Sergey Nivens -

Google Cloud CEO outlines plans to take firm even deeper into the enterprise

CEO Thomas Kurian used inaugural Google Cloud Next keynote to detail how infrastructure investments, supplier partnerships and simplified processes will be key to its plans to conquer even more of the enterprise market

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Google Cloud’s new CEO Thomas Kurian has confirmed the company’s efforts to win over enterprise users will continue apace on his watch, with the firm focused on becoming the easiest cloud provider users work with.

He made the declaration during the opening keynote of the cloud giant’s annual developer and customer conference, Google Cloud Next, which is his first since joining the firm in early 2019.

Over the course of the session, he talked about the progress Google Cloud is making with picking up customers operating in a range of industries – namely retail, media and entertainment and financial services.

“We are incredibly proud of the momentum we have in the largest companies. Nine of the top 10 retailers, seven of the top 10 media companies, and leaders in every industry have chosen Google Cloud to help them on their digital transformation journey,” he said. 

For this momentum to continue, he said the company is focusing on making its proposition more appealing to enterprises by investing in more datacentres where its customers are and creating a suite of products that can aid their digital transformation efforts.

“We’re building capability that offers important solutions for customers: the ability to manage data at scale, to build and modernise application workloads, to do analysis to identify patterns in your data, and to make better business decisions as organisations,” he said.

Kurian took over the reins as CEO in early 2019 from Diane Greene, who announced her departure late in 2018 after three years in charge. He had previously spent 22 years working at database giant Oracle, most recently filling the role of product development president at the firm.

Kurian opened the keynote by thanking Greene for her efforts, before going on to restate the company’s ongoing commitment to making its cloud the best place to run enterprise applications and workloads.

Greene’s time at the company coincided with some sizeable organisational changes at Google Cloud that were geared towards making its proposition for enterprise users easier to understand.

These included the decision to bring its G-Suite online productivity group of applications into the Google Cloud fold, and – in turn – ensure its business applications and cloud infrastructure offerings were more tightly aligned.

In recent years, the firm has embarked on a number of changes to its platform to bolster its appeal to enterprises, including security updates and regulatory-focused amendments.

It has also moved to rapidly expand its datacentre regions to address the latency and data sovereignty of enterprises, and roll out industry-specific services tailored to the business needs of certain industries.

He then went on to detail how the company plans to build on this work to win even more business in the enterprise.

“We at Google Cloud want to be the best strategic partner for organisations [on] their digital transformation journey and we believe we can do that in two important ways,” he said.

“The first way is bringing expertise to help you on that journey, and the second is to be the easiest cloud provider to do business with and to help you on that journey.”

In terms of how it intends to achieve that, Kurian said the firm is in the throes of ramping up its go-to-market teams, so enterprises will have even more technical specialists on hand to guide them through their journey to the cloud.

“We are massively expanding our go-to-market organisation. Not just sales people, but technical specialists who deeply understand technology and [these] industries and can help you with your customer success to build great new transformational opportunities using our technology,” he said.

“To make us easy for our customers to do business with us, we’re introducing simplified pricing, easier contracting, [and] co-innovation frameworks.”

Building out the ecosystem of suppliers who can plug into and complement the Google Cloud Platform, and ensuring its technologies are a good fit for the heterogeneous IT estates many enterprises operate is also another important area of consideration for company.

Examples of this include its Anthos hybrid cloud platform, which is a container-focused software platform designed to give enterprises a consistent user experience when running workloads in on-premise datacentres, as well as in the Google, Amazon and Microsoft public clouds.

So too is Google’s newly announced technology tie-ups with a slew of open source database and data analytics companies, which were also announced during the first day keynote.   

“We recognise that partners are very important to Google so we’re broadening our partner reach,” he added.

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