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Google making steady progress in the enterprise

John Dix | June 25, 2013
President of Google Enterprise says 58% of Fortune 500 are using some Google tools already, and new cloud products are encouraging conversion.

Google Enterprise is making inroads on many fronts, winning converts to everything from its productivity tools to its cloud offerings. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with President of Google Enterprise Amit Singh for a progress report and to discuss what comes next.

Give us the Google Enterprise elevator pitch.
If I were to describe it in just a few sentences, Google is a technology company building platforms for the cloud, and we're out to make the Web faster and safer with Chrome, and offer mobile people the same great experience with Android. Obviously, all of that is built on our expertise in data centers, and we layer services on top — we started with search but then moved on to video, email, document storage, all those kinds of things.

We're seeing a pretty secular platform shift from PC-centric languages and platforms to mobile-centric, and if you are mobile and multi-deviced, then by nature you are building on Web services, whether our own or your own on our cloud. So that's the pitch in a nutshell.

Is the main appeal of the Google Apps portfolio still mostly the low cost?
It started that way because it was everything packaged together for $50 per year from any device. But people love the capabilities built into the products because they can get work done faster — collaborative document editing so you don't have to go back and forth with attachments, or click one button and you're in a video conference with somebody. It really speeds up the enterprise. Any cloud technology should be a lot less costly than legacy technology, but they should also make new things possible.

And you're reaching large enterprises now, as I understand it. 
Yes. Fifty-eight percent of the Fortune 500 are using our products now, everything from search appliances and Google Apps to our geospatial products.

What's the single most successful enterprise product, beyond search?
Google Apps, closely followed by the Google Maps API, which enables people to embed Maps in their websites. 

Give us some examples of enterprise wins.
Costco, Office Depot, Dillard's, Guardian Life Insurance, these are all Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. using Google Apps. And in terms of customers in government we have the Department of Interior, the largest department in the federal government, states like the state of Wyoming, and city governments in Pittsburgh, Orlando, Los Angeles and Boston.

Internationally we have Woolworths, the huge retailer in Australia, ANA, the largest airline in Japan, Roche Diagnostics, the list goes on.

Do many of them use the whole kit and kaboodle, or just select products?
Increasingly, yes. A few years ago customers would come for Gmail and Calendar, but now more and more people are using Chrome as their default browser, Google Apps (including Google Docs and storage), the Google Drive product, and Hangouts for videoconferencing. So yeah, they're using large portions of the suite. And they also use the administrative controls; device management is built into Google Apps so you can remote wipe devices or enforce use of passwords or two-factor authentication and a variety of things like that. 


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