LIVE: Google Apps Event–"The Enterprise Cloud"
- The title of this morning’s presentation is “Google Apps: The Enterprise Cloud.” Presiding over it, Andrew Kovaks from Google’s cloud computing team and Dave Girouard, president of Google’s Enterprise division. According to the schedule provided, it will feature a CIO roundtable discussion as well as some new product demos.
- Girouard kicks things off with a quick overview of the business. Google (GOOG)is a 10-and-a-half-year-old company, he says, adding that Google Apps is about half as old as that. “We’re about five, five-and-a-half years into this initiative.”
- Girouard says the current recession has made cloud computing more urgent, more necessary. “This has been a really difficult environment. Everyone is feeling it and we need to respond…It’s important to invest in difficult times, especially during times when everything is telling you to cut back.” Great companies thrive during downturns, he notes, adding that Google is investing in Apps, because the company views it as an area the company can grow into for quite some time to come.
- Looking backwards for a moment, Girouard notes that this particular side of Google’s business was born out the company’s search app and then Gmail. Gmail, he adds, was initially conceived as an internal app before it was rolled out to the consumer market.
- A few interesting data points:
–70 percent of the universities in the US are in the process of outsourcing or moving their email to a cloud computing solution.
–Google now has 1.75 million businesses on Google Apps.
–It has more than 15 million active users.
–Dozens of Apps customers with more than 1,000 employees.
- Increasingly, larger companies are moving to Google Apps. Among them, Genentech (DNA), the first large business to “go Google.” A Genentech rep is on hand to talk up the company’s experience which, obviously, was a positive one.
Also, a recent advocate of Google Apps, Avago–the first company with over $1.5 billion in revenue to use Google Apps as a suite. “We save over $1.6 million a year using Google Apps,” says the Avago rep.
Another recent Google App convert, Morgans Hotel Group, the proprietor of the Clift Hotel, at which this event is being held. The Clift rep says the platform has had a tremendous impact on the company already and it’s only just made the switch.
- So why are companies adopting Google Apps? A few reasons: Radically lower costs, obviously. But also a steady stream of innovation. We haven’t exactly seen that from Google yet as I noted in the introduction, but presumably there will be some evidence of it on display later this morning.
To be fair, Google did make a few additions to Apps last year–APIs and whatnot. Girouard offers Gmail offline and Secure Data Connector as examples of this. The company has made other, smaller, enhancements as well, such as extensibility features and enterprise Interoperability features.
- Interesting. Girouard says Google Apps often provides a 3X cost savings over other non-cloud solutions. He also says Google believes it has a more reliable product than most. The company is holding itself to that claim by being more transparent about downtime and service incidents. He notes the Apps Status Dashboard, which tracks up and downtime, as a move in this direction.
- “Failure is not an option,” says Girouard. His mandate to his team: There can be no failed deployments. Enterprise deployment and support must be streamlined and easy.