Google Cloud Hires 2 Key Execs, Revs Its VMware Engine

Lori Mitchell-Keller and George Nazi have joined the company; meantime, Google Cloud launched its VMware platform.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

May 19, 2020

5 Min Read
Tachometer Velocity

Google Cloud has made some strategic moves in the past two weeks, to the benefit of partners.


Google Cloud’s Lori Keller-Mitchell

The third-largest public cloud vendor has brought on two prominent executives, one from SAP and one from Accenture, in positions that will interact with channel partners. Google Cloud also bolstered its VMware partnership.

Google Cloud on Monday went public with news that it hired Lori Mitchell-Keller from SAP; she is now global leader of the industry solutions group. Mitchell-Keller worked at SAP for 13 years, rounding out her career there as co-president of SAP Industries. She spearheaded sales, including partner sales, across 20 fields.

Now Mitchell-Keller takes on a newly created role at Google Cloud. She will target the six markets CEO Thomas Kurian has identified as key to the company’s growth: media, telecom and entertainment; retail; financial services; manufacturing and industrial; health care and public sector.


Google Cloud’s George Nazi

To support the very first sector, Google Cloud also snapped up George Nazi from Accenture. Nazi, based in Belgium, joined Google Cloud last week as global vice president of telco, media and entertainment industry solutions. He reports to Mitchell-Keller and oversees strategy around the three sectors in his title. The work should feel familiar to him — Nazi led Accenture’s global communication and media division. Prior to Accenture, Nazi was at Alcatel-Lucent and BT.

Mitchell-Keller told Channel Futures she is excited to join Google Cloud.

“I look forward to bringing my leadership and experience to ensure we’re building the right solutions that help our customers and partners reach their business goals and objectives,” Mitchell-Keller said, noting that “the cloud has never been more critical” than it is amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nazi expressed similar sentiments.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to shape our long-term strategy and to empower our customers with Google Cloud’s…technologies and solutions,” he said.

Google Cloud Revs Its VMware Engine

Meanwhile, Google Cloud took the next step in its work with VMware by launching Google Cloud VMware Engine. It’s a fully managed service that Google Cloud partners can offer. Here’s how June Yang, general manager at Google Cloud, described the product to enterprises in a blog:

“You can migrate or extend your on-premises workloads to Google Cloud in minutes by connecting to a dedicated VMware environment directly through the Google Cloud Console. This allows you to seamlessly migrate to the cloud without the cost or complexity of refactoring applications, and run and manage workloads consistently with your on-premises environment. By running your VMware workloads on Google Cloud, you reduce your operational burden while benefiting from scale and agility, and maintain continuity with your existing tools, policies and processes.”

The platform works with VMware’s entire Cloud Foundation stack, which supports hybrid and private cloud environments. That stack includes vSphere, vCenter, vSAN, NSX-T and HCX for cloud migration.

“Google Cloud VMware Engine is designed to minimize your operational burden, so you can focus on your business,” Yang wrote, speaking directly to enterprises. “We take care of the life cycle of the VMware software stack and manage all related infrastructure and upgrades. Customers can continue to leverage IT management tools and third-party services consistent with their on-premises environment.”

Yang also said Google Cloud is teaming with …

… a number of storage, backup and disaster recovery providers for third-party support. Those include NetApp, Actifio, Veeam, Zerto, Cohesity and Dell Technologies.

One early user, Deutsche Börse Group, has relied on VMware products for years. An executive says the Google Cloud VMware Engine is helping Deutsche Börse Group to achieve its hyperscaling goals.

“The steps we have gone through so far together are hugely encouraging, giving us innovative and flexible ways in running hybrid cloud scenarios,” said Christoph Böhm, executive board member and CIO at Deutsche Börse Group.

QAD, an ERP software provider, is also on board. The new VMware Engine lets the company “quickly extend our VMware-based platform to Google Cloud to meet our goal of being rapid, agile and effective,” Scott Lawson, director of IT architecture at QAD, said. “Partnering with Google Cloud and VMware allows us to reduce our operational burden, improve our disaster recovery capabilities to ensure consistent availability for our customers, and benefit from native Google Cloud services.”

Channel partners will prove key to Google Cloud VMware Engine implementations, Yang noted, because they can play “an essential role” in accelerating migration for organizations, she wrote. Partners agreed.

“Running VMware workloads on Google Cloud is a priority for many enterprise customers as they look to benefit from the scale and agility of the cloud while maintaining consistency across hybrid and multicloud environments,” said Peter Cutts, senior vice president, digital transformation officer at Atos Cloud Enterprise Solutions.

“Hybrid cloud strategies continue to be a focal point for our customers and this offering substantially accelerates the timeframe for organizations to move their workloads to the cloud and modernize their infrastructure,” said Michael Taylor, CTO at World Wide Technology, a Google Cloud premier partner.

Google Cloud VMware Engine should be generally available this quarter in northern Virginia and Los Angeles. Eight more regions throughout the world will go online in the second half of the year.

All the activity comes as Alphabet, Google’s parent company, last month reported a 13% increase in first-quarter revenue — in spite of COVID-19’s impact. Cloud revenue totaled almost $2.8 billion, up from a little more than $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. In fact, Google Cloud is among the three Google divisions adding new employees rather than freezing hiring.

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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