Will the new breed of Enterprise Googlers give GCP a competitive edge?

google next 2016Catching up in the race for cloud market share (or in Google’s case, closing the gap between themselves and their top three competitors [AWS, Microsoft and IBM]) is going to require some different thinking. Enter Diane Greene and a new breed of Googlers that are beginning to trickle over from classic IT enterprise organizations.

In what may be a sign of the times at the “new Google”, barely 2 minutes after walking into the conference hall, I stumbled across an enterprise IT marketing veteran who defected to Google from a well known three letter enterprise IT vendor. Likewise, my colleague Mark Bowker bumped into a former VMware marketing guru at the Google welcome party on the eve of the conference.

This mix of new-blood enterprise IT talent with the cloud prodigy employee base at Google, could make for a potent combination as Google sets their sights on traditional businesses looking to leverage the scale, efficiency and innovation of the GCP cloud environment.

In his opening keynote remarks at GCPNext, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Google’s pivot to focusing on enterprise businesses is well-timed. In his words, it’s the “confluence of the right people with the right technology at the right time”.

I think Sundar chose the order and placement of these words deliberately — and rightfully so. As technology aficionados, sometimes we forget that it’s people transformation that should precede technology transformation. You can have the best technology in the world but if you don’t have the right organization that can speak the language of traditional enterprise IT, it could all be for naught.

To be sure, Google still has a lot of work to do to catch up to their cloud rivals but it seems like they’re continuing to make some shrewd personnel moves to help them get more at bats in enterprise cloud opportunities. This coupled with a well-honed channel strategy could really help them ring the cloud register going forward.

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