- Google says it has been succesful in wooing SAP customers to Google Cloud, strengthening its existing partnership with the enterprise software giant.
- That’s good news for new Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, formerly of Oracle, the bitter SAP rival.
- Analysts say Kurian appears to be shaping Google Cloud into a stronger player in a competitive business.
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Google says it’s wooing more SAP clients to Google Cloud, which is good news for the company’s new cloud chief who once battled it out with the enterprise software giant.
"The world’s largest businesses run SAP applications, and increasingly, they’re doing it on Google Cloud," the company said in a blog post. "Since announcing our partnership with SAP two years ago, we’ve been expanding our support for SAP customers."
It’s a striking statement given the recent big shakeup at Google Cloud — which is now led by CEO Thomas Kurian, a former longtime exec at Oracle, which is a bitter rival with SAP in the database software market in particular.
Kurian, who took over in January, replaced Diane Greene, who played a key role in building Google Cloud and helped strengthen the business’ SAP ties.
Despite some of that baggage, Kurian appears to be succeeding, highlighted by the post on Google Cloud’s SAP wins, some analysts say.
Kurian has said it plans to borrow from the Oracle playbook in leading Google Cloud as it takes on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the cloud arena, by focusing on building a robust salesforce. Last month, Google Cloud hired SAP exec Robert Enslin as president of global customer relations, a move that highlighted Kurian’s push to win bigger customers.
"He is clearly having an impact," IDC President Crawford Del Prete told Business Insider. "I think the biggest impact that he’s having is that he’s bringing a sales focus to the platform."
Wedbush analyst Steve Koenig downplayed any possible fallout from Kurian’s Oracle past in dealing with SAP, noting that a closer alliance between Google and SAP benefits both companies.
"Thomas is too smart and level-headed to do something that’s not in Google’s best interest," he told Business Insider. "The impact of this on Oracle, good or bad, is probably largely irrelevant to him. Google needs a leading application as a ‘tip of the arrow’ for migrating customer workloads to GCP, just like Microsoft had with Office 365 driving Azure. SAP is still the worldwide leader in enterprise applications. And it makes sense for SAP too."
In fact, the relationship between Google and SAP appears to have improved, especially after Enslin joined Kurian’s team, said analyst Ray Wang of Constellation Research.
"The Google team is now focused on what’s required to help partners succeed," he told Business Insider. "They are restoring trust in working with Google and focused at the CXO level."
Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group called Kurian’s decision to hire SAP’s Enslin was "brilliant." The alliance, he added, helps Google boost its "enterprise reputation," while helping SAP "deal with their customer complaints aggressively."
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