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Google Cloud NEXT Interview with Cobry’s Rowan Manson

This week at Damson Cloud, we sat down at Google Cloud NEXT London with Cobry’s Rowan Manson to discuss G Suite, collaboration and digital transformation. The annual flagship event for Google Cloud, Google Cloud NEXT London is a global celebration of education, inspiration and innovation, bringing together leading Google partners for a day of breakout sessions, codelabs, keynote speeches and more. Check out the blog below, or see the full video in the link above!

As we kick into our discussion, we explore Rowan’s own background and the role of Cobry – described by the digital expert as “Scotland’s number one Google Partner”. Like many partners in the Google ecosystem, the work of Rowan and Cobry centres around helping their clients get the most out of Google through a mixture of deployment, technical and change management services.

For the team at Cobry, growth over the past few years has been significant. “I originally started off with Colin [Bryce], doing a bit of business consultancy here and there. That kind of snowballed a bit, and when I graduated he offered me a full-time job. That was four years ago,” recalls Rowan. “This year we have added more team members – now we have eight! I’m a Technical Lead, but I’m active in training, project management, sales and marketing – it’s great that we can all move around like that.”

Value Through Change Management

Rowan suggests that transforming how people work and helping them work better together is central to Cobry’s key objective: “People come to me with a problem, and we like to help them fix it. That’s where we really add value – the tools are great and don’t break, after all”. However, championing cultural change is essential in bringing that value to customers, he highlights.

According to the Technical Lead, the most typical conversations and concerns in his line of work centre around security and change management. “People are concerned about Google as a consumer product, including its relationship with the cloud and security questions around that. Companies are also concerned for their staff, and many of them come from quite a low skill level with hardly any IT training,” he shares.

Change management is a much more abstract concept than the technology behind it, making it a much more valuable skill in modern times, says Rowan. “Maybe previously we were mainly focussing on training and comms. But now we have transformation workshops, and the range of tools we work with continues to expand.”

The Advent of Big Data and Business Intel

Moving onto the next portion of our discussion, we talk big data, business intelligence and the possibilities allowed by Google Data Studio. Whilst assessing this kind of data can present significant challenges to businesses, Data Studio is user-friendly, allowing users to easily share and control permissions. “The big challenge behind all of this is how people collect data. It’s one thing collating and aggregating it – but people collect data in interesting ways,” shares Rowan, agreeing that a single source of truth is essential.

“It’s usually a spreadsheet – and people’s skills in spreadsheets are definitely quite varied,” he laughs. “It’s a great tool and we would definitely recommend it. Work in this area has represented some of the biggest projects for us this year!”

On behalf of all the team at Damson Cloud, we’d like to give a huge thanks to Rowan Manson for contributing his insights and expertise to this week’s discussion. As ever, keep following Damson Cloud to stay informed on digital transformation, cloud solutions and changing the ways we work!


As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialise in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including G Suite, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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