Step 1 for Google Cloud's new CEO: Build a robust sales force
- Google Cloud is working to grow its sales force as part of an effort to compete in the cloud market "much more aggressively" going forward, said new CEO Thomas Kurian, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, CNBC reports.
- Kurian is taking over for former CEO Diane Greene, who left after three years. When asked about Google's efforts to build a robust sales and support staff, Kurian said the company has increased spending in that area by a factor of four, reports Fortune.
- Kurian did not outline specific goals for growing the sales force, but wants to create an enterprise staff that can respond quickly if businesses experience issues with the company's technology, according to Fortune.
It's hard to know exactly how Google Cloud is performing because Alphabet does not break out its earnings during quarterly reports. With the help of market research, industry is left to estimate its sales, based on Google's announcements.
Last year, Google more than doubled the number of deals worth $1 million and multiyear contracts signed, said CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking during the Q4 earnings call last week. In 2018, G suite also reached 5 million paying customers.
Google Cloud has made headway in the enterprise market, but its traction pales in comparison to industry leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. AWS holds well over one-third of the cloud infrastructure services, boasting as much market share as Microsoft, Google, IBM and Alibaba combined, according to recent data from Synergy Research Group.
Google is doing "really well" in reaching parity with industry leaders in terms of features and services, but it still has a long way to go, said John Rymer, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, in an interview with CIO Dive.
Greene brought a certain amount of enterprise software maturity to the sales force when she joined three years ago, said Rymer. When she got there, Google didn't have a standard enterprise contract; every deal with customers was a one-off.
Now it's Kurian's turn to grow Google's enterprise business.
To scale the business, Kurian will have to stand between the engineering and sales organization, translating Google's technology acumen to business buyers.
The biggest question hanging over Kurian is whether he can adapt his expertise leading big product organizations and curating a sales channel to what makes Google special, Rymer said.
Follow Naomi Eide on Twitter