Importance of Natural Resources

Inside Google Cloud: Meet Leaders in Asia

JENNIFER LYE: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us
at the Inside Google Cloud, Meet Leaders in Asia
YouTube Live event. Today, we will spend
about 15 minutes to talk about Google Cloud
in the Asia-Pacific region and its exciting challenges and
opportunities from a leadership perspective. We will spend the last
15 minutes of the session answering some live questions. My name is Jennifer, and I am
the administrative business partner in the Google
Cloud APAC team. Joining me today is Rick
Harshman and Kathy Lee, our two directors for our
Google Cloud team in APAC. Now let’s get started with an
introduction from these two leaders. Rick, can you tell me a
little bit about yourself and your role in Google Cloud? RICK HARSHMAN: Sure. Thanks, Jen. As Jen said, my name
is Rick Harshman. And I have the privilege
of leading the business across Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific, we break down into
four subregions, so Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia,
India, and greater China, and South Korea. So North Asia, which makes up
greater China and South Korea. A little bit about myself. I’ve lived in Asia-Pacific
for about 16 years, working across technology
during that time. I’ve really had some
amazing experiences here being based in Singapore
as well as across the region, being at the forefront of cloud
computing over the last decade, really having the
privilege of setting up some businesses
across the region and spending a lot of time in
India, across Southeast Asia, [INAUDIBLE]. So that’s really what brought
me ultimately to Google. JENNIFER LYE: And Kathy? KATHY LEE: Yes. Hi. I’m Kathy. I’m the country director for
Google Cloud in North Asia. And like Rick was
saying, North Asia consists of Hong Kong, Taiwan,
China, as well as South Korea. Well, I’ve joined Google
Cloud for nearly two years. It’s been very exciting. And just to share
with you personally, I’ve lived around the
world for many places. Was born in Taiwan,
lived in Hong Kong, and then study in the
US, and then worked in China for five years. It’s exciting time. And it’s great to
be here and talking with you through live chat. JENNIFER LYE: Great. And Rick, could you tell us
about your journey to Google and why you decided
to join Google Cloud? RICK HARSHMAN: Sure. So as you can probably
tell, I’m American. And I was born and
raised in America, went to university in the
US, and worked for a US tech company. And I was based
in San Francisco. And I had always had a
mindset of raising my hand and to try out new challenges. And the opportunity
presented itself to move to Sydney, Australia
a long time ago, back in 2003. And I moved at that time,
and had the opportunity to live in Australia for a year. And then the role ultimately
led me to Singapore, where I’ve been based since
the beginning of 2004. And at that time,
I was, as I said, I was working for a
content delivery company. And then I was approached by a
Seattle-based company that is quite large in cloud computing. And I had the opportunity to be
the first outside hire for them in Asia-Pacific and had a
variety of roles with them over a nearly six year– well,
a little more than six years. And then that’s when
Google came calling. And there were a
number of reasons why I was interested in Google. I was starting to hear more and
more about Google in the market from a variety of areas. One is around analytics. Google is known for
being a data company and being a data-driven company. And we heard a lot about that
on the other side of the table. A lot of investment
in machine learning, and that was something that I
was starting to hear customers talking about. And I was seeing an
evolution of cloud, of moving from
pure infrastructure as a service, moving more
towards driven by data, driven by machine learning. And so Google was
quite interesting to me from that perspective. And then also from a
personal perspective, being here in Asia,
one of the things that I didn’t see a lot
from multinational companies is interest in developing
services for Asian customers. And that’s something
you need to Google. So Google has created a business
called the Next Billion Users. And that was something
that was intriguing to me. So building products here
in Asia or for emerging markets in these markets as
opposed to building everything in the US and then
bringing that to market. So that was something that
was quite compelling to me. And having the opportunity
to work across wider Google has been very fulfilling on an
individual and personal level. JENNIFER LYE: Cool. And Kathy, what’s
your journey like? KATHY LEE: Oh, well, just
counting back, right? I’ve been in the industry for
