Google gets down to serious business with ‘Google for Work’

Google’s business portfolio is undergoing a dramatic revision, starting by changing the names of its enterprise products and teams.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO — With Labor Day behind us, Google is getting back to work, starting with a complete branding revamp for its enterprise unit.

Unveiled at Google’s San Francisco offices on Tuesday, Google Enterprise will now be known as “Google for Work,” lining it up with the Drive for Work debuts back at Google I/O in June.

The Google Enterprise unit chief, Amit Singh, described the revision as the “second act” for Google’s business cloud offerings.

"The way people work at work is using products in a lot more depth and detail than they would in their consumer lives,” Singh posited, estimating the average employee spends more than 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. "Some of us more than our fair share every week,” he laughed.

Singh also predicted that bringing “Google to Work” will be also much easier to explain (and sell) to people than “some arbitrary” terminology.

More than 60 percent of the Fortune 500 are actively using a paid, enterprise product from Google, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered corporation.

Google also boasted more than 30 million students, teachers, administrators are using Google Apps for Education.

As users — not just IT admins — are making more choices, Singh explained Google for Work better reflects the new work environments we are all working in.

"That focus on the user is everything we do,” stressed Shailesh Rao, director of Google Cloud Platform. 2014 has proved to be a big year for the Google Cloud Platform, and Rao hinted at yet more to come this year by noting the department is actively hiring and promoting people within as well as recruiting worldwide.

Jocelyn Ding, vice president of enterprise operations at Google, briefly outlined some of the changes on the way in addition to the marketing shift — namely technical and deployment upgrades focused on quality, speed, and service level targets.

"Every part of the stack is being thrown up in the air and being reinvented — not just by us but the entire industry,” Sheth observed.

"Great support only comes from support organizations that are tightly integrated with product organizations,” Ding insisted.

Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Apps, highlighted the large pool of security engineers (more than 450) on tap alone while also touting Google’s successful bug bounty program to detect and patch up holes before they can be breached.

"With anything you do in business, you need to figure out your key insight,” insisted Rajen Sheth, project manager for Chromebooks and Android.

For Google, Sheth argued the internet giant’s key insights — or “second nature” — start with the development of “transformative interfaces” on Google Apps for business and education well as a “tremendous” datacenter infrastructure built in-house.

"Now the cloud is really a given for clients,” Sheth said. "We have the knowledge of how to use the cloud for the best possible uses for a variety of applications.”

Singh, who joined Google after years at Oracle, admitted that he and his team "never started out to build a traditional enterprise group.”

"Google seemed to have all the assets. They just had to come together in a way that appealed to customers,” Singh remarked.

Looking forward, Sheth reiterated Singh’s definition as a second act for the department, adding that its more than a name change — it's a total mind shift.

Sheth observed, "Every part of the stack is being thrown up in the air and being reinvented — not just by us but the entire industry."

For another look at the platform formerly known as Google Enterprise and now Google for Work, check out the promo clip below:

Editorial standards