CTO Insight: Who and What We Trusted to Guide Our Journey to the Cloud

In a new interview, Tom Bianculli talks about Zebra’s current cloud strategy, the industry shift to more “cloud-native platforms,” and key learnings from the company’s overall digital transformation that could help you, too..

Two people collaborate at a laptop
by Your Edge Blog Team
January 26, 2022

Like most companies, Zebra is still in the depths of its digital transformation. And when we started out on our cloud journey two-and-a-half-years ago, we needed the support of technical and strategic experts who could ensure we stayed on the right path. One of those experts was Google. 

Though technically a cloud services provider, the Google Cloud Platform team has proven to be a valuable transformation partner as well. Its team helped train ours and, as a result, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty amazing things to improve the prospects for our customers, partners and company, which you’ll hear our Chief Technology Officer Tom Bianculli talk about in a minute. 

In fact, Zebra was recently named a 2021 Google Cloud Customer of the Year in the Manufacturing category, stemming from our utilization of Google Cloud solutions to transform and sustain our operations. The outcomes of our cloud-based innovations have been remarkable. We’ve been able to…

  • introduce a native RFID cloud platform that makes RFID accessible to businesses of all sizes.  
  • help customers integrate, monitor and optimize our software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as we migrate Reflexis and Zebra Prescriptive Analytics to the latest cloud native capabilities.
  • connect typically disparate devices (i.e., printers and mobile computers) and aggregate performance data into a single cloud instance for organization-wide visibility and preventative maintenance actions.
  • evolve how we handle our own compute-intense software builds to improve development velocity and deliver more effective, time-sensitive solutions to customers.
  • create a more productive, collaborative, and capable workforce that, in turn, has been able to help customers and partners better run their businesses in the age of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

So, we sat down with Tom to find out the secret to our cloud success thus far. In this very revealing 25-minute discussion, he also explains…

  • how often Zebra evolves its cloud strategy and why people have become more comfortable with the rapid rate of change. 
  • how various artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, combined with the cloud, will influence the capabilities and impact of robotics and machine vision solutions going forward.
  • who is driving the architectural strategy for Zebra’s robotics automation capabilities.
  • why you can expect the shift to cloud-native platforms to speed up and scale in the coming months, especially as data processing increases at the edge of the enterprise.
  • the advantage of “version-less” cloud-native apps, especially for organizations with limited IT or financial resources and continuous improvement ambitions.
  • how cloud strategies and utilization among front-line and knowledge workers compare.
  • some ways in which the cloud is facilitating virtual work opportunities in front-line environments that have traditionally required on-site workers, such as the remote operation of autonomous fork trucks.

Zebra’s biggest regret regarding the cloud, its most notable transformation accelerator and why “falling forward” has proven to be highly beneficial. 

Listen Now

Zebra CTO: Who and What We Trusted to Lead Our Journey to the Cloud

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Your Edge Blog Team
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