Google’s Argument to Enterprise IT: “Trust Us”

FACT:  Yesterday, Google’s Dave Girouard, VP of enterprise sales, gave a keynote speech on “The Evolution of Cloud Computing” at FOSE, a Washington trade-show focusing on federal government and military IT customers.  According to a Washington Post reporter’s blog account afterwards:

[Girouard said] “Google will have to do things differently” to work with defense and intelligence agencies, where data security and privacy are held to the tightest standards. But he argued that having information spread across hundreds of different servers is actually more secure than housing data on a few servers at a specific location. “Security is now more virtual than physical,” he said.

ANALYSIS:  The Google salesman (Girouard is VP of enterprise sales) was speaking at FOSE on the same day I made an April Fools blogpost featuring a lame “Cloud Computing” joke (see it here, come back when you stop laughing).  

This year I’m at FOSE as neither buyer nor speaker; the past couple of years I spoke at FOSE, as a DIA official, and I always enjoy walking the exhibit floor, plus I was curious about Girouard’s take on Google’s current move into the federal space.

To be honest I’ve met him before when he was with Virage and he’s a fine fellow, a good salesman.

The rhetoric of his main pitch, though, seems to be battling uphill, and I’m not sure he gets a nuanced distinction.

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Massive Data Centers, Right in your Cellphone

I try to keep my cellphone on “vibrate” during meetings; no one needs to know my taste in ringtones. But more importantly, I keep it on so that I can use the browser and web search ability, which I wind up doing almost as often as I check my email.

Yesterday was a good example of the utility of ever-handy web search. My group and I had brought together an international group of government officials to visit Microsoft Research’s annual TechFest.  Tuesday was the “Public Day” with the media and outsiders allowed, so we spent that day at the Microsoft Convention Center with Craig Mundie, Rick Rashid, and a hundred others, but Wednesday morning we offered a series of side briefings for the group at Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Center, on topics of interest to large government and defense agencies.  Topic one was data centers.

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