more than two decades now, and starting off with selling
hardware and then software and then services. And I consider myself very
lucky because I started my cloud career 12 years ago. So like 20ish, you know,
half in the traditional IT and half in the cloud industry. And in fact, you
know, I’ve worked in companies that offer
Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service, and
then Software as a service, and now Google Cloud. So why I joined Google Cloud? It’s because working
with the customers out there, in fact, seeing the
customers demand all Cloud, wanting to do something
with Cloud to help them run their
business better, it’s an amazing experience for me. And looking at Google Cloud,
when Google Cloud approach me two years ago, back then,
I was working in China. And it was truly amazing to see
the comprehensive portfolios that Google Cloud can offer
to the customers out there. It’s not just one layer,
Infrastructure as service. Is not just Platform. But then it’s
the– like Rick was saying– the
analytics, the machine learning, the analytics, AI. That’s something that we
can truly put into action and realize the business
goals that our customers are wanting to do with Cloud. JENNIFER LYE: Right. And what do you see as the
most exciting part of working in Google Cloud in APAC today? RICK HARSHMAN: Yeah. I mean, there’s
a number of them. I would say outside of the
technology we’ve talked about, Asia is quite unique. It’s extremely dynamic
from a market perspective. More than half of the
world’s population sits within a four to five
hour flight of Singapore, which is where I live. And so that’s quite interesting. There’s diversity of
cultures, diversity of people. If I think about my team,
it’s extremely diverse– different languages,
different backgrounds. And it’s highly collaborative. And that’s something
that is really unique. I mean, I am excited every
day that I wake up and get an opportunity to
come to work, not just with the people that
I have the ability to work with within Google,
but also with our customers as Kathy was saying. I have the opportunity to
work with startups as well as the largest enterprises
across the diverse industries that are here. Now we focus on specific
industries within Google Cloud, from retail to financial
services to health care to public sector
to manufacturing to media and telecoms. But we also focus on specific
technical/horizontal areas that Kathy was mentioning,
so analytics and enterprise workloads. And those are always very
diverse and interesting conversation that we’re
able to have with customers, really help them transform their
business into the digital era. And that’s extremely exciting
because in Asia-Pacific, we haven’t– we’re seeing a leapfrog. We’re seeing people move from
an offline, traditional mindset into a digital mindset. And Cloud is being a
big driver for that. And we have the opportunity
to be at the forefront of that and to help people
through that journey. And that’s extremely exciting
and quite frankly humbling for us to be able to do. And I think that’s what
I’m most excited about. JENNIFER LYE: Nice. And Kathy, you lead
the North Asia team. What are your thoughts on that? KATHY LEE: Well, if you
zoom into North Asia, it’s four markets, three
different languages. But then, if you
look at North Asia from a GDP per
capita perspective, you will realize that the four
markets combined, they, today– they’re all sitting
at the top 50 rank in terms of growth
potential according to IMF. So it’s truly, like,
if you want growth, if you want to see
the business in action and see the power
of your services and your company’s portfolios,
what they can translate in to business outcome,
like what Rick was saying, start-ups, enterprises,
they are all considering not moving
to the Cloud but then how to do with Cloud. So it’s truly
living in the moment and catch the exciting time. JENNIFER LYE: Right. Maybe I ask Rick this question. And maybe Kathy can follow
up with your insights on North Asia. So how do you see
Google Cloud’s growth in APAC over the next
one to two years? RICK HARSHMAN: Yeah. I mean, we have seen a
tremendous amount of growth in the three years that
I’ve been in the business. We’ve received a tremendous
amount of investment. Google Cloud has been the
most heavily invested business across Google over the
last number of years. We continue to be. So we have a number of open
roles across Asia-Pacific. And I expect that
investment to continue. I expect to more than
triple or quadruple the size of the team over
the next couple of years. And also from an infrastructure
perspective, when I started, we had one region, one
Cloud region in Taiwan. You fast forward to today, we
have five Cloud regions, so Taiwan, two in Japan, one
