The business turnaround of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian

The business turnaround of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! This day: an examination of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s approach to making Google an enterprise player, why Microsoft plays a unique role in the global cybersecurity market, and this week in enterprise tech moves.

Redefining the meaning of ‘Googly’

Thomas Kurian’s 22 years of Oracle experience might have been just what Google Cloud needed.

Kurian, who last served as Oracle’s president of product development, perhaps he didn’t fit the Googler profile when he became CEO of Google Cloud, the No. 3 cloud provider, in 2019. But his top-to-bottom review of Alphabet’s cloud division has injected discipline and focus into him, and he has succeeded. some much-needed business credibility.

  • Kurian established Google Cloud’s open hybrid and multicloud approach to infrastructure, data analytics, cybersecurity, collaboration and communication, and industry-specific products and services.
  • Major corporations, including Deutsche Bank, Ford Motor Company, Mayo Clinic, Univision, and the US Air Force, have signed up as customers with Google Cloud since Kurian joined.
  • That customer buy-in is the best validation of Google Cloud’s new business readiness, Kurian told me during a recent interview.
  • “We have really transformed ourselves, and most of our largest customers have been very successful in adopting and using the cloud through their work with us,” he said.

Kurian’s Google Cloud makeover touched on most aspects of the business.

  • He brought in new senior leadership, tripled the sales force, fine-tuned product focus, implemented new systems to handle enterprise customers, and expanded Google Cloud’s global footprint.
  • “We had to develop a lot of functions that didn’t really exist before, whether it’s a commercial legal team to negotiate contracts, a sales organization, customer service, etc,” Kurian said.
  • Kurian also touched on the thorny issue of Google Cloud’s engineering culture. “We needed to add this customer focus and make a lot of our innovation customer-driven,” he said.

The work is paying off for Google Cloud, whose annual revenue, which includes GCP and Google Workspace, increased approximately 230% under Kurian to $19.2 billion in 2021.

  • “We certainly see GCP as an enterprise-ready cloud marketplace, or we would never be in the process of moving our workloads,” said Keith Silvestri, chief technology officer at KeyBank. “From a maturity perspective, from production support, from the investments they make in security, through how they’re organized, absolutely.”
  • Although Google Cloud continues to operate at a loss ($931 million at the end of March), parent company Alphabet has said it is taking a long-term view with its cloud business.
  • Google Cloud’s biggest challenge now is expanding globally, according to Kurian.
  • “We want to expand to more countries, to more industries, and there is a lot of work underway to expand our data center footprint around the world, as well as our sales, distribution and service organizations around the world,” he said.

Read our full report on the Kurian Google Cloud switch here.

— Donna Goodison (E-mail | twitter)


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Tracking down cyber-spies

The revelation this week that Russia has increased its cyber espionage against governments that support Ukraine is a big deal, not only because of the threat it points to, but also because of who revealed it.

Microsoft released a report On Wednesday it said it has tracked 128 network intrusions by Russia in total since the Ukraine invasion, mostly against government agencies (49%), but also includes IT companies (20%), critical infrastructure organizations (19% ) and NGOs (12%). The United States has been the main target of Russia’s espionage efforts, but 42 countries in total have been targeted, according to the company.

The disclosure is a reminder that while Russia’s cyber retaliation has yet to manifest itself, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Microsoft said that 29% of the Russian attacks it tracked were successful, and in a quarter of those breaches, Russia managed to exfiltrate data.

The report also showcases the unique role that Microsoft, a cybersecurity powerhouse that has insight into customers around the world, has taken on, said Justin Fier, vice president of Tactical Risk and Response at Darktrace.

“Now we have a large private sector organization that is putting out information, or espionage allegations, that would normally come from the United States government itself,” Fier said. If such information came to light: “Espionage has generally not been something that is talked about openly,” he noted.

But as defenders seek to weigh the level of cyber threats from Russia, such information is an important asset, Fier said. Microsoft has data that “probably some governments don’t even have access to,” she said. “I take my hat off to them for doing that.”

—Kyle AlspachE-mail | twitter)

around the company

Intel said it would delay the opening ceremony for its Ohio chip manufacturing campus because Congress has yet to pass the $52 billion Token Act, a pretty transparent and ridiculously unrealistic threat to take your ball and go home.

Broadcom-VMware deal may not be finalized until next year – in any case – now that European regulators plan to carry out a more extensive investigation than anticipated, according to the Financial Times.

Chinese chip designers might consider forking the open source standard RISC-V to circumvent any future sanctions on chip manufacturing equipment and technology.

AWS announced CodeWhisperer, an AI powered code writing tool that sounds very similar to GitHub Copilot, which became generally available this week.


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Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

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