New insights into Google Cloud and its recent success
New insights into Google Cloud and its recent success

Inside Google Cloud’s Breakout $2B Quarter: 10 Key Insights

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CEO Thomas Kurian has lit a customer-centric fire under Google Cloud. And 10 key points from last week’s earnings call reveal the major factors driving new levels of success since Kurian assumed control in January.

Those drivers have also pushed Google Cloud up one spot to #6 in the weekly Cloud Wars Top 10 rankings. 

While nothing stays the same for very long in the Cloud Wars—the CEO of Google Cloud’s parent, Alphabet, emphasized on the call that the company’s very willing to build and buy new assets for its enterprise-cloud business—here’s a quick snapshot of the key capabilities and approaches behind Google Cloud’s recent successes.

1. Kurian has reinvigorated Google Cloud around a focus on customers.

Asked about Google Cloud’s success on the earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai was definitive. “Definitely with go-to-market, Thomas has been heavily focused on it, mainly with the realization that we are very competitive when we’re in [customer conversations]. So we’re focusing on how we can scale up and really build a customer-facing organization.”

In addition to greatly expanding the sales org, Pichai said, Google Cloud will also invest significantly in related areas.

“We are investing heavily in sales, service, partner and operational teams,” Pichai said. “… We are looking to triple the size of our sales force over the next few years. And we are doing it aggressively in major markets around the world.”

For much more detail on what those go-to-market strategies will involve, please see Inside Google Cloud’s Resurgence: 10 Key Messages from CEO Thomas Kurian.

2. Anthos: Google Cloud’s big play for multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments.

“Customers need flexibility to move to cloud in their own way,” Pichai said. The new Anthos platform will offer customers not only an open architecture in support of those environments, but also advanced security. You can get the big picture on Anthos and what it means to customers and to Google Cloud in Google ‘Anthos’ and New CEO Turn Up the Heat On Microsoft and Amazon.

3. New head of Global Field Operations Rob Enslin.

Enslin joined Google Cloud several weeks ago from SAP, where he’d held a similar role for several years until recently taking over SAP’s Cloud Business Group.

Enslin has an incredible range of contacts in every industry and every region of the world. He understands the wants and needs of enterprise customers as well as anyone. It looks like he’s already making some big progress at Google Cloud, and he’ll be indispensable to Kurian in adding not just bodies but a customer-centric spirit to the global sales team.

4. Kurian’s turned Google Cloud into a growth engine for Alphabet.

“Within ‘Other Revenue,’ once again cloud was the largest driver, and it was also the third-largest driver of revenue growth for Alphabet overall,” said Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat during the call. In a high-growth company, that’s quite an achievement for Kurian and his team.

5. Google’s leadership in AI and ML.

The company’s “AI and ML solutions are helping healthcare organizations like Sanofi accelerate drug discovery” to improve the healthcare experience and outcomes, Pichai said. Healthcare is among the six key vertical markets Kurian has targeted for deep penetration.

6. An enterprise cloud you can depend on.

Noting that “customers are choosing Google Cloud for a variety of reasons,” Pichai put reliability and uptime at the top of the list of those factors. “Reliability and uptime are critical, and retailers like Lowe’s are leveraging our cloud as important tools to transform their customer experience and supply chain.”

7. G Suite.

Saying that “G Suite continues to be a valued set of productivity and work-transformation apps,” CFO Porat noted that G Suite’s ongoing strong growth is the result of both new pricing and seat growth.

8. The surging significance of data management and data analytics.

“Scalable data management and data-analytics solutions are another strength of Google Cloud,” Pichai said.

“Vodafone is using cloud to drive real-time customer and network analytics, and BrightInsight, a healthcare platform for connected devices and drugs, is using Google Cloud solutions to improve its security and compliance.”

9. The force-multiplier effect of ecosystems.

Highlighting a new initiative called Partner Advantage, Pichai said ecosystems are essential in “really expanding our customer-facing bench.” He went so far as to say, “We’re used to building ecosystems—we’ve done it in other areas. If you look at an ecosystem like Android, this is what we do.”

10. Boosting its data-center portfolio.

To support not only Google Cloud but “all of Google services, globally, we broke ground on three data centers and launched our new Osaka Cloud region, the seventh in Asia Pacific,” Pichai said. On top of that, the company’s also announced plans for its seventh cloud region in the U.S. with a new one targeted for Las Vegas.

For more on where Google Cloud’s heading, please check out the following:

Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Google Cloud was a client of Cloud Wars Media LLC.


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