Download the authoritative guide: Enterprise Data Storage 2018: Optimizing Your Storage Infrastructure
Google's Rush to the Top
Seems simple, right? Be a company people can trust, protect those that trust you, and don't disappoint them. So what is Google in the news for?
Well, they are being challenged on antitrust grounds for allegedly trying to control information, with the underlying concern that they will become the equivalent of the Big Brother character in "1984." They have people in Europe coming out of their homes to block Google cars because these people believe (according to the BBC) that Google is "facilitating crime."
Why this is important is because trust is between people, and if major players are leaving the company, you can't depend on the relationships you have established.
What adds to the problem is that the coverage of this issue suggests that employees are leaving because HR practices are impersonal and Google is using an impersonal algorithm system to analyze and correct the problem, making the firm look incredibly stupid. This was one of the running jokes at Interop in Las Vegas this week, and this may go down in history as the Google equivalent to pouring gas on a fire in an attempt to put it out.
Finally, Google appears to have no industry analyst events (they do meet with financial analysts, but I wonder if they even know the difference) so they don't build relationships with the one group that would generally need to sign off on and approve their solutions before they got adopted broadly. Industry analyst firm Gartner was started as a hedge against IBM by Gideon Gartner, and remains the most powerful, followed by Forrester Research and Yankee. These analysts remain critical to building credibility with enterprises, and Google doesn't even seem to realize they exist.
EMC in Contrast
This week was EMC World, an event mirrored by other major vendors, including Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), IBM and Microsoft. This event is designed to build relationships, establish trust, and share with the community (so they can share with their enterprise clients through existing trust relationships) what EMC is doing in the market. As a side note, this particular event may be the most impressive showcase of social media integration in a show I've seen to date; just search "EMC World."
One of the major announcements at the event was with AT&T (NYSE: T), another enterprise-class vendor, surrounding a mission statement of making the cloud as secure as an internal data center and using VMware (NYSE: VMW), which EMC owns, and Atmos, their commodity hardware and software platform, to make that happen.
So you have an event that is designed to garner trust, an announcement that reinforces goals consistent with that trust, and a setting of expectations that both AT&T and EMC should be able, with little risk, to achieve. They even included a large vendor with a recognized brand, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), to showcase the solution and give them credit. All of the elements are there: trust, relationship, and execution.
This joint cloud effort has an ecosystem of developers that surround it and a strong value message so that it can compete in the market with other offerings from EMC competitors. It is interesting to note that the analysts at the event didn't seem to doubt EMC's ability to execute; they simply doubted whether the cloud concept was ready yet. If it isn't, EMC still benefits as the entrenched storage vendor, but Google doesn't because they are anything but.
And all this is happening as Google reportedly is nearing the release of its own cloud storage service.
Google and EMC
In short, while EMC is positioned for the future, they aren't over-promising it like Google obviously is, and they are building a foundation that may eventually make the Cloud work.
Google is trying to take a fast track, but in enterprise sales you need to do the actual work to become successful. Google has cut a lot of corners in becoming the power they are, but that approach won't work for them any more than it did for Netscape, and they are increasingly looking like the smart kid who paid someone else to do their homework and eventually gets caught.
Companies like EMC get the enterprise, they were built to get the enterprise. Microsoft took decades to get the enterprise. I have my doubt whether Google ever will.
Follow Enterprise Storage Forum on Twitter