New Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian says that he's borrowing from the Oracle playbook to help catch up to Amazon and Microsoft
- Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian plans to borrow some strategies from Oracle's strategies to help the search giant catch up to its peers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the cloud wars, he tells the Wall Street Journal.
- Kurian plans to have Google Cloud work on serving specific markets, expand the sales force, and invest in technology that would allow it to serve customers on those other clouds, too.
- Kurian estimates to the Journal that Google Cloud's sales team is between one-tenth and one-fifteenth the size of those at AWS and Microsoft Azure, but he plans to get that ratio up to 50%.
- Kurian spent over two decades at Oracle before joining Google in late 2018.
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Right now, Google is widely considered to be lagging far behind Amazon and Microsoft when it comes to the cloud. But new Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian plans to change all that with some strategies he learned from the two decades-plus he spent at Oracle.
Kurian plans to have Google Cloud massively expand its sales team and develop new technology that allows programmers to develop applications that run on all three clouds - the same way that Java, the Oracle-owned programming language, has become an industry standard, he tells the Wall Street Journal.
And, like Oracle, he also plans to have Google Cloud hone in and provide products for specific industries like healthcare, retail, finance, or the automotive industry. In general, he says, he wants to take inspiration from Oracle's expertise in working with (and selling to) large enterprise customers.
"There are certain things that you learn having dealt with enterprise customers for 22 years," Kurian told the Journal.
Kurian estimated to the Journal that Google Cloud's sales team is only between one-tenth and one-fifteenth the size of the sales teams at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. But he's planning to ramp up this tiny fraction, with goals of making Google Cloud's sales teams half the size of its peers.
Although this may be a high bar to reach, Kurian told the Journal that Oracle has added as many as 4,000 employees to its sales team in one year, showing that it's possible. However, some customers told the Journal that they hope Kurian will not bring Oracle's hardball sales tactics to Google Cloud along with these tactics.
Kurian's comments to the Journal echo his previous public statements. Back in February, Kurian said he plans to expand Google Cloud's customer support team, addressing one of the most regular complaints about the company, while also pledging to go after specific industries.
"Historically, people have thought Google has a strong presence in the digital-native community," Kurian said in February. "Over the last 12 months, we've shifted our strategy to go after more traditional industries ...We're going to specialize our sales team to talk to specific industries in the language of the industry."
Kurian became Google Cloud's CEO in January after replacing Diane Greene.
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