google cloud, microsoft azure, google workspace, google, microsoft

Bengaluru: Cloud customers are no longer asking for servers and storage, they are looking for solutions to their problems, Bikram Singh Bedi, managing director of Google Cloud India, said in an interaction with TOI. Cloud, he noted, was largely used as infrastructure in its initial days in 2010-12. Around the middle of the last decade, cloud became a means to run operations more efficiently. “Now, it is synonymous with digital transformation. Customers are saying, I need to become a digital-first organisation, and how can cloud help me there. In retail, they want to solve their inventory forecasting problem, their last-mile route optimisation problem; in financial services, they want to build more robust payments platforms; in telecom, they want to monetise their network better,” he said.
So, Google Cloud, he said, is combining its “world-class infrastructure with industry solutions.” Even Google Cloud’s office of the CTO (OCTO) is co-innovating solutions with many customers globally, including in India. The office of the CTO is a diverse team of domain experts and technologists. “They are working with customers to define new architectures. In fact, for a customer in India, OCTO is building a product that they want to take to the global market,” he said. The OCTO comprises technologists from identity management and AI, to industrial computing and serverless architectures. Google Cloud counts Freshworks, Ather Energy, ShareChat and ErosNow among its customers in India.
The division has engineering centres across cities in India, and Bedi said these centres are dealing with the demand coming for specific solutions. “Many of these can be taken to the world,” he said.
AWS and Microsoft Azure are the global leaders in cloud. Google is a fairly distant third, but business has been growing rapidly since Thomas Kurian took over as CEO in January 2019. During the recent launch of a second cloud region in India, Kurian said India is one of the fastest growing countries for his business. The new region will allow Google Cloud customers operating in India to benefit from lower latency and higher performance of their cloud-based workloads.
Bedi said the business in India is hiring for roles in technology, sales, customer success, and customer service. Customer success roles, he said, are crucial – these are people who work with customers, understand their environment, help build solutions, and then help them be successful.
In collaboration tools, Bedi said, there’s a significant shift among customers from old, legacy collaboration systems to newer ones. Google has its Workspace, and then there’s Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. When looking at such tools, Bedi said customers first look at the feature set – calendar, mailing, productivity solutions, etc. These solutions are improving with integration of AI/ML. “But today, what customers focus more on is security. Remote work has really made it an open environment and security has become a huge concern,” he said. Google Workspace works inside the corporate environment, and customers, Bedi said, have a high level of trust in it.

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