HEAD IN THE CLOUDS: Week 4


Man with clouds for a head and wearing a bowler hat

It is hard to stay on top of the latest news, events and rumblings tied to cloud computing and the cloud vendors responsible for it.  For many of us, our memories are not what they use to be, making it even harder to keep up.  Here are a few conversational topics that have come up recently, along with my thoughts, perspectives and observations:

Rob Enslin Joins Google Cloud – It Made Too Much Sense

As I thought and predicted, it was announced last week and shortly after Google Cloud Next wrapped up, that former SAP executive Robert Enslin would be joining Google Cloud as President of Global Customer Operations. To be honest, it really wasn’t that bold of a prediction and it wasn’t all that surprising if you were paying attention — it made too much sense for both parties.

Google Cloud is clearly focused on landing more enterprise customers and grabbing coveted market share.  First, they brought in former Oracle executive, Thomas Kurian, to be CEO and now they have 27-year SAP veteran Enslin to jump aboard.

Kurian said during Google Cloud Next that they would be significantly expanding Google Cloud’s go-to-market organization.  I would say getting Enslin on board is a significant addition.  While he’s only one man, he comes with a wealth of experience and a network of enterprise executives he can call upon to start a discussion around why Google Cloud is the cloud partner to be considered for digital transformation initiatives.

I also fully expect to hear news of members of both SAP and Oracle’s sales and product organization starting to migrate over to Google Cloud.  If you are an SAP and/or Oracle customer, you need to start preparing yourselves for account team turnover.  Account team turnover and the associated “transition meeting” calendar invites are already fairly common in the industry (not just with SAP and Oracle — you can throw Salesforce and others into the mix as well).

Needless to say, it is going to get very interesting in the days ahead for Google Cloud and the enterprise customers that are going to be approached.  I will be paying close attention as many of our clients are already starting to get the knock on the door or are already in discussions.  Some have even already adopted.

I also fully expect more announcements in the near future coming out of Google Cloud, centered around building portfolio strength and expanding its offerings to get more enterprise customers to adopt.  I would not be surprised to see an acquisition coming soon as well.  I am not a betting man (I feel like I have been saying that phrase a lot lately — maybe I am one?) but ServiceNow, LogMeIn and Workday are worth keeping an eye on.

Salesforce Set to Acquire MapAnything

Last week, Salesforce signed a definitive agreement to acquire MapAnything.  The purchase price has not been disclosed but it is safe to say this was a very smart move on Salesforce’s part and it makes perfect sense as it continues to look for ways to expand the features and capabilities of its various (and market leading) cloud offerings to map (no pun intended) directly to the known needs of their targeted customer base.

MapAnything brings to Salesforce (and Salesforce’s customers) market-leading location-based intelligence solutions that improve field sales and service employee productivity and deliver customer success.  MapAnything provides field sales and service employees the ability to arrive on site with insights to properly address customer needs and deliver relevant and real-time value.  It also helps with planning, like determining the right number of people, how best to utilize everyone, as well as figure out how best to improve moving forward.

Salesforce said the following in its April 17, 2019 press release:

“With MapAnything, Salesforce will be uniquely positioned to extend the power of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud post-closing to deliver market-leading location-based intelligence solutions that improve field sales and service employee productivity and deliver customer success.”

Salesforce knows that they need to continue to find new ways (beyond Einstein) to add additional value to its core cloud product offerings like Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.  They realize that it is critical moving forward to provide their customers more tools and capabilities that will ultimately provide a better “customer experience.”  They know that customer experience is top of mind for companies these days as they look to find ways to compete better and differentiate.

Of course, MapAnything’s products have been available through Salesforce’s AppExchange but through the acquisition, Salesforce customers, as well as existing MapAnything customers, should expect a different level of commitment to increased go-forward enhancements and integration.  Salesforce certainly has more funding available to it, if they chose to use it — and I think they will.

If you are a Salesforce customer and have been using MapAnything through Salesforce’s AppExchange or if you are a MapAnything customer directly, it will be important to reach out to get insights and assurances as to what the world will look like for you moving forward, both from a relationship and product enhancement perspective, but also a contractual perspective.

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