Google Unleashes ‘New Era Of Productivity’ With AI Agents: Partners

Google Cloud partners break down the benefits of Google’s new GenAI agent technology and Vertex AI Agent Builder for the channel.

Google Cloud unveiled a slew of new AI products this week at Google Cloud Next—from new AI agents to new Tensor Processing Unit hardware to accelerate the artificial intelligence revolution.

Google partners, in particular, were bullish about Google’s new Vertex AI Agent Builder and agent technologies that will help them drive customer productivity levels to new heights.

“Google’s agents are the manifestation of real value in remedial workflows. So we can help customers go from an agent being partially helpful—like in a traditional chatbot scenario that we think about—to actually completing a complex task,” said Tony Safoian, CEO of Google Cloud Premier Partner SADA, an Insight company.

Partners of the Mountain View, Calif.-based $37 billion cloud computing and AI giant can create custom tasks and capabilities for agents in Vertex AI Agent Builder—a new no-code offering for deploying generative AI assistants that are rooted in Google’s Gemini family of models.

“For example, if someone is asking about coverage for a complex health-care [plan], it used to be that the agent can give you part of the answer. Now there’s no reason these new powerful agents can not only give you the complete answer, but also maybe change your health plan in the background to meet your specific health needs that are now different than they were last year,” said SADA’s CEO.

[Related: Google Cloud CEO’s 5 Bold Remarks On New Chip, AI Agents And ‘The New Way To Cloud’]

“So things that you’d normally partially surface to a human for the human to complete, right now we’re entering the era of automation and trust in these AI capabilities to complete the task of actually maybe changing your membership, changing your subscription, changing your deductible, etc. to complete the circle of the workflow,” said Safoian. “Another easy example is you lost your password. It used to tell you, ‘Here’s the steps to follow.’ Now, it could just do those steps and reset the password for you and text you the password after. This kind of workflow completion is going to unleash a new era of productivity.”

Google’s New Vertex AI Agent Builder Helps ‘Accomplish Your Goal’

To help partners create these AI agents for customers, Google unveiled its new Vertex AI Agent Builder this week.

The new Vertex AI Agent Builder brings together foundation models, Google Search and other developer tools for partners to build and deploy agents, alongside orchestration and augmentation capabilities. With Vertex AI Agent Builder, Google said partners can now quickly create a range of generative AI agents grounded with Google Search and customer data.

Quantiphi, a Google Cloud Premier Partner and AI superstar, said Vertex AI Agent Builder will help customers solve business problems and achieve their AI goals. Quantiphi CEO Asif Hasan said Google agents are the next evolution of AI assistants.

“The assistant way of doing things is you have a search bar and you can ask any questions, and the system will go fetch the answer and give it to you so you don’t have to browse links and all that type of stuff—that’s like the assistant paradigm,” he said.

“The agent paradigm is where, instead of asking a question, you’re giving it a goal. Then it’s breaking down the goal: it’s reasoning, it’s planning, it’s generating the first draft of the answer, it is reflecting on the answer, and it’s making it better,” said Hasan. “And then through an iterative set of steps, it’s either reflecting on its own or it’s asking you for feedback. Then at the end of the process, it’s going to help you accomplish your goal. … We’re super excited about it.”

Google also launched new enhancements this week to help organizations build data agents, including injecting Gemini into Google’s popular products such as BigQuery, Databases and Looker.

Google’s New CPU And TPU Hardware For AI

Another area that excited partners at Google Cloud Next was Google’s push to create microprocessor hardware that will power Google’s and Google customers’ AI ambitions.

Google this week unveiled its first-ever custom ARM-based CPU chip designed for the data center with Google Axion, delivering up to 50 percent better performance than comparable current-generation x86-based instances, Google said.

In addition, Google’s new AI accelerator Tensor Processing Unit v5p is now generally available. Each TPU v5p pod is composed of nearly 9,000 chips over Google’s highest-bandwidth inter-chip interconnect (ICI).

“The customer hardware piece of AI is becoming very interesting,” said Quantiphi’s CEO. “What we’ve seen with the recent events in the market is there is an insatiable demand for custom AI hardware.”

The combination of CPUs and GPUs, or TPUs, is what organizations will leverage in many AI workflows.

“The workhorse in AI is an accelerated compute chip, which is either a GPU or Google’s variant, which is even a more specialized Tensor Processing Unit,” said Hasan. “Google’s [innovation engine] here is amazing.”

SADA’s CEO echoed Hasan in believing that Google Cloud’s end-to-end AI portfolio is a market differentiator.

“So when you look at what Google is doing, you’re really talking about the entire spectrum of value—from the core chips required for any company to building those types of things on Google, and packaging them around Workspace and other SaaS technologies,” said Safoian.

“The challenge is and will continue to be the collective partner ecosystem helping our customers derive real value out of these building blocks in a way that’s measurable, that’s credible, that’s scalable, that’s repeatable, that’s secure, that’s safe and easy to operate,” Safoian said. “So there’s a tremendous amount of work for the partner ecosystem to do.”

Google Cloud Next in Las Vegas runs from April 9 to April 11.