejudiced or operating unfairly.
Fortunately, a lot of research has been done into Ethical Ai & principles to stick to, and as a Google Cloud Premier Partner we learn from the best, from people who are at the forefront of innovation.
Google has a number of pages that go into ethical AI and the principles to adhere to but I wanted to highlight the key ones that they stick to as if it works for Google, it should be somewhat a golden standard for the rest of us.
1. Be socially beneficial.
2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
3. Be built and tested for safety.
4. Be accountable to people.
5. Incorporate privacy design principles.
6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence.
7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.
Why is it so important we adhere to Ethical Ai in Finance?
The Financial industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and one that has to constantly be held to account, surely our use of Ai should follow suit? If we get it wrong it can have catastrophic effects as we’ve all either witnessed, studied at school, or read in the news.
If we generate Ai models that start to become corrupt, use unethical data sources and make decisions that are wrong, we are not learning from our mistakes and merely leaving ourselves open for an even bigger crash in the future.
This is why it’s imperative that the Ai models we create learn from our own mistakes, we don’t use it to justify supplying products to those who aren’t suitable for them. We used it to analyse the vast amount of historical data we have, make unemotional, unbiased decisions that ultimately benefit us all in the long run.
Used correctly Ai is an extremely powerful tool and without a doubt one of the biggest enablers in every industry. This is why it’s so important we stick to the principles above, technology is meant to make a difference, not open us up to a faster way to repeat the past and at a potentially larger scale.
As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, this is something Netpremacy can help with. With a team of experienced Data Engineers and Scientists, Netpremacy has helped deploy numerous Ai projects. This has helped develop our understanding of Ai projects, how to correctly develop algorithms to ensure they remain true, the data is clean and the results are fair.
If you’d like to know more about Ai reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org to see how Netpremacy can help with your Ai journey.
The energy and utility sector is something most of us take for granted. We pay them for warm showers and to heat our homes, and no doubt we will all be reaching for the thermostat over the long winter months ahead to keep us extra cosy. However, behind the scenes, these companies have to embrace digital transformation and harvest massive amounts of data in order to grow, evolve, and meet the demands of the future.
The industry is constantly up against challenges; from pressure to reduce emissions, increasing demand, and providing competitive prices to their consumers. Google Cloud has a wide range of industry-leading and energy-specific solutions aimed at helping these businesses digitise faster, and respond to these demands.
Why data is important for digital transformation
The most valuable asset many companies have is data, and in order to be successful, energy providers must adapt to change, stay current, and realise this. They need to be able to store, read, and analyse data properly, in order to gain a competitive advantage and solve complex business challenges.
Google’s BigQuery can help businesses bring different data sets together in order to gain those insights, and Google’s AI-powered solutions are the key to unlocking analytics capabilities within your data sets. In this case study, you can learn how Energyworx, an energy supplier in the Netherlands, uses GCP and smart analytics to harvest their data to better plan for future energy demand, and find ways their customers can save on their electricity use.
If you would like to learn how to use smart analytics to help your business grow and evolve, download our Smart Analytics White Paper here.
A deeper dive into AI and ML energy-specific solutions
Powerful AI models use data analytics to provide actionable insights, and these models can help inspections at scale. This is extremely useful for energy and utility companies who have large areas they need to monitor, such as energy grids, wind farms, or solar panels. Google Cloud’s Visual Inspection solution reduces inspection times without compromising on safety or accuracy and makes organisations more efficient and sustainable.
Businesses also have the ability to build their own custom Machine Learning model with minimal effort and little to no Machine Learning experience.
AES is a Fortune 500 global power company that distributes sustainable energy in 15 countries. Their asset inventory is phenomenal, with a value of over £33 billion. They use Machine Learning and drone technology in their wind farms to monitor, manage, and maintain their assets.
This was the perfect solution, as it was in keeping with their greener vision and they were able to massively scale using Google’s powerful infrastructure. Learn more about their custom made solution powered by Google Cloud’s AutoML Vision here.
For most modern energy and utility companies, contributing to greater customer satisfaction is also an important identifier for success.
AI models like Contact Centre AI allows agents to assist with customer requests more efficiently, leading to shorter call times and improved outcomes, with much quicker resolutions. Learn more about Google Clouds CCAI and how companies are using this technology to modernise.
A smart future for the energy industry
Smart meters are the latest innovation to tackle the biggest challenges facing the industry today. By 2024, almost 77% of EU households will have one installed*.