in India, one in Australia, one in Singapore. And we also have
preannounced regions to come in Seoul, South
Korea later this year as well as Jakarta,
Indonesia in early 2020. So we’re continuing to invest in
the infrastructure perspective and in innovating
around services as well. So there’s going to be a
tremendous amount of growth across our
customer-facing teams, across our engineering teams,
and across our infrastructure development teams. KATHY LEE: And for
North Asia, its– again, like what I was
saying, the growth is there. And in terms of
customer mix, there is a bunch of
startups, leveraging Cloud as Cloud natives. But then there is also a
good segment of mid-market as well as enterprises. It’s truly an exciting
time to see growth. There’s no other
place better to be. JENNIFER LYE: Totally agree. KATHY LEE: Yes. JENNIFER LYE: And APAC is
really a diverse region. And what are some of the
biggest challenge you face. Like, in North Asia, you
mentioned there are– for countries and
different languages. So can you add on and
tell us more about that? KATHY LEE: Well, the
biggest challenge would be customer
demand is out there. How to find the right
subject matter expertise to help our customers to embark
their Cloud journey right now. That’s the biggest
challenge for us. RICK HARSHMAN: Yeah. I think from a– if I answer the question, Jen,
from a customer perspective, I think there’s a
couple of things. I think one biggest challenge
I hear from the C-suite– so CEOs, CIOs, CFOs that I
talk to every single day– there is great
talent in the market. And there’s great talent
within these companies. But making sure that they
have the right skills to be able to act on this
digital transformation that these companies
are going through, that Kathy was mentioning,
that’s a big challenge. I think continuing to grow
out the partner ecosystem and being able to have
the right partner that will help these
customers go through their digital transformation
journey, that’s another challenge. And there’s a reason why Google
Cloud is investing so heavily in areas such as
training and enablement, such as building out
the partner ecosystem, such as building services
and solutions that are specific to
industry, because we’re trying to help these companies
address these challenges. Because they’re not
going to be subject matter experts in
infrastructure or in technology. They’re going to be subject
matter experts in their core business. And that’s where
we can help them. We’ll bring the expertise
of Google Cloud, combine that with
their expertise. And we think that that’s
a formula for success. JENNIFER LYE: Right. And so Google Cloud recently
appointed a new CEO, Thomas Kurian, and new
Go-to-Market President, Rob Enslin. So how do you see
these new leaders influencing how Google Cloud
approaches the market in APAC? RICK HARSHMAN: Well, with Thomas
and Rob coming on board earlier this year, they provided
a tremendous amount of clarity and vision
for us on where we’re focusing our
resources, where we’re focusing on industries
as I mentioned, as well as on priority
solutions and workloads. And so having that
focus internally for our engineers on what
products and services that we’re going to be
building, where we’re going to be building
infrastructure, helps provide clarity to the teams
as well as to our customers on where these investments
are going to be placed. And so we have a mandate
of not only to continue to grow the business
rapidly, which we’re seeing, but also to continue
to hire rapidly across all of our key
markets in Asia-Pacific, which it’s a great
honor and privilege to be able to do that. And it’s something that Kathy
and I, as well as the wider APAC team are extremely
excited about. JENNIFER LYE: Right. OK. Looks like we have a good
stream of questions coming in. So thank you, Rick and
Kathy, for what you’re doing. And let’s jump right
into the live questions. Right. Something we get
asked a lot is, what is your biggest
piece of advice to be successful in Google Cloud? Maybe Kathy? KATHY LEE: Well, I’ll take that. I think it’s very important
to have a growth mindset, with the way that the
market potential is there, with the need to help our
customers to embark their Cloud journey and turn technology
into business outcomes, having a growth mindset
is most critical. RICK HARSHMAN: Yeah, I
would just add to that. I think it’s important to be– I’m amazed and I guess
I shouldn’t be amazed. We’re surrounded by
extremely smart people. But I think what’s
most important to be successful at a
company like Google is being collaborative,
being tenacious, being willing to roll up
your sleeves, not being afraid to ask questions. It’s perfectly fine if
you don’t know something because there’s going to
