We had the opportunity to attend Google’s Google Next conference, happening in San Francisco from March 7th till 11th at Moscone West. San Francisco ‘dressed’ up in Google Next colors already way ahead of the event, it was clear that this would be a much bigger event than last year’s Google Cloud Platform event. And a difference it was, also aided by the combination of Google Cloud and GSuite, the number of analysts jumped from 20 or so to estimated 80+. No official attendee numbers, with a lot of Googlers lining up to attend, too, my estimate is well over 2000, when all are counted. 


So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)


No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):
Want to read on? 
Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:
Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
Schmidt shares his 3 step program for moving to the cloud

Google is serious about Enterprise – It was already clear from the hiring of Greene and last year’s event. But it’s one thing to say it and then to deliver on it. Greene shared that the division is the fastest growing in headcount with over 1000 new hires, Schmidt shared today that over time Google has invested 30B+ US$ into the cloud infrastructure. As Greene shared earlier the ‘business’ things are easy – the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ – but it still needs to be executed. So Google for the first time had a partner event with the conference and showed it has attracted interest from all the large SIs. It’s a lot of progress on the partner numbers, but a totally different ball game than with the other two key players. It was also good to have more enterprise customers on stage, talking to Greene on different carefully selected use cases – Disney for an ‘All in’, HSBC for a data warehouse decommission an move to cloud, Home Depot as a website / commerce reference and eBay as an enterprise showcase for an inhouse built next gen app – a Google Home powered eBay application. 
Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
Greene talks Google Cloud

Machine Learning remains the carrot – Not surprisingly, Machine Learning remains the core attraction for Google Cloud. Disney’s CTO clearly labelled it as the reason why Disney is building apps on Google Cloud. Newly minted head of AI / Machine Learning Fei Fei Li shared the visions and unveiled (next to the Cloud Speech, Vision, Translate and Natural Language APIs) the new Video Intelligence API. No surprise given YouTube is part of Alphabet, but very powerful to index and find things in video, e.g. all the beach scenes in your vacation videos. Can’t wait for it to come to Google Photos. Or find out how many of my videos where in cars, at airports or somewhere else. But the key announcement – with long term impact – is Google’s acquisition of Kaggle, the analytics, machine learning, AI community, famous for its competitions. A key acquisition that could – if well executed – further bolster the Machine Learning / AI leadership of Google: It’s not enough to have great software capabilities, you also need to educate people about them and win their hearts and minds as a community. The strategy is clear here, now Google will have to show that it can create, foster a vendor independent ecosystem around Machine Learning. 
Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
Google'e Fei Fei Li announces the Kaggle acquisition

Google gets SAP HANA – The major news in regards of ‘meeting the enterprise, where the enterprise is’ (the slogan from last year) was that SAP HANA is now certified on Google Cloud. Leukert was there to unveil the news with Greene, certainly a good move, that shows SAP’s multi vendor cloud strategy. You can / will be able to run SAP products on all three major IaaS. The SAP Hana Express developer product is available, too, with SAP Cloud platform coming later. And when Colgate came on stage, it was clear that SAP to GSuite integration is also on the roadmap. More options for SAP customers is a good development, it may make it easier for SAP to sell more HANA going forward. And Google gets load for Google Cloud. The usual ‘SaaS vendor picks IaaS’ move. The only downside: SAP is working hard to get its customers to HANA – so it is not the bulk of the current load where SAP customers are from an on premises install base. That would be SAP customers running mySAP ERP etc. – mostly on Oracle. 
Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
Google's Greene and SAP's Leukert on SAP HANA coming to GCP


A lot of good progress from Google on the Google products for the enterprise, both Cloud and GSuite. The conference has only started – so more is going to come for both products in the days to come. The Google Enterprise team is working hard, no doubt and has made progress in the last 12 months with partners, support and create more unique offerings e.g. the site reliability engineer for customers, a start up program etc. etc.

On the concern side, it is not clear if this will be enough, I asked the Greene leadership team on what they will do to catchup from ‘Bronze to Gold’ and they all came up with good and plausible answers (check out my Storify of the analyst event here). But in a year where we may see VMware running on AWS and Oracle making its cloud work first time – this may not be enough for Google to get on premises load of scale. So it all comes back to the speed of Google being able to attract enterprise load for the next few years, and the speed of the enterprise moving to cloud.

In the meantime, when enterprises have to build new software, the Google capabilities are very attractive for the next generation application use cases the 21st century demands. So in the short run this could well mean that Google can attract more next generation application use cases than attract traditional enterprise IT loads. We will be watching, stay tuned.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). And if interested in the Analyst Summit from Tuesday this week - there is a Storify collection here.

More about Google:
  • New Analysis – Google enables citizen developers and developers with Google App Maker - read here
  • First Take - Google enters enterprise software space with Google Jobs API - read here
  • Event Report - Google I/O 2016 - Android N soon, Google assistant sooner and VR / AR later - read here
  • First Take - Google Google I/O 2016 - Day #1 Keynote - Enterprise Takeaways - read here
  • Event Preview - Google's Google I/O 2016 - read here
  • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - read here
  • First Take - Google Cloud Platform - Takeaways Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - Google launches Cloud Dataproc - read here
  • Musings - Google re-organizes - will it be about Alpha or Alphabet Soup? Read here
  • Event Report - Google I/O - Google wants developers to first & foremost build more Android apps - read here
  • First Take - Google I/O Day #1 Keynote - it is all about Android - read here
  • News Analysis - Google does it again (lower prices for Google Cloud Platform), enterprises take notice - read here
  • News Analyse - Google I/O Takeaways Value Propositions for the enterprise - read here 
  • Google gets serious about the cloud and it is different - read here
  • A tale of two clouds - Google and HP - read here
  • Why Google acquired Talaria - efficiency matters - read here

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.