This new technology brings multiple benefits such as delivering automated, real-time readings, giving consumers access to their own data; and being able to identify faulty appliances, reducing downtime, and enabling repair staff to be efficient and effective with their time. They also improve the awareness of energy consumption, allowing individual households and businesses to reduce their energy use and generate savings.
Of course, with all new technology advancements, comes an influx of data. Energy companies need a scalable data warehouse to be able to import, process, and anaylse this data. Google Cloud’s BigQuery streams data in real-time and can predict business outcomes with powerful built-in ML models; plus it runs on Google’s infrastructure and is a managed service, meaning companies spend less time developing technology and can focus on their service instead. Read how Halsfund, the largest power company in Norway, uses GCP and BigQuery for the new smart meter network here.
Being a successful energy and utilities company today requires the right technology to solve big business problems. However, in order to truly succeed, you must make the right decisions for your business by making the most of the information you gather.
Now you know what you can do with your data, are you using it to the best of your advantage?
Speak to one of our data experts and we can help you implement this technology and show you how to use it. Contact us here.
With the year coming to a close, and Christmas approaching (yes we are talking about Christmas already), many retailers will already be planning for massive shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and boxing day sales. However, there is no doubt things will be different this year.
Online shopping is going to explode even more than it already has as we approach a vital time of year for the retail industry. This means more data, more customers, and more manpower. Retail businesses need to prepare for a cyber influx more than in previous years due to the constantly changing lockdown rules and regulations. People are much less likely to be spending their Christmas shopping experience in physical shops, and will be steering towards a safer way of shopping, online.
Is your marketing as smart as your data?
As we approach the Christmas period, many businesses will have planned a marketing strategy to target their customers, and potential customers, to boost sales and promote special offers. However, many stores will be missing a trick, by not using the powerful AI tools that Google Cloud provides. Storing your new customer database is all well and good, but understanding it correctly with BigQuery is the next step to a more enhanced, and successful marketing strategy. These powerful tools will then be able to understand your data in seconds, and give your business powerful insights into your customer behaviour and predict what to market to your customers before they even know what they want.
New AI capabilities in Google Cloud means that you can more accurately analyse and understand the data that you are collecting so that you can market in a smarter and more efficient way, based on those particular customers’ spending and behavior patterns when shopping online. Due to the fact that the majority of people will be shopping online this year, it makes sense to invest heavily into your online advertising and marketing campaigns to ensure a maximum ROI.
Physical stores are depreciating
It was announced this year that “H&M will close 250 of its 5,000 stores next year as the world’s second-largest clothes retailer seeks to step up investments in its growing online business. CEO Helena Helmersson said sales in September were just 5% lower than last year and the company had returned to profitability after four in five stores were closed at the height of the crisis. Currently, 166 of its stores remain shut.”* This is terrible news for the high street, but means that online sales appear to be the way forward to stay ahead in this industry.
“A recent study from NRF shows that 59% of consumers will do the majority of their shopping online in time for the holidays – and naturally, you’ll want to give them the best possible experience.”**
RF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are prepared for an early start to the shopping season, offering discounts earlier to ensure consumers can find the gifts they want, in stock at the price they want to pay, delivered at the time they want to receive them.”**
Although the high street retailers will suffer, there is time to prepare for an inevitably busier Christmas period.
Storing your data & understanding it in the cloud
Our solutions help you to quickly leverage powerful machine learning algorithms to help gain meaningful insights from your existing product sales history, and much more. This is ideal for customers with no Google Cloud Platform estate, or for those with an existing data warehouse who wish to explore Machine Learning.
Google technology will help you to understand and plan for future inventory stocking levels across various product lines. This is a challenge that most retailers face; striking the appropriate balance between having enough stock on hand to meet customer demand without investing in product lines which are slow to sell, taking up valuable shelf or warehouse space, especially as the demands will begin to increase as we creep further towards Christmas, and the infamous boxing day sales.
How Netpremacy can help
Our team of data experts can help you to understand the next step into storing and analysing your data to gain the best ROI from the data you have collected. We have a dedicated solution that helps businesses to anticipate customer demand, through the use of Google technology, meaning you will be able to gain more meaningful insights from your data and be able to capitalize on it. This will ultimately lead to better business decisions and a smoother Christmas period.
Why the retail industry needs to become more digital
Retail is always changing to keep up with current technology, and as consumer trends evolve over time, retailers need to continue to keep up. The biggest trend and shift in consumer behaviour at the moment is that more people are shopping online. Year on year, the number of online sales is increasing and the outbreak of COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst, which saw 32.8% of all UK retail sales being made online in May this year* – the highest since records began.
