What is Diane Greene's new company doing
In a blog post, Greene wrote that Thomas Kurian (51) would join Google on November 26, 2018 after 22 years at Oracle - most recently as President responsible for product development. Greene wanted to train him so that he could become the new CEO of Google's cloud division early next year. She had the talks with Kurian together with Google boss Sundar Pichai and the senior vice president responsible for technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle.
As one of the founders of VMware, Greene has a long history in the IT industry. She has been a member of the Google Board of Directors since 2012, and three years later she was given responsibility for Google's cloud business. "When I took over the cloud business from Google in December 2015 and joined the company full-time, I promised my family and friends that I would do this job for two years. Now, after three incredibly stimulating and productive years, it is that Time to focus on my real passion: training and mentoring. "
Google is only number four in the cloud business
However, it is also a fact that Greene arranged spectacular cloud deals for Google - including Spotify and Snap. Ultimately, however, it was hardly able to narrow the gap to the market leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. According to the Synergy Research Group, Amazon dominates the cloud infrastructure market (IaaS, PaaS, hosted private cloud) to 34 percent. Microsoft as number two (15 percent) recently managed to shorten the gap to AWS a little. IBM, Google and Alibaba follow with single-digit percentages each.
As the news service "CNBC" reports, the alphabet management is said to have been rather taciturn on the cloud progress when the last quarterly figures were presented. CEO Pichai said he saw "strong indicators" that the big investments would pay off. The group will now gradually close larger deals. In fact, however, there have been no facts or figures on the course of business to date, which some analysts interpreted as a "not very encouraging sign".
Focus on artificial intelligence
Under the leadership of Greene, the Google Cloud Platform was heavily geared towards innovative technologies around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. A number of customers appreciate this focus on technically advanced solutions, but the big money in the market has recently been made with basic tasks such as the lift-and-shift relocation of core infrastructures to the public cloud - and AWS and Microsoft in particular have benefited from this with Azure -Cloud benefits.
By naming the long-time Oracle manager Thomas Kurian, Google is taking a risk. Google is an engineering-driven company with a longstanding focus on the consumer business. Oracle, however, has always been focused on business customers, the software giant not only had a strong focus on development, but above all on marketing and sales. A better oiled sales machine than Oracle can hardly be found in the ICT market.
For Kurian, it is therefore important to reorganize Google's enterprise business, create more professional sales structures and thereby broaden the cloud business. However, if the manager wants to introduce Oracle methods at Google, he has to proceed with caution: Google employees are known to have a mind of their own.
Google engineers do not accept military contracts
When Greene wanted to supply the US military with AI tools for analyzing drone images, there was an uprising among Google engineers. The manager had to back down, the Google employees formulated a catalog of ethics, which now forbids the company to provide artificial intelligence for military purposes or the production of weapons. Google has also withdrawn from the tender for a $ 10 billion military cloud computing contract, citing the alleged lack of certifications for handling sensitive data as the reason.
Kurian's time out at Oracle turned into a farewell
Kurian had surprisingly announced a "break" at Oracle on September 5, 2018 after a report by "Bloomberg" reported that he had argued with founder Larry Ellison (74) about the course of the software company. It was obviously about how far Oracle should open up and make its software available on the cloud infrastructures of competitors such as AWS and Microsoft. Kurian, who was responsible for the infrastructure business and thus also the IaaS offerings, no longer saw any future in Ellison's proprietary course. (see also: Oracle Introduces New Cloud Generation)
The importance of Kurian to Oracle can also be seen in the fact that he was able to report directly to Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Ellison, while CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz reported to the Board of Directors overseen by Ellison. According to insider reports, the infrastructure unit of Oracle is now again managed directly by Ellison - which makes a departure from the proprietary course unlikely.
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