New head of Google Cloud lays out plans to capture business of verticals moving into cloud environments
Google Cloud, the cloud computing division of the search giant, is a top 5 player in the cloud computing segment, but lags behind market leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in terms of capabilities and market penetration. The new division head, Thomas Kurian, yesterday laid out plans to target companies in traditional verticals that are moving into cloud computing rather than focusing on digital natives.
The Lowdown: At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Kurian outlined plans for Google Cloud to move beyond its base of digital natives up and down the business spectrum to focus on specific verticals and large enterprises that are still adopting cloud services. The goal, he said, isn’t just to capture and retain accounts, but to convert Google Cloud customers into advocates that will propel the
The Details: Kurian says Google Cloud will expand its sales force and train reps on how to sell vertical solutions, understand business needs, and create bonds with customers to facilitate and maintain working, productive relationships. The approach sounds more like sales personalization than the automated, self-service type of selling most often associated with Google.
Kurian didn’t mention channel partners in his presentation, but Google Cloud is actively working with resellers and professional service partners to bring its services to market. Undoubtedly, Google Cloud’s strategy will include channel partners.
The Impact: How vigorously or quickly the new Google Cloud strategy ramps up is unknown. Kurian took over for industry veteran Diane Greene in November after several years at Oracle. The strategy of focusing on verticals and getting close to customers is consistent with Kurian’s Oracle experience.
Background: Different analyst firms vary in their rankings of Google Cloud relative to AWS (the market leader) and Microsoft Azure (No. 2). Google Cloud is typically bunched with Oracle’s cloud business and IBM. While Google’s commercial cloud business is substantial, many analysts say it lacks the capabilities and capacities to compete head-on with AWS and Microsoft. Some analysts speculate that Google will go on an acquisition spree to bolster its cloud value and competitiveness.
The Buzz: “Historically, people have thought Google has a strong presence in the digital native community. Over the last 12 months, we’ve shifted our strategy to go after more traditional industries,” said Kurian at the Goldman Sachs conference. “You will see us continue to focus our go-to-market effort on going after the largest customers.”