Industry veteran Kevin Shatzkamer has left Dell EMC to start a new job as managing director, digital transformation officer for telecom at Google Cloud.
Shatzkamer, who announced his new position on Monday in a LinkedIn post, is making the move to Google Cloud at a critical juncture as telecom operators and cloud service providers define their new working relationships across 5G, the edge and the cloud.
"As I continue to look at the trends driving the Telecommunications industry forward –'open-X' (source, APIs, standards, RAN, etc.), software-defined networking, including programmable fabrics, virtualization and cloud native, automation, artificial intelligence, edge computing, it has become clear to me that the public cloud and the telecommunications industry are inexorably linked over the next decade-plus," said Shatzkamer in his Monday LinkedIn blog. "Public Cloud providers have the ability to unlock their own knowledge in building and operating infrastructure in the ways the Telecommunications industry is looking to do, while also helping enable the vertical industry use-cases that form the foundation of #5G business cases.
"From retail to healthcare to hospitality to energy to autonomous vehicles, industry is the platform upon which 5G networks will catalyze societal benefit - in the workplace and our personal lives. Never before has this been as apparent to me as during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the way we work and play. To that end, I’ve decided to take on a new challenge, and embrace the opportunity to help a public cloud provider build industry and strategic relevance within the Telecommunications industry, and tackle the complex challenge of transformation side-by-side."
Service providers have thousands of last mile endpoints that the cloud providers—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google, to name the big three—lack. Partnering with telcos such as AT&T and Telefónica, enables Google Cloud to move its services and applications closer to the edge, and to the end users.
Telcos, such as AT&T and Verizon, previously took a stab at building their own cloud platforms before largely deciding it was better to partner with the large cloud providers.
While the major hyperscale cloud providers have been courting and winning over service provider partners, there have been questions over whether the alliances are true partnerships or more of a move by the cloud providers to make carriers "dumb pipes" for their services and applications.
Among other benefits, Shatzkamer pointed out Google Cloud's experience in open source projects and communities and its work building and operating virtualized and software-defined networks at scale as the reasons why Google Cloud can push transformations across the telecommunications industry.
Last month, Google Cloud announced it would launch a new cloud region in Spain by using Telefónica's Madrid infrastructure. Telefónica and Google also plan to jointly develop a portfolio of solutions for 5G using Google Cloud's mobile edge computing platform, which is similar to Google Cloud and AT&T's announcement in March for 5G edge compute use cases for enterprises.
With edge computing, businesses can use cellular data to improve their operations while dynamically routing application-specific services to where they are being used. By bringing Google Cloud's compute and capabilities to the edge, service providers and businesses can move infrastructure from centralized locations to the edges, and run applications closer to end users, which lowers latency and optimizes operations.
In his LinkedIn blog, Shatzkamer touted Google Cloud's "expertise, experience and ecosystem already-established in enterprise, specifically within the industry verticals that form the foundation of 5G/Telco business opportunity to partner with Telco Product organizations in joint go-to-market" efforts for mutual customers.
"I’m excited to leverage this as an opportunity for my own learning and development, as well," he said. "Even for those with technical acumen and industry depth, 'The Cloud' is an ephemeral concept until you are immersed in it and Google has its own aura about it which I am excited to witness from the inside.
"Lastly, I am excited to continue to work closely with the same industry leaders in the Telecommunications industry with whom I’ve built lasting professional and personal relationships, applying a new lens to the challenges and opportunities in front of us. "
Last year, Shatzkamer was named as one of FierceTelecom's Rising Stars. Shatzkamer worked at Cisco for 15 years where he was named “Distinguished Systems Engineer,” making him the youngest distinguished engineer at the company. He also was awarded more than 50 patents and published two books discussing the architectures and technologies that shaped the mobile internet including 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
Shatzkamer left Cisco to join Brocade in 2014 where he became CTO of the company’s service provider business. He joined Dell EMC in October 2016, and was vice president and general manager of service provider strategy and solutions for the company’s infrastructure solutions group before leaving for Google Cloud. He was responsible for Dell EMC’s strategy and architecture around network infrastructure technologies, cloud, and virtualization platforms. He also oversaw software programmability.