As you may know, I visited Google’s Chrome Enterprise Reseller & Customer Summit in Munich last week. In my latest blog I promised to offer you an overview of the take-aways, so here you are...
The main finding is that Chrome has evolved from just a very good browser to a comprehensive cloud computing platform that is ready to address the highest requirements of the most demanding enterprises, in terms of security, user friendliness and costs.
Chrome Enterprise is designed to provide a single solution that connects employees while giving admins the flexibility and control they need to keep their businesses protected. Security has become a top priority for enterprises. In fact, last year alone, 98% of businesses were affected by malware, and employee endpoints - like laptops, tablets, and smartphones - were increasingly the target of attacks. That’s quite a concern, as remote work is now the norm for 69% of traditional information workers. So everyone is on the move, using those vulnerable devices.
Enterprise IT admins know this all too well. With hardware, firmware, browsers, apps and networks to protect, admins now face more risks than ever, while managing more devices than ever. Google has built its Chrome Enterprise ecosystem with this complex landscape in mind, with continuously adding new enhancements and partnerships. Chrome Enterprise provides secure cloud entry. It is now the most secure endpoint solution for businesses in the cloud, with 24/7 enterprise support from Google. And what is important as well, Chrome Enterprise integrates with industry leading IT security management solutions like VMWare Workspace One, Cisco Meraki, Citrix XenMobile and IBM MaaS360 with Watson. Also, Active Directory is integrated for User Management.
Accelerator for innovation
But security is not the only one - although major - aspect of enterprise computing that Chrome Enterprise takes care of. As important is innovation. Innovation should not be seen as a project, but as a process. Companies need to renew, improve and adapt themselves on a continuous base. Legacy IT is not able to facilitate continuous innovation, Cloud does. And Chrome is the gateway. The platform helps IT and Business to get aligned for delivering ongoing strategic innovation in the enterprise.
The summit showcased a number of very convincing enterprise innovators, Veolia among others. Veolia is a global company with activities in four main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities – water management, waste management, transport and energy services. Veolia wanted to adopt secure cloud collaboration. I spoke with Philippe Benoit, the Veolia CIO, and he explained that Veolia as a large, international company, experienced that they were slow in responding to market challenges and inefficient in internal cooperation. Technology was putting them back instead of speeding them up. Therefore the company has initiated the SATAWAD-project. SATAWAD stands for Secure AnyTime AnyWhere Any Device. Veolia had to choose between introducing Google solutions into a mixed infrastructure of traditional Microsoft products and services on the one hand, or enter a Google Only strategy on the other. Veolia made the radical choice to go for Google Only. They came to the conclusion that the integration of Google solutions is much easier to use and to manage, has lower TCO and is secure by design compared to the Microsoft offerings. The migration process towards Google will be ended at the end of 2019. All 130,000 staff will then be equipped with Chromebooks, the applications landscape will be consolidated, business applications will run in the cloud or as a SaaS, and Excel applications migrated.
Another fine example of accelerated innovation by Google hardware is PATH Architecture using Google Jamboard to help shape the fabric of communities through sustainable materials and intelligent design. They use Jamboard in the design engineering processes, in leadership brainstorms and to collaborate with customers and contractors. The machine learning capabilities of Jamboard helps them to accelerate their processes.
Compelling use cases for all industries
Overall Google identifies four use cases for Chrome Enterprise and Google G Suite in many industries: ‘In the office’, ‘On the go’, ‘Customer facing’ and ‘In the field’. There is a broad array of third party Chromebooks and G Suite integrated applications on the market to support each of these types of use cases. Chromebooks play a very important role in the Chrome Enterprise strategy, as they can be seamlessly managed. Also, they contribute to a lower TCO as their hardware requirements are modest since the applications and data are mainly used in the cloud and not on the device.
What became very clear to me is that Google has now all the pieces in place and integrated to facilitate enterprise computing as a driver for innovation in a business environment that needs to be always-on, on-demand, mobile and secure. Google has the vision, the solutions, services and products, and the ecosystem to help companies to shape their own future. At their own pace and starting from their own perspective. The Veolia case demonstrated that with a step-by-step approach even the largest and most complex implementations can be successfully concluded.
As I explained in my blog last week, I also went to Munich with a mission. And that was to convince Google executives that it is time for Google to start selling its innovations such as Pixelbook, Pixel and other ‘personal’ hardware in other European regions than just Germany and UK. Well, I did not get a hard commitment on this, but what became clear is that partners are ready to support enterprises in large scale international deployments of Chromebooks, Jamboards and Android smartphones.
So for me, it’s back to business now. I am thrilled to help you people out with innovating the Google way. Let’s have a coffee to discuss your ambitions. Or even better, let’s have a G Bräu beer! Prosit!
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