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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.

There’s been a lot of work on the back end to improve our contracting processes to really make sure companies doing mission critical things in the cloud feel like its easy to do business with us and that they’re in good hands.

We’ve made a lot of investments like that, and we’re starting to see the results with large enterprise customers, some of which we’ll be talking about at NEXT.

What are the keys to further penetrating that enterprise cloud market?

On the technical side, we do very well. If you asked what is Google doing to catch up on the technology? We don’t lose a lot of deals at this point on the technology. We have a very good win rate as we are in situations that are viewed as a two or three, or four-horse race. The challenge we are really focusing on now is how do we scale the number of situations we are present in. That’s both very much a hiring question, but it’s also a partner question, so we’re spending a lot of time investing in our partner situation to make sure they’re a key part of this journey with us.

What’s often underappreciated is that Google itself has a large number of feet on the ground working with large global 2000 companies on the advertising side of the business - so we’re actively working on bringing the cloud and that part of the business closer together. We have a lot of relationships with CIOs, CMOs and CEOs that we haven’t historically leveraged.

What’s the big push with partners?

For partners, our ecosystem is smaller than a lot of our competitors, so we’re very focused on ensuring that we’re continuing to build that network. That’s both on the technology alliances side, meaning the ISVs who want to run on Google Cloud or support Google Cloud as an option for their customers. On the go-to-market side, the system resellers, integrators and consultants like the Accentures and PWCs of the world, we’re focusing there on making sure we’re doing business with everyone our customers want us to do business with.

We’re focusing on scaling that channel. Where companies often run into trouble is when they view their partners as separate from their sales team, so we’re working hard on a sell-with and service-with model, as opposed to a sell-through model. What customers are asking us to do is to show up as Google with the partner and the partner can provide leverage and scale, but fundamentally it has to be with the Google engineering and account teams. We’re working closely with our partners to make sure the integration is as seamless as possible.


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