be people around you that will absolutely know. But having that
collaborative mindset, having the willingness
to help people and to go the extra mile,
especially for your teammates as well as for your
customers, then that really sets us apart if
we’re doing that successfully. JENNIFER LYE: Cool. So let’s move on
the next question. What advice would
you give to someone who was interested
in learning more about career and
opportunities at Google Cloud? RICK HARSHMAN: Sure,
I’ll take that. So we have an active website. So
will show you all of the different
roles that are open. And I know that there
are many of them. I look at them every day. Absolutely reach out
to the staffing team. I think we have a LinkedIn page. They’re polite, I promise. Come to our networking events. There is a ton of them. One of the things that I found
to be quite unique about Google is we have a very active
developer community, something that Google prides itself on
in working with the developer communities across
all of our markets. It’s something that we
will host those events. We don’t necessarily run them. But we will host those events. And they’re open to the
developer communities, whether it’s around Kubernetes
or TensorFlow or Android. So come to these
networking events that you will have in
the various offices around Asia-Pacific. And then specific
to the Cloud, we have a number of what we
call Cloud Summits that are happening over
the next three months across our markets. So whether that’s Singapore,
whether that’s Seoul and Korea or Hong Kong or
Sydney or Melbourne, so you can find those
on our website as well, And you can register
to attend those. And I think our recruiters will
be at those events as well. So there’s a number of ways. And if you want to, you can
reach out to me on LinkedIn as well. They said I could say that. [LAUGHTER] JENNIFER LYE: Cool. Join us! All right. And, oh, next
question, Rick, you mentioned technology earlier. So what specific tech do you
feel differentiates Google Cloud, like what GCP
product excites you? RICK HARSHMAN: What technology
differentiates Google Cloud? I think that there’s
a couple of things. One of the things that– each cloud provider has
their unique attributes. And each cloud provider really
does a great job of innovating. Specific to Google
Cloud, we are extremely strong in Infrastructure
as a service. But where we see
customers really start to take the biggest
amount of interest are in three key areas– one,
workplace transformation. So we have a very strong
collaboration suite of offerings called G Suite. That’s something
that when companies are going through their
digital transformation journey, they also want to
change the way that they are working and collaborating
across their organization. And so G Suite enables that. I think that’s a big
differentiator for us. I think around analytics
is another big area. So we have, arguably,
the strongest analytics suite of products,
especially BigQuery, which is our fully
managed enterprise data warehouse service. And then on machine
learning, Google Cloud is extremely well-known
around machine learning. And so Google
created TensorFlow. And we’ve open-sourced that. And the final thing,
and it is extremely unique to Google Cloud,
is we believe in being open in a multicloud world. And so we’ve created
a service called Anthos, which enables you
to write your software once and run it anywhere. You can run it on Google Cloud. You can run it on other clouds. And you can run it on-premise. And that’s something that other
clouds have not yet embraced. And we think that that is a big
differentiator at Google Cloud. JENNIFER LYE: And
Swaty asked, could you share more about your plans
for Backstory for Asia? RICK HARSHMAN: Hi Swaty. Feel free to reach out to me
at LinkedIn– on LinkedIn. I’m not actually sure
what Backstory is. So I’m not going to be
able to answer that. So apologies. JENNIFER LYE: OK. Right. And maybe for Kathy. Jeff Chai has asked,
like, follow-up question. Who are our target
users in China? Is it primarily foreign Fortune
500 and local organizations? KATHY LEE: Well, Hi, Jeff. Well, the way I look at this
question is think about Cloud. Cloud is through the internet. It’s a technology provisioned
through the internet. So any Chinese company
who are in need of using Google Cloud
technology through the internet, they are our customers. But then, of course,
in China, there are specific regulatory
requirements, that they need to have data
sitting within the country, within the great firewall. So today, our Chinese
customers are mainly those who are in–
who have the intent to provide their services
through the internet internationally,
outside of China. So they are our customers. Hope that clarifies
