There has been a lot of buzz this year about Amazon, Microsoft, Citrix, IBM, and VMware, but what about Google? Google has seemed to me to be lacking a clear direction and focus in the way it pursues its business customers. Google has no problems taking care of any and all technical aspects of the business, but it has been missing one of the most important pieces. That piece is a strong, vibrant sales force.
It appears that Google has been aware of its shortcoming and in response hired Diane Greene in November of 2015 to transform its fragmented cloud business into something that can directly compete with Amazon and Microsoft. If the name Diane Greene sounds familiar to you, it would not be surprising, since she was the CEO and cofounder of VMware up until about eight years ago, when EMC—oops, I mean, what is now Dell—acquired the virtualization startup.
Diane Greene was never really someone who enjoyed being in the limelight. She prefers keeping a lower profile, and that is what she has done since her departure from VMware. She was working on a new startup called Bebop Technologies until Urs Hölzle, the engineer whose claim to fame is that he builds Google’s data centers and runs the technical side of the cloud business, talked her into coming to Google and teaming up with him. Not only did Greene accept the position, but she also sold Bebop Technologies to Google for $380 million. From the sale of Bebop Technologies, Greene walked away with about $149 million, and here is the best part: she and her husband, fellow VMware cofounder Mendel Rosenblum, donated the proceeds to charity.
Urs Hölzle believes that in a few years, the Greene-Hölzle team can make Google’s cloud business a bigger entity than Google’s ad business. That would be quite a feat in itself, considering that Google currently brings in the vast majority of its income from ad revenue. Diane Greene believes that a key to success for Google in the business world will be to embrace the idea of partnering with its customers to gain a better understanding of what different companies are excelling at as well as what areas they struggle with. This will allow Google to come up with solutions utilizing Google’s technologies that can help provide its customers a path for success.
Diane Greene might just be the right person to help make Google Business much more competitive with Amazon. However, we are talking about maybe five years before that goal is anywhere close to being achieved. I do not foresee Amazon tapping its brakes at all in the meantime. All signs seem to indicate that, ironically, the partnership between Amazon and VMware should help to drive corporate business customers over to Amazon. So, Google has its work cut out for it. I guess we will just have to see what we end up with in the next five to ten years from now.
To emphasize my point that Amazon has no intention of slowing down whatsoever, I would like to present the list of “12 cloud computing skills worth over $113,000 a year salary” that was published at Business Insider:
- No. 12: Amazon Redshift, $113,950
- No. 11: Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, $114,219
- No. 10: OpenStack, $116,605
- No. 9: Apache Kafka, $117,234
- No. 8: Amazon Key Management Service, $117,297
- No. 7: Amazon Kinesis, $121,429
- No. 6: Amazon Lambda, $121,481
- No. 5: Amazon CloudWatch, $121,980
- No. 4: Amazon ElastiCache, $136,250
- No. 3: Amazon CloudFormation, $132,308
- No. 2: Amazon Elastic MapReduce, $136,250
- No. 1: Amazon DynamoDB, $141,813
Does anyone else see the recurring theme for the cloud computing skills that are in the most demand? In my opinion, Google is really behind in its business offerings. I am not quite convinced that it will be able to achieve much more than possibly close some of the gap, and I am just not anywhere close to the point where I’d make bets against Amazon. So, what about Google? I guess we will just have to wait and see.