Google, which celebrates 10 years of its incorporation this month, remains strongly committed to its Enterprise unit and to the customers it serves, including IT and business managers and CIOs, although most of the company's revenue comes from online advertising.
That's the pledge from Matthew Glotzbach, product management director of Google's Enterprise team, who chatted with IDG News Service about why Google has decided to slug it out in the enterprise software market with heavy hitters such as Microsoft and IBM. He also outlined Google's expectations for products such as its Apps Premier hosted collaboration and communication suite and its Search Appliance enterprise search device.
Here is an edited transcript of the interview:
Why does Google, the undisputed world champion in search engine advertising and usage, want to get into the difficult market of providing collaboration and communication software for workplace use with its Apps Premier hosted application suite?
At the heart of all aspects of Google is the user. As we continue to evolve from starting in search and expanding into online applications of all different sorts, it's still really been around this principle of how to provide a great user experience. What we realize is that the user has all the same technology challenges, and needs a lot of the same tools, both in their consumer life and also their work life. We set out to bring that great experience we provide to consumers over to the enterprise. That's also helped along by this overarching trend in technology of bringing the consumer and work life together as they blur more. As more consumer technologies take hold in the enterprise, we see a lot of opportunity to further that trend and bring some of the great user capabilities and technology into the business environment.
How big do you estimate is the revenue opportunity in the markets in which your enterprise products play, like Apps Premier in collaboration and communication software and the Search Appliance in enterprise search?
It's obviously a very big market. When you look at the global IT spend at the highest level, it's I think in the range of US$1.5 trillion. I give the advertising team a hard time and tell them that if we go by those numbers, my market is about twice the size as theirs. IT in the business environment is a very big market, and if you then bring it down to the specific spaces we're in, especially around communication, collaboration and search, in and of themselves, those are multibillion-dollar markets, and I think we're the leader in the next generation of technology to serve those markets. Our approach in the cloud computing model is the next big revolution in the way computing is done, and we have a very big opportunity there to capitalize and build Google's second-largest business.