Customers Speak Out About “Going Google”

April 29, 2013 Appirio

By David Salyers (@davesalyers)

What does real estate, modern furniture, movies and CRM software have in common? They’re all in a better place because of Google Enterprise.

Last week Appirio sponsored and helped lead the first Going Google Roadshow of the season, an invite-only event where enterprises can learn more about Google’s vision for the enterprise, including SaaS, big data analytics, cloud storage, Chrome devices and mobility. The event, held at Google’s striking San Francisco office, was in high demand, drawing more than 400 registrants from some of the biggest companies in the Bay Area.

Going Google Roadshow in San Francisco

There were a number of great speakers, but as expected, some of the most interesting insights came from the users themselves during a customer panel I was lucky enough to moderate entitled “The Visionaries”. Representing a wide range of industries and serving collectively almost 15,000 employees, they were:

  • Chris Barry, SVP of Transformation and Planning at Salesforce.com
  • Mike Kail, VP of IT Operations at NetFlix
  • Bethany Kemp, VP of Information Systems at Design Within Reach
  • Jeff McConathy, VP of Engineering, Consumer Services at Trulia

Customers Going Google
Customer Panel at Going Google Roadshow – San Francisco

While every customer on this panel moved to Google Enterprise for slightly different reasons, they all have since become passionate advocates of the Google Platform. For some, it’s about the small things. For Bethany at Design Within Reach, they love using Google Hangouts to communicate and meet across different sites and tap into Google Forms (surveys) to quickly gather information from their designers in the field. For Mike at NetFlix, he was happy to finally rid himself of the need to do “Enterprise License Calculus” to true up their Microsoft licenses. This not only freed his team from a two-day process every quarter but also improved their budgeting and forecasting ability. Mike also talked about the benefits of easily syncing calendars on the employees devices which are 90% Mac and 10% iOS.

But it’s about the big items too. For Chris at Salesforce.com, who is rolling out Google Apps to 10,000+ employees globally, it was the “trust factor” and being 100% confident that their partner shared their same paranoia to protect customer data as they did. For Jeff at Trulia, it was the ability to create a richer experience for house hunters who want to better understand the neighborhoods where they’re looking for homes. The openness, community and tools around Google Maps lets Trulia pull everything from crime data, school information and Yelp reviews into their offering.

Google Cloud Platform

That’s the magic of Google and why they are making such inroads into the enterprise. Google, like many other cloud vendors, gets that it’s the combination of both big and small things that makes people want to use the products and, more importantly, keep using them. Yes, Google’s platform can help reduce data center costs and improve business agility, but it’s sometimes those little features and side benefits add up in a big way to make employees more productive and improve a customer’s experience.

David Salyers plays a key role in helping customers maximize the impact of Google technologies in their business. He is based in Chicago and has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry.

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