For 20 years, Sébastien Marotte, VP of Google Apps for Work, has helped international businesses transform their strategies and adopt innovative technologies. Today 93%1 of businesses rely on cloud computing, whether using a private, public or hybrid cloud strategy. Here, Sébastien shares the value of cloud computing and the importance of understanding customers and prioritizing people.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: I’m always looking for ways to create a better customer experience, and the best way to learn how to do that is by talking to customers. I get to hear firsthand what they like about our product and about their pain points. My mantra is “Go, learn, see”. Spending time with customers also shows them that we truly care about what keeps them up at night and are committed to helping them.
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your new role
A: Google emphasizes long-term success by focusing on people and supporting them to fulfill their potential. This helped me switch my mindset. At my previous employer, I only measured success on revenue and sales metrics. After joining Google in 2011, I learned that measuring performance on those parameters alone wouldn’t work. After my first six months, I received 360-degree feedback and learned that while revenue numbers showed I was performing well, my leadership style didn’t jibe with my team. From there on out, I made people my priority. I started communicating more frequently with my team and provided visibility into our long-term strategy. While it’s challenging to measure performance based on how my team views my leadership, it’s ultimately been very rewarding.
Q: Let’s talk about your speciality now: cloud computing. Some
companies were initially hesitant about the security of cloud computing.
How do you prove that Google Apps for Work is secure and
A: The proof lies with our customers. Companies like PwC feel secure with their corporate and client data in the cloud. That says something, especially since they’re in a highly regulated industry. Having customers like Roche in pharmaceuticals and BBVA in finance makes a case for how secure data is in the cloud. It’s more powerful for our customers to prove its security than for us to talk about it.
Q: What do you see as the biggest benefits of cloud
A: Cloud computing allows companies of all sizes to move quickly and innovate to keep pace with smaller, more agile companies. Each day you keep using legacy systems is another day you risk being replaced by newcomers in the industry. Cloud computing can improve employee collaboration and connect data that lives in disparate locations. For example, when Roche Engineering introduced Google Apps in their R&D department, engineers worked together more efficiently and as a result brought new products to market faster.
Q: What’s something people might not know about you?
A: I love kitesurfing with my 16-year-old son on the weekend. I started kitesurfing when I lived in Singapore because I missed skiing and it seemed like a good substitute. Now I’m addicted to the speed and adrenaline of surfing high waves and jumping.
Sébastien started kitesurfing when he lived in Singapore
After a long day at work, my favorite thing is coming home to my family and having a glass of wine with my wife. At work, I love being surrounded by diversity. When I lived in Singapore, I worked alongside people from all different cultures and everyone brought different strengths to the team. The combination of strengths and experiences that people bring drives better performance and more creative ideas. I continue to experience that diversity here, and it inspires me to work hard and be strategic.
- Source: Cloud Computing Trends: 2015 State of the Cloud Survey, RightScale http://goo.gl/sC1gW6
Sebastien Marotte, VP of Google Apps for Work
Collaboration, Culture, Google Apps, Innovation