I attended the Google Enterprise CIO Summit at the Google offices in Cambridge yesterday. Dave Girouard, Rajen Sheth and Alex Diacre presented. Couple of interesting takeaways/quotes:
- Google is the worlds 4th largest manufacturer of servers – behind Dell, HP, IBM. They build them to run in their own data centers. It’s the kind of overlooked data point that helps people understand the vast resources Google can/will put behind their Enterprise IT business.
- Google Enterprise is currently profitable as a standalone business.
- Dave Girouard did an excellent job of explaining why continuous innovation is the key to Google’s future in the Enterprise. Right now they are innovating to make email and calendar migrations meet Enterprise requirements – but in the near near future they will be delivering differentiated apps and features and platform capabilities that will drive adoption of Google as a core Enterprise vendor. Today they differentiate primarily on ROI – and they have a strong story there – but in the not too distant future Google will differentiate on feature/functionality (think of the role Wave can potentially play in changing enterprise communications). This should scare Microsoft.
- The customer stories and case studies show that Google Enterprise is still in an early adopter phase. Lots of patterns and best practices are yet to be sorted out.
- Money quote from a large customer that recently migrated from exchange to Gmail – “dumping Exchange/Outlook was a big step towards getting everything into the browser”. “Everything into the browser” is a good way of thinking about where cloud computing is taking Enterprise IT and if Enterprise IT is moving to an “everything into the browser” world – that’s a world where Google is, without doubt, one of the winners.