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Google targets the enterprise

Allan Swann | March 25, 2014
New Australian managing director, Kevin Ackhurst, plots the path ahead.

AS: Collaboration definitely seems to be something you're pushing...
KA: There's some research we did with an organisation in Europe called the Future Foundation that found that Companies that are most likely to demonstrate innovation, are more likely to demonstrate strong levels of collaboration within their own organisations. Fairfax is a great example of that; they have approximately 400 meetings a day using Google Hangouts.

AS: A lot of companies that jumped into public Cloud with both feet have pulled back to looking at private or hybrid Cloud models — how has that affected Google Enterprise?
KA: Those companies that did jump in with both feet have become very profitable and successful. So our partners, like Fronde, made a significant commitment in the way they oriented their business around companies such as ours, and Amazon —those that were focused on the delivery of services through the Cloud. As a result they've been able to grow their businesses and be successful.

AS: Has that had a flow on effect to other Channel operators then?
KA: Larger organisations, that may have followed the more traditional approach to IT implementation, are talking to us now. Because their customers are approaching them and asking them about what Google Enterprise has been doing.

Pretty much any company you can think of has rung us up and asked, 'is there a way in which we can partner?' We want to protect the relationships we have with our existing partners of course. Those partners are very important to us, but it's also important to make sure if there is an opportunity to grow, that we take these opportunities.

AS: What are some of the changes you're seeing, in regards to managing the transition to a Cloud focused market?
KA: IT is such a priority for CEOs now. We've seen that through both a global study that IBM did in 2012, in which IT is seen as the foremost driver in which businesses are likely to change across the next couple of years. The anecdotal thing I notice quite a lot, is when customers come and talk to us, CEOs tend to come along. Either they're calling in to meetings, or they're coming here into these offices, or I'm setting up a call with a CEO that wants to know more about the technology. Ten years ago, when I was last working in the Australian environment, that wasn't the case.

AS: Why is that?
KA: CEOs are seeing ways to drive cultural changes within their organisations. As a consequence they look at us and our brands, and things that we do, and the success that we've had, as perhaps the catalyst that could drive success within their own organisations.


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