Google Cloud postpones Next event after initial online-only move

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Google Cloud is postponing its Cloud Next event over coronavirus fears, having previously made the move to stage the conference virtually.

The company had at the start of this month announced that Next, originally due to be at San Francisco on April 6-8 with an expected attendance of more than 30,000, was going online-only.

Now Google is scrapping things altogether, although promising that the event will still take place ‘when the timing is right.’

“Google Cloud has decided to postpone Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect out of concern for the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and local communities, and based on recent decisions made by the federal and local governments regarding the coronavirus,” wrote Google Cloud chief marketing officer Alison Wagonfeld in a blog post.

“Right now, the most important thing we can do is focus our attention on supporting our customers, partners, and each other.

“Please know that we are fully committed to bringing Google Cloud Next ’20 to life, but will hold the event when the timing is right,” added Wagonfeld. “We will share the new date when we have a better sense of the evolving situation.”

Google parent Alphabet has already issued guidance to employees over remote working. As reported by CNN, the company is recommending that all workers in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East work remotely. Yet as alleged by Business Insider (paywall), some contract workers appear to not be bound by this commitment, with employees – both full-time and contractors – sending a memo to executives demanding stronger policies.

Whatever would have been in store at Next, Google Cloud has certainly been busy on the news front this year. Partnerships have been struck, such as with Bharti Airtel, customers have been won in the shape of Lloyds Banking Group and Major League Baseball, while various product launches and iterations have come through, announced at events such as security conference RSA and retail gathering NRF.

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