It is important that retailers adapt to the ever-changing environment, otherwise, they risk losing touch with their customer base and falling behind their competition. However, the technology we have available to us allows the adoption of new, digital strategies, much quicker than ever before. Now, the customer journey is much more complex, behaviors online can be tracked and used to personalise experiences, anticipate demand, and predict spend.
Adapting digital strategies with AI and machine learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning models are fast becoming an important part of how retail businesses should be run. These models can analyse big data in an intelligent, scalable, and automated way, and find patterns to help businesses understand what their customer really wants.
Analysing and understanding these patterns properly allows you to make important decisions, which can positively impact business outcomes. The powerful algorithms analyse consumer behaviour, such as items viewed, purchase history, what people search for, and the behaviour of similar shoppers. Machine learning takes this one step further and can predict a consumer’s behaviour often before they even know what they want themselves. Using this data allows you to place the right product, in front of the right shopper, at the right time in the buying cycle, which will ultimately increase conversions and your ROI.
Use AI to deliver exceptional customer service
The power of AI and machine learning work at all stages of the customer journey, and they are changing the way businesses interact with their customers. Whether that’s displaying products they might like or using Contact Center AI (CCAI) to increase operational efficiency and deliver exceptional customer service.
CCAI ultimately contributes to greater customer satisfaction; shorter call times improved outcomes, and much quicker resolutions. Machine learning models are able to find the answers to customer queries, so agents can assist with customer requests more accurately, and at a much quicker pace.
Learn more about Google Cloud’s CCAI and how customers are using this technology to their advantage.
Delivering the omni-channel retail experience
Just because online sales are increasing doesn’t mean physical sales should have less of a focus. Infact, retailers who deliver an omni-channel experience not only enable customers to convert on every channel, but all aspects of the customer journey is streamlined, leading to more sales and increasing engagement. This is known as the “halo effect”. Shoppers can decide what is the most important factor when making a purchase; convenience, speed, price, ease of return, or the in-store experience. This in turn contributes to brand loyalty, repeat custom, and improved customer experience.
AI and machine learning can determine how customers interact and move around the brand ecosystem. Retailers can now forecast behaviours across offline and online channels, which brings them closer than ever to predict business outcomes, giving them a competitive advantage.
It’s fair to say that the opening week of Google Cloud Next online did not disappoint. With a range of product updates, industry insights and sessions on diversity and equality, Google hit the nail on the head with a strong and exciting start. We can’t wait to see what unfolds over the next 9 weeks.
We have compiled just some of the updates and sessions that stood out to Netpremacy in particular and have rounded up what each session covered, and how you can access the on-demand content.
The week began with the opening Keynotes from Thomas Kurian.
This session covered how Google, and companies across the globe have adapted to a changing world amidst a global pandemic, and how Google technologies have made that possible. Thomas spoke around how the future of work is going to be more digital and collaborative. He touched on how businesses have had to accelerate their digital transformation projects and bring them forward by 2-3 years to adapt to the changes that have happened since the pandemic. In addition to this, he spoke around how businesses are reimagining the way they work and that data powered innovation will make this possible. Watch the full on demand keynote here.
Google Meet in Gmail
Some exciting changes were announced around how Gmail is going to be made into a more collaborative space, with tools from Hangouts and more all being accessible in one interface. This change will be rolled out to G Suite users by introducing a dedicated Meet tab in the Gmail iOS and Android mobile apps. This means users will soon be able to join secure video meetings directly in Gmail without needing to open another app on their phone. The full update can be found here.
BigQuery omni release
Another exciting announcement was on BigQuery Omni. This is a flexible, multi-cloud analytics solution that lets you cost-effectively access and securely analyse data across Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Azure. All of this is now possible without leaving the familiar BigQuery user interface. Using standard SQL and the same BigQuery APIs you will be able to gain critical business insights from a single pane of glass. Due to BigQuery Omni being powered by Anthos, businesses will now be able to analyse data without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.
Google Meet Updates
Next up was the announcement of many new changes coming to Google Meet in Q3, and how this can help businesses to become more seamless when communicating through Google Meet. There are many new features that will be rolled out soon that will make for a more streamlined and enhanced experience. We recently wrote a blog on the new features coming soon, read more here.
As well as product updates and announcements, Google released a series of online content that put into perspective how different industries have adapted along with the pandemic. These industry insights have helped businesses gain confidence on how they can successfully adapt and thrive due to Google technologies.
