IT Forum Gold Coast (ITFGC) is the best place to network with industry peers, potential clients and employers. The Federal, State and local Governments give well-deserved recognition to ITFGC for being an active voice of the IT industry on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Being a member gives you an unprecedented opportunity to stay informed about progress in the IT industry or to contribute to the growth of the IT industry on the Gold Coast. Every month, ITFGC organises various free and low-cost events to inform its members and the general public on significant or new developments in the IT industry.
Last Tuesday, February 25, 2014 I attended one of these events where the Chairman of the IT Forum Gold Coast, Associate Professor Michael Blumenstein welcomed to the stage the National Practice Manager of Dialog Google Enterprise (Australia’s largest Google Enterprise Premier Partner) – Glenn Irvine.
Before we were absorbed by Google’s enterprise evolution, Professor Michael Blumenstein revealed exiting news about ITFGC’s big agenda for 2014, to deliver two practical solutions to move the IT industry forward, on the Gold Coast. Blumenstein reported “First, in the next few months, we will ensure that we have a portal with a repository of small, medium and micro IT businesses for the purpose of profiling them and matching them with businesses from other industry’s sectors. It is not a directory but a tool to provide other business sectors with a faithful place to go and to match up with IT businesses. Secondly, we are forming an alliance to become a bigger entity that will create an opportunity for small businesses to be more competitive and to pitch and tender for bigger jobs. We estimated that it will be worth tens of millions of dollars, with tenders available for businesses all over the state. We will be announcing the details shortly and for more information please do not hesitate to contact us.”
On that positive note, Professor Michael Blumenstein thanked everyone for coming and praised Glenn Irvine for his previous contribution as the Secretary of IT Queensland and his work at the ICT Industry Advisory Board for Griffith University. Professor Michael Blumenstein concluded “Glenn has a wealth of information to share and he has got the pulse on the industry, particularly Google Space.”
In the beginning of his presentation, Glenn Irvine took us back to a time when the first concept of Google was presented by its Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, he then moved us forward in time to Google’s vision. Google is looking “…to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google believes in 10 things that they know to be true and according to Glenn Irvine this has formed their mission for the next 400 years:
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Glenn Irvine shared his insights into Google, stating “They believe it is a life journey for them and all three of them – Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt (joined Google in 2001) have signed up for life. For them it is not the case to build it and sell it off – it is a life journey for them and it is a very unique company.”
To make sure we understood what Google Enterprise is, Glenn Irvine started with their philosophy of “…taking things that have been done tremendously successfully and put a Scalable Link Interface (SLI) enterprise wrapper around it and then offered it to businesses, governments and corporates.” He reminded us that there are not many elements to what Google has done but we are all familiar with their products and applications: Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, Drive, Groups, News, Play, Sites, Talk, and Wallet. What was important for us to understand is that all Google products are 100% web and cloud delivered, where true cloud is completely scalable and is not dependent on a single data centre.
Glenn Irvine reassured us that “What Google does, is operates its data centres around the world and it will take your email, document or whatever it is and it will encrypt your data and place it in three different geographical locations and it will duplicate your data, providing a good data redundancy solution.” We weren’t surprised, since we all knew that Google has dozens of centres across America, Asia and Europe that are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, running more than one million servers.
Since the majority of us use Google search, and in fact 97% of Australians are using Google search, we were very interested in the Google Enterprise Search Appliance, with Google’s customized approach to business’s search prerequisites. We certainly understood that it was a fast and accurate search appliance, which respected document-level permissions or security, giving company’s employees the best search experience. Glenn Irvine confirmed “The main reason this is so popular, is because workers coming to work and search, find that what they have at home is nowhere near as good as this one. It is working as a one stop shop approach for the Internet with a fast and accurate ability to find anything inside a company’s database system.”
Next, we learnt about Google Enterprise Geospatial with a web-based geospatial solution that can be integrated with existing data sources. “To put it simply”, said Glenn “it is Google maps and Google Earth in your own private area, all inside the firewall.”
Google is big and it has several services and products but the majority of its revenue is still collected from search, display and mobile advertising. If you look at Google Enterprise, it is not much, but according to Glenn Irvine “it is the fastest growing vision inside of Google.” In fact, over 5 million businesses already have gone Google, using Google Apps for their business. According to Technology Business Research, revenue from Cloud Platforms and Google Apps rose by 195% since last year.
Glenn also informed us about developments in Google’s existing projects, known as Google’s moon shot projects. These are basically based on the collaboration and implementation of the once-impossible sci-fi fantasies that could revolutionise and change the world, solving complex problems. Projects such as Google Crisis Response (delivering vital information when people need it most), Google Glass Project (a wearable computing system), Google driverless car project (the company’s latest tech triumph) and informed us about their latest, Project Tango. Apparently, a few days ago, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group called developers to submit proposals for applications, taking advantage of Tango Project (equivalent to human stereoscopic sight in motion, in a device).
No doubt Google doesn’t sit still and does good things for its employees, partners, users and the world. It was comforting to hear from Glenn Irvine that “They do have some fairly solid ethics and approaches. I dealt with most of their IT vendors one way or another and their heart is in the right place.”
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