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Google Cloud exec talks courting enterprises, competing with Amazon and Microsoft

Brandon Butler | March 9, 2017
Google kicks off NEXT user conference this week in San Francisco.

I recently combined the sales teams across those products so it’s now a single person who is working with you on G Suite and GCP, as opposed to two separate teams. It’s started to really facilitate these conversations.

A lot of the ways we’re ensuring people get the best of both worlds is through product integrations. In BigQuery (Enterprise Cloud Data Warehouse), you can use Sheets as a way to export analysis to visualize information and make it more digestible for a business user. We just launched our enterprise plan for G Suite, which has Gmail logs that can be exported to BigQuery to do analysis on those. So it varies customer to customer, but we’re willing to take into account the relationship we have with customers as we think about how to facilitate them moving into GCP or G Suite.

How did your work as chief commercial officer for Caesars Entertainment help prepare you for your current job?

The best way to think about my last role was overseeing IT, analytics, marketing, sales and entertainment for a diversified business that had casinos, live entertainment, hotels and restaurants. The common thread among all of that is a massive amount of compute and big data analytics that powers it and an increasing focus on digital transformation and engagement of customers. I really got a first hand view of different cloud providers, big data platforms and machine learning technology as a fairly sophisticated user of those platforms. So coming over to Google, in my role a lot of what I do is spend time with customers to figure out how they can create value and how they can replicate some of the successes we had in my last role around profit improvement, operating efficiencies and creating new lines of business.

Gartner in its 2016 Magic Quadrant for IaaS public cloud said that Google was in the “rudimentary stages” of interacting with enterprise clients. Do you think that’s a fair assessment?

I don’t. I think there is some education and proof points that we’ve been working on with our customers and also the analysts recently. We’ve taken a lot of steps in the past 15 months to really change the perception of how serious we are about the cloud and how much we have invested in being enterprise ready. That includes everything from greatly scaling the internal customer team – which is not just sales, but all the technical resources that are used to actually sit with the customer. If you look back over the past several years, this has been a shortcoming of what we were doing in the cloud world. We’re really doubling down and hiring really aggressively on that technical front. It includes everything from customer engineers who work both pre- and post-sales with customers, and our professional services team, customer support teams, etc. There’s been a lot of investment in how we work with customers.


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