In this briefing, Google discusses the recent challenges in retail and what they are working on to help their customers. Digital transformation in retail has been happening long before COVID-19, but now businesses are seeing a sense of urgency to innovate faster. To help tackle these challenges, Google has been working on industry specific solutions, through driving operational improvements, capturing digital and omnichannel revenue growth, and helping make data driven decisions. Watch the full session here.
Here Google addresses what the “new normal” is for businesses in the manufacturing industry, and how they have moved and adapted throughout the years when faced with serious disruption. We have witnessed unprecedented disruption to a strong economy and our daily lives. This has included dropping oil prices, record unemployment, demand uncertainty, supply chain disruption, major austerity measures, unprecedented government intervention and unstable credit markets. Watch the full session here to learn how manufacturing businesses have moved to a more digital environment to adapt and continue to thrive.
This session covers how healthcare has had to adapt their technologies and make changes that would have taken 10 years, in just 10 weeks. It explains how Google technology has been helping with the fight against COVID-19. Whether it’s been helping people access information, supporting hospitals and research, or working alongside customers to build a strong foundation for the future. In particular how Google meet has been used to replace in-person appointments when social distancing measures have not allowed face-to-face appointments. Technology has been shaping the world’s response to coronavirus and that doesn’t stop in just the healthcare sector. Watch the full session here.
A recent experiment using one of our subsea fiber optic cables showed that it could be useful for earthquake and tsunami warning systems around the globe. This is exciting news for the advancement in technology, and how it could potentially help us to avoid or cope with natural disasters in a much more controlled and successful way. Read the full blog post here.
These are just some of the announcements and links to the new content that Google Cloud Next has pushed out in week 1, and we can’t wait to see what week 2 brings. To see the full announcements and updates, head over to Google’s blog. To book onto week 2, productivity and collaboration head over to the Google Cloud Next website.
On 21st March, We hosted an afternoon of discussions, expert speakers and networking, all on the subject of creating intelligence from your data, and how Google Cloud is helping big businesses stay ahead of the curve. Joined by speakers from Google Cloud and Just Eat at Google Academy London, the exclusive Google Cloud event provided an atmosphere where clients, partners and friends gathered to hear impressive examples of Cloud in action.
Held in the funfair-themed surroundings of Google Academy London, the Create Intelligence From Your Data event began with an introduction from Netpremacy’s Commercial Director Andrew Martin on Netpremacy’s relationship with Google and their simple mission statement: to ‘solve complex problems with innovative technology’.
“Our motivation from a Netpremacy perspective, as with everything we do, is to bring technology to life for our customers. We started the business twenty years ago with the mission statement “to solve complex business needs using the most innovative technologies”, that statement today has never been more true, and the event that we have run ‘creating intelligence from your data’ is a perfect example of that.” – Andrew Martin, Sales director, Netpremacy
The first speaker of the afternoon and one of Netpremacy’s clients, Just Eat’s Matt Cresswell, offered the group a behind the scenes look at how Just Eat have recently transformed their data processes from Redshift to Google Cloud Platform, providing them with a holistic view of customers and in turn making their platform more algorithmic. Matt went on to explain how Machine Learning is powering personalisation and how Just Eat are working to ultimately collate a single view of a customer using the data they collect to personalise each customer experience.
“Data is all around us and the last few years, data has exponentially increased in organisations. Where Google’s big data products can help is by translating all of the data you have on premise in your organisation in a meaningful way where you can build solutions, and also drive solutions from the data that you already have and the data that you are building.” – Mike von Speyr, Google Cloud UK&I
Jon Watson, the next speaker of the day, gave a valuable insight on the business of AI from his position as a Google Cloud Engineering Lead. By 2021, 75% of enterprise applications will use AI, something which Jon explained using current examples, such as DPD, Ocado and Moorfields Eye Hospital. Jon also touched on the integration of human intelligence and AI, and how these processes can be streamlined with Machine Learning.
After a break for drinks and networking, Omer Mahmood, Customer Engineer at Google Cloud, gave the group a live demo of Geospatial Analytics and Machine Learning in BigQuery. Omer went on to explain the benefits of these processes in obtaining rich insights about your customers.
Ending the afternoon with networking, the group expressed how valuable the afternoon at Google Academy London was in educating each person in exactly how big businesses are using Google Cloud Platform to handle and process large amounts of data effectively.
We host a number of different events with different focuses throughout the year. Keep updated on our upcoming events here – we look forward to seeing you at the next one!