Bangalore: Google Inc.’s engineering centres in India primarily focus on building technologies for cloud computing—a metaphor for computing using resources over the Internet, and what Dave Girouard says is the single biggest change to have happened recently in information technology (IT).
Girouard, president of Google’s enterprise unit, says India and other emerging countries are moving on to cloud computing. Edited excerpts:
Pricing your Apps at one-tenth of the cost of competitors—is that the selling point for Google (Enterprise) now?
I think originally cost savings has been driving Google Apps and cloud computing in general. Today, it has grown far beyond that. Companies now want to build on new platforms and the old way is not sustainable, too complicated, and users don’t like the products. I think cost savings continues to be an important part; it is just the piece of a puzzle.
What is the revenue for your enterprise business?
We have grown a lot. We are just a few percentage of the revenue of Google, because Google has grown a lot. We are growing very rapidly and are profitable, and we are growing in a business that is tens of billions of dollars of opportunity... We have unique capabilities to become the leader in cloud computing.
Can you give us a forecast of how much revenue you would contribute in coming years?
We don’t forecast. Our general belief is that what percentage of Google’s revenue is from Enterprise, doesn’t matter. I do believe that we have an opportunity to grow into a billion dollar business for Google and, hopefully, beyond that. What time frame and all, we don’t know. But it is a giant market opportunity and we are putting in our resources to take advantage of that.
Your main competitor, Microsoft, is also aggressive in cloud computing.
Certainly, Microsoft is a challenge in this... But we think we have lot of unique capabilities in respect to the cloud. In our view, we are the only ones who speak the cloud natively. We grew up entirely delivering services via the Web. And we don’t have any legacy to drag along. We think we have some unique capability to get Google a step up than any other competitor.
But you still have technical issues in your Google Apps portfolio.
We always have to get better. The products have to mature, the services need to be better, we need to get more people on the street and we have to get more people aware of the enterprise products. These are all solvable problems. Cloud computing is the single biggest change that has happened in IT. And where there is a change, there is an opportunity for new leaders to emerge...
Where do you see growth coming from?
I think cloud computing is growing across markets. It is not disproportionate to one market, either US or Western Europe...Having said that,...in many ways, in the lesser developed economies, the legacy systems are not as entrenched. People are hopping or jumping to new ways of technology... Many countries are skipping client server and moving to cloud computing.
Are you seeing traction in Google applications in developing markets?
We have something in the range of hundred, thousand businesses in India...In developed markets, there are lots of Fortune 1,000 companies using Google Apps. People like Jaguar Land Rover, Seagate (Technology) are using (it).
Do you plan to replicate your experience with Jaguar Land Rover with other Tata group companies?
We have a partnership with TCS and I think the Tata group will be important partners beyond that. We will continue to build our relationship. It is important to say here that we certainly believe in India.
What is the partnership with TCS?
TCS is a reseller and integration partner for Google Apps. They are building a Google Apps practice to help enterprises move to the cloud.
We will work primarily through partners, because we will not have enough people to put on the streets to reach out to the people we want to across the country.