Diane Greene did a great job getting Google Cloud to this point, and now Thomas Kurian has an opportunity to build quickly and firmly on this foundation. Google finds itself in an interesting place in the market as it faces the leadership position of Amazon and Microsoft, and pushes to accelerate traction in the enterprise. One of Diane's priorities at Google was to build a partner ecosystem as she did at VMware. Google has managed partnerships with the likes of SAP, but I believe Google was expecting more pull from strategic partners at this point.
Given the state of the market and a business’s cloud decision tree, Kurian is an important leader for Google Cloud right now. He has established relationships and trust from customers during his tenure at Oracle. Kurian also understands the current state of business challenges, the hesitation of cloud consumption models, and the excitement of the opportunities on the horizon with Google. This will have a positive impact immediately to enable more serious engagements with large IT and government customers, and he will likely put his fingerprints immediately on the Google roadmap, which will, in the near term (3-5 years), build and boost Google’s penetration inside businesses.
As Kurian transitions into his new role, I would expect to see:
- Google reshape its focus on how to solve complex business challenges, align with employee workflows, and amplify key trust factors with Google.
- A bend away from engineering-centric conversations with customers to more of a polished enterprise approach to retain and attract customers.
- Execution teams work toward landing a more strategic cloud conversation within businesses that is targeted at business leaders and senior IT executives.
It would also be ideal to see Kurian lead a more coordinated approach into business with a complete GCP, G Suite, and Android value proposition as opposed the individual rails Google typically takes into businesses today. Google customers would benefit from seeing the value stitched together across all these primary drives into the market.
Kurian is also in the position to turn up the heat on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. The competitive landscape will be watching closely as Kurian steps in and works through key decisions inside of Google and with its customers. Kurian’s new role will be worth keeping a close eye on and surly one that has many ingredients in place for success.