Google Workspace Hires Gartner VP for Microsoft Teams Battle
Google has hired the former vice president of sales and business development at Gartner to drive the global growth of Google Workspace, formerly known as G-Suite, as the cloud-based software giant takes on Microsoft Teams.
Michael Karner today unveiled his new role as Google Workspace Evangelism Manager for Google Cloud after spending eight years in senior roles at IT research firm Gartner, most recently in as vice president of sales and business development in the EMEA region. On LinkedIn today, Karner said he “looks forward to making an impact” on Google Workspace.
“I started using Google Workspace in 2006 as one of the first beta testers when it was still called ‘Google Apps’ (later G Suite) – and I was able to see the product shoot up. develop over the past decade from a user and technical perspective, “Karner said in a LinkedIn post. “Over the past few years, I have led and built sales teams in the EMEA region in different companies and worked with CIOs and HRDs to support their digital transformation initiatives, Future of Work and Digital Workplace.
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The former vice president of Gartner said he combined his expertise in collaboration and productivity solutions, business development and product advocacy. “Representing Google Workspace globally and focusing on the future of work / new ways of working are key priorities for me,” he said.
Karner’s hiring comes the same day Google announces that Workspace will now be available to everyone, including consumers on free Google Accounts. Google Workspace was officially launched as a new image of G-Suite in October 2020. The offering combines a variety of communication, productivity and collaboration tools from Google, including chat, email, voice calls and video as well as content management in one unified solution.
“Across apps like Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet and more, our consumer, business and education users choose Google Workspace to stay in touch, share ideas and do more together every day.” Google’s Workspace Vice President of Marketing Kelly Waldher, and Aparna Pappu, Vice President of Engineering, wrote in a blog post today. “Now we’re bringing these same innovations to everyone. Starting today, all of Google Workspace is available to anyone with a Google Account. “
The general availability of Google Workspace increases the competitive pressure against Google’s cloud and collaboration rival, Microsoft, especially with Microsoft Teams in the small and medium business (SMB) market.
“There are a lot of small businesses that will go to Google first because you can get in for free,” said an IT administrator familiar with Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams, who declined to be identified. “Google is also super easy compared to Microsoft. I mean, have you ever created a Gmail account? How easy.
“When you access Outlook to create an account, you have to overcome a lot of obstacles. One of the things Microsoft does is have one unified account that’s everything: it’s messaging, it’s Xbox, etc. So you have this standardization for all the products they have and that raises the bar for the level of difficulty, ”said the IT manager. administrator. “I can get a Gmail account in a minute.”
Additionally, he mentioned that Microsoft Teams has faced a slew of major technical issues and outages this year, which could help Google Workspace better leverage the market with SMBs. “I think it’s the same problem Microsoft has had with a lot of its products. It has become very important and they have a problem with DevOps, ”he said.
Google also today unveiled a new paid solution for home users who want more Workspace, although Google has yet to provide a cost. Customers of this new Workspace solution will have access to “premium features, including smart booking services, business video conferencing and personalized email marketing, and more,” Google said.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created an increase in cloud collaboration, productivity, and unified collaboration solutions from Google, Microsoft, Zoom and Cisco to enable new teams remotely.