Google Cloud hires SAP alum Kazmaier, unifies database, data analytics, Looker units

Kazmaier was President of SAP HANA & Analytics and led SAP's global product, solution and engineering teams for database, data warehousing and analytics.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google Cloud named former SAP executive Gerrit Kazmaier general manager for Databases, Data Analytics and Looker in a move that consolidates data units.

Kazmaier, who starts on Monday, will report to Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure and Google Fellow at Google. Andi Gutmans, vice president of engineering for databases at Google, Debanjan Saha, general manager of data analytics, and Ronaldo Ama, general manager of Looker, will all report to Kazmaier.

Google Cloud has been building out its industry expertise with hires from enterprise software giants such as SAP and Oracle. 

Most recently, Kazmaier was President of SAP HANA & Analytics and led SAP's global product, solution and engineering teams for database, data warehousing and analytics.

Kazmaier also was vice president of SAP Analytics Cloud. At SAP, Kazmaier focused on enabling customers to share and utilize data across enterprises. On February 1, Kazmaier said he was leaving SAP via a post on LinkedIn. "The questions: "how will this help our customers?" and "how will this help the people working in this organization?" are guiding stars for me," said Kazmaier, who thanked SAP and said he was going to pursue a new career opportunity. 

We caught up with Kazmaier to talk about his new role at Google Cloud and the data businesses. Here are a few highlights.

  • Integration between Google Cloud's data products. Kazmaier said aligning Google's data portfolio is going to "unlock a new set of opportunities to look across them." There are new workflows possible and a much closer relationship between data, analytics, transactional and unstructured data types, he said. "We're looking at a unique blend of simplicity, integration and workflows," said Kazmaier.
  • The intersection of enterprise business processes and data. Kazmaier said his nearly 11 years at SAP gave him an understanding of enterprise business processes that can be applied to Google Cloud's data businesses. What his data portfolio gives him now is the ability to work with data outside of the ERP realm, he said. "We will be seeing how those business processes can be augmented and reinvented," said Kazmaier.
  • Industry specific use cases. Kazmaier said there will be data workflows specifically for industries, but there will be a lot of data commonality across verticals. Yes, Google Cloud is targeting multiple verticals such as retail, financial services and media, but at a basic level "the ability to work with data is a requirement for being successful across all industries and all functions," he said. Google's ability to process and analyze data at scale as well as use machine learning and artificial intelligence will give enterprises the ability to find patterns that lead to value quickly, he said.
  • Blurring data roles. Kazmaier said that traditional data roles have been structured around technologies. He expects roles ranging from database administrator, data scientist and business operators to blend together. "The true value of data is understanding it as an ability not a technology," said Kazmaier. "It's not an integrated set of skills as much as it is developing a data sense." 
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