Former Google CIO: Automation Is a Big Win for MSPs

Former Google Chief Information Officer and current CEO of Douglas Merrill shared his thoughts on the importance of automation, data and innovation for managed service providers (MSPs) during his keynote address at LabTech Software's Automation Nation 2014.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

June 4, 2014

2 Min Read
ExCIO of Google and ZestFinancecom CEO Douglas Merrill insulted The Steve Miller Band but rocked the pink buttondown shirt at LabTech's Automation
Ex-CIO of Google and CEO Douglas Merrill insulted The Steve Miller Band but rocked the pink button-down shirt at LabTech's Automation Nation 2014.

Former Google (GOOG) Chief Information Officer and current CEO Douglas Merrill today discussed how managed service providers (MSPs) can leverage automation, data and innovation during his presentation at LabTech Software‘s Automation Nation 2014 in Orlando.

Merrill described the importance of automation, data and innovation for MSPs through myriad examples – everything from‘s ability to boost its profits by $70 million over three years to a successful cross-promotional marketing campaign by McDonald’s (MCD) and Foursquare.

“Data and innovation, data and automation [and] data and understanding are key to everything [MSPs] do,” Merrill said.

He noted customers can do the majority of an MSP’s work to help a service provider lower its operating costs and become more efficient.

“By letting our users do all the work for us, we generated one of the most successful product launches in Google history,” Merrill said, referring to the development of the company’s autocorrect tool.

Other key points from Merrill’s presentation included:

  • MSPs can use crowdsourcing to interact with their customers and, ultimately, reduce their workloads.

  • Merrill said he believes MSPs will be able to provide better alerting over the next 20 years.

  • Merrill noted automation is important, but he said he believes there will always be a market for service providers: “I don’t believe we’ll ever automate ourselves out of a job.”

Merrill also discussed his decision to leave Google and start, a financial services technology company that provides big data underwriting:

“I am a startup guy. When I left [Google], we had about 4,000 people … I’m the guy who needs to play his A-game every day, or else I’m not going to play.”

Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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