It Pays to Spend Time in the North American Sales Team at Oracle

On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, Brian Womack, for Bloomberg, reported a Google announcement of a name change on one of its product lines. “Google Enterprise” became “Google for Work”. The executive quoted in Womack’s article, titled Google Renames Enterprise Unit to Target Growing Market, was Amit Singh, President of Google Enterprise. In this brief report, Singh is quoted as pointing to the market in front of the new product as “one of the big growth opportunities for Google”.

But, in this writer’s opinion, of even more importance than the announcement is the professional background of the announcer, himself, Amit Singh. Readers should note Singh joined Google back in 2010, when he left his position as a Vice President of Sales at Oracle, North America, to become the President of Google Enterprise. A quick review of his public profile on LinkedIn produces more detail about the roles Singh played for Oracle. He was part of the North American sales team, responsible for the Northeast.

So it is safe to assume Singh reported into Keith Block, President of Salesforce.com, when Block held the position of EVP North America for Oracle. Perhaps during his time at Oracle he had some opportunities to work with Judson Althoff, now President of Microsoft, North America, who, from 2002 to 2013 held the position of Senior Vice President at Oracle, Worldwide Alliances, Channels and Embedded sales.

What early stage ISVs should glean from all of this overlapping experience for individuals presently at the top of some prominent lines of business for 3 of the leading mature technology businesses in the United States, today, is the very narrow path, forward, of truly successful sales and marketing talent for the larger business market for software. It is no small fact each of these three executives spent a considerable amount of time in management positions at Oracle.

A successful experience set marketing and selling software solutions to these businesses is very distinct from a similarly successful experience set selling to SMBs, or to consumers. The present positions of each of these three individuals is a tribute to how well Oracle mastered the processes required to attain the position it has held as a premier supplier of software to these markets.

If a business model requires the type of sales and marketing expertise possessed by Messrs Singh, Block and Althoff, then limiting the scope of applicants to Oracle, SAP, EMC, and, perhaps, IBM may make the most sense. The best way of digging deeply into the backgrounds and personalities at hand, of course, would be retained search.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved


What Google At Work Needs to Enhance Its Appeal to Large Organizations with Centralized IT Operations

Large organizations with a centralized IT operation neither have the time, nor the resources to support solutions built from lots of components. Nevertheless, in this writer’s opinion, Google Apps for Business and its parent, Google Enterprise, which has just recently been renamed Google At Work, do not seem to have learned this lesson.

These twin constraints on enterprise IT organizations are determining factors for most purchase decisions. An integrated solution is usually favored over a basket of components. The rationale is simple: with one vendor on the line via a Service Level Agreement (SLA), there is really little need, if any, for enterprise IT to maintain a staff of subject matter experts capable of supporting a very diverse set of solutions.

But of even greater importance is the need enterprise IT organizations exhibit for portability (perhaps scalability would be a better word) as a prominent feature of the platforms they purchase and implement. If management calls for a change in business direction, then the task of migrating computing procedures over to new methods will fall on enterprise IT. Often enough it will be difficult to simply move one computing platform into a new direction. But the prospect of moving 5 solutions over to a new way of processing computing, more often than not, will not be acceptable.

Organizations deciding to implement Google’s revamped Google At Work suite of office automation tools, to fulfill a need for an Enterprise Document Management (EDM) requirement, will have to not only implement the Google Apps platform, but also at least one third party product, if they are going to obtain satisfactory results from their purchase decision. This writer couldn’t find a cohesive presentation of an EDM solution anywhere within the Google Apps website, but a search of the Google Apps Marketplace did surface several solutions purporting to be useful in an EDM solution.

If the Google At Work suite lacks the mandatory features larger organizations have come to expect of the platforms they decide to implement, in this writer’s opinion any conjecture about Google mounting a serious challenge to any of the ISVs already established with enterprise IT, any time soon, should be looked at with skepticism.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved