Google is the 800-pound Gorilla in search and online advertising, and about 90% of its revenue from ads.
But the company knows it can’t be a one-trick pony forever.
“For many years they talked about how investments would be 70 per cent in core search, 20 per cent on things ancillary to search and 10 per cent on moonshots,” Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Securities told The New York Times. “Now we’re pretty far from that. What does that mean for the company?”
While the income potential of those “moonshots” is still unknown (Google Glass, Google Fibre, driverless cars), Google actually has been systematically carving a considerable niche for itself in the enterprise tech business.
Companies spend about $US4 trillion on technology worldwide and billions of that are suddenly being spent on cloud computing. And that’s where Google plays.
Technology Business Research analyst Jillian Mirandi estimated that this was a $US1.6 billion for Google in 2014. That may be tiny compared the $US66 billion in 2014, but $US1 billion+ business still isn’t exactly peanuts.
According to Amit Singh, president of Google’s enterprise unit, Google At Work, Google actually has a long list of products for the enterprise. Notice that all of them compete with products from its rival Microsoft.
- Google Search for Work is also called the Google Search Appliance. Companies install can install the appliance, or use a Google search service to add search to their internal systems or websites. This was Google’s first enterprise product.
- Gmail for Work is only offered as part the Google Apps suit, but it is one of the major reasons companies buy Apps and companies can customise it.
- Drive for Work is Google’s unlimited cloud storage product, that competes with Microsoft OneDrive as well as Box and Dropbox.
- Docs is a word processor, also part of Google Apps, that’s known for its collaboration features.
- Videoconferencing is available as a cloud service called Hangouts or as a device called Chromebox for Meetings. This competes with Microsoft’s Skype and Lync for meetings, as well as expensive room based systems like Cisco’s Telepresence.
- Google Maps for Work is a service that allows developers to embed maps and GPS software into their apps. For instance, maps is embedded in Android Auto, which is how a car like Tesla provides GPS directions, and used by MapMyFITNESS. Microsoft offers a competing mapping service from Bing Maps.
- Chrome for Work, a version of Google’s Chrome browser that IT professionals can easily manage for thousands of users.
- Chromebooks are cloud PCs that uss the ChromeOS operating system. Google has a Chromebooks for Work program, which includes options of interest to businesses. This program even offers apps that let you run Windows on a Chromebook (in geek speak, that’s a “virtual desktop infrastructure” or VDI.)
- Android for Work, which is a special version of Android with extra security and features for businesses. It also includes specific version of Android like Android Auto, for car infotainment systems. This competes with Microsoft and Apple, and others.
- Google Cloud computing, “That’s a big thing,” Singh jokes. Cloud consists of Google App Engine for writing and hosting apps, Google Compute Engine, which lets you rent computers and upload your own apps, Cloud Storage, for storing stuff related to your apps. On top of that are a ton of other apps databases, containers (the latest craze in app development), big data analysis apps and the like. Google’s cloud competes with Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s Web Services.
Although Google won’t reveal revenue for any of these products, or for its enterprise unit at all, it sent us the following statistics to show off some of the growth Google At Work had in 2014:
- More than 60% of the Fortune 500 are actively using a paid Google for Work product (e.g. Apps, Clouds, Maps, Search, etc.)
- Internally, Google hit its goal of 95% customer satisfaction (CSAT) for Google Apps customers, an improvement from 80% two years ago years ago and across all Google for Work products, the CSAT score is more than 90%.
- Google Apps has ore than 5 million businesses customers.
- More than 1,800 customers are signing up for Drive for Work each week
- More than 40 million students, teachers and administrators use Google Apps for Education.
- Google is winning cloud customers away from AWS, such as Atomic Fiction, dotCloud, and Just Develop IT (JDI).
- Between all the apps hosted on App Engine, it serves 28 billion requests per day
- Google’s cloud database, Cloud Datastore, performs 6.3 trillion operations per month
- At least 5 million Chromebooks were sold in 2014, accounting for about 1% of the PC market.