your question. JENNIFER LYE: Right. All right. I would like to move on
to the last question. And what are your
top three priorities as the APAC leader right now? RICK HARSHMAN: Well,
it’s pretty simple. It’s hiring, hiring, and hiring. Those would be the
top three priorities. On a serious note, hiring is
definitely priority number 1A. And I would say priority
1B is continuing to grow the business
at the rapid clip that we’re growing it at. Very proud of the team. We just closed out the second
quarter a few days ago. We had an extremely
strong quarter. So we’re continuing
to focus on growing the business on the revenue side
and our customer adoption side, while at the same time,
really focusing on the future. So that focus on
the future includes continuing to hire for
customer-facing roles, like sales, customer
engineering, continuing to build out
the partner ecosystem, as I mentioned,
continuing to build out additional
infrastructure locations, focusing on the
long-term strategy. These are all things
that we’re prioritizing, at least in my seat. And then I know
that each subregion leader and their teams
have their own priorities. So I’ll turn it over to
you, Kathy, for North Asia. KATHY LEE: Sure. If I may add, I think one
more critical priority for us as leaders in this region is to
think about career development for our staff because they are
the true talent within Google Cloud. And they are the representatives
when they engage the customers out there and helping customers
to make use of Google Cloud. JENNIFER LYE: So, far we’ve been
talking about business, like, can you tell us what a fun
side about Google Cloud? RICK HARSHMAN: Well, the
fun side of Google Cloud, well, I mean, all of the rumors
I can validate about Google are true around the
benefits that you get. I mean, we have an amazing
gym here in Singapore. We have amazing food. You know, I joke, but
I think it’s true. I think we have the best
coffee in any office that I’ve been to at Google. We have a really lively
and active community that’s very diverse. We have a constant culture club
across each of our offices. And there’s always some fun
activity that’s going on. And so it’s a very vibrant,
youthful, fun Cloud office. But also there’s thousands of
Googlers across Asia-Pacific. And they’re all fun
and fairly like-minded. So it’s a really
great place to work. JENNIFER LYE: Well,
personally, for me, I like the diversity
of the culture. Fantastic place to work. OK. Come one last
question from Sachin. How are you approaching
complex market like ASEAN? RICK HARSHMAN: Great
question, Sachin. So for those that
may not be aware, ASEAN is the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations. So it’s a grouping of
six to seven countries. And so the way that
we’re looking at it is we have offices and people
in Singapore, and in Indonesia, and in Malaysia, in
Thailand, in the Philippines. And we are approaching the
market from a direct as well as an indirect perspective. So we have Cloud
Googlers in these places that are selling to customers
and companies in those markets as well as
multinational companies that may be in those markets,
across those industries that I was talking
about, as well as working through partners
in those markets. In the partner ecosystem, we
work with regional systems integration companies that will
be primarily focused locally in those markets
as well as what we call global systems
integration companies that have a global footprint. So companies like an
Accenture or Deloitte or PwC or Wipro or Mphasis. So we’ll work with
those companies as well. And so we’re approaching
the Southeast Asian market, which by the way, is one of
our fastest growing markets. We’re approaching it in a
direct as well as indirect way. And so far, it’s been
working out really well. Thank you for the question. JENNIFER LYE: OK. Thank you, Rick and
Kathy, for being here. And, of course, thank you, all
the viewers, for participating. So be sure to subscribe to
“Life at Google” for more videos about working at Google. Check out the links
in the description box below for helpful
resources related to what we talked about today. And we hope to see
you soon, really. RICK HARSHMAN: Yeah. Thank you, Jen. I really appreciate it. You did a great job. So what I’d leave you with is,
look, we are hiring rapidly– as I’ve said, I
think, 20 times– across Asia-Pacific. Please feel free to
visit our career site. Please feel free to reach
out to us via LinkedIn. We’ve got a great team. And we’re looking to
continue to augment that team with many of you. So please feel
free to reach out. KATHY LEE: And we hope to
see your application soon. JENNIFER LYE: Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] bye. KATHY LEE: Bye.

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