Google Cloud Snags SAP Cloud Chief To Helm All Customer-Facing Operations

Robert Enslin, a 27-year SAP veteran who sat on the software giant's executive board, will take the position currently held by Paul-Henri Ferrand, who will remain at Google.


Google Cloud has hired Robert Enslin, who previously led SAP's cloud business, to take charge of all customer-facing operations as the hyper-scale provider looks to scale its enterprise reach across industries and into international markets.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian welcomed Enslin on Wednesday to his team in a blog post, noting the 27-year SAP veteran's "expertise in building and running organizations globally, business acumen and deep customer and partner relationships make him a perfect fit for this crucial role."

The hire comes a week after the Google Next conference, where Google leaders "spoke about our commitment to expand and strengthen our customer-facing organization to better help our customers with their cloud transformations," Kurian said.

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Enslin replaces Paul-Henri Ferrand as president of Google Cloud Global Customer Operations.

Ferrand joined Google in May 2014 as vice president of U.S. sales after a decade in leadership positions at Dell, then was elevated to helm customer operations in August 2017.

Google didn't make clear where Ferrand would end up, with Kurian only saying the seasoned business leader "has decided to take on a new challenge within Google."

Enslin will report directly to Kurian when he starts in his new position next week.

At SAP, Enslin was in charge of development and delivery of the German software giant's entire portfolio of cloud applications and services, including SAP Concur, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Customer Experience, SAPSuccessFactors, and the Qualtrics business.

"He developed and managed SAP’s entire cloud product portfolio, led the field revenue and enablement efforts across multiple geographies, and oversaw core functions including professional services, ecosystem, channel, and solutions," Kurian said.

Enslin's international experience working in South Africa, Europe and Asia will also be "invaluable" to Google Cloud as it expands globally, Kurian said.

Enslin was named to SAP's executive board of directors in 2014—a position he relinquished when agreeing to join Google.

"With 27 years of experience at SAP and leading their cloud portfolio growth, we're excited to have this caliber of leadership at Google Cloud to lead with focus on the enterprise customer," said Dana Berg, chief operating officer at Los Angeles-based SADA Systems, Google Cloud's Global Reseller Partner of the Year in 2018.

Kurian and Enslin teaming up to combine their industry and leadership expertise will benefit the entire Google Cloud ecosystem, Berg said.

SADA's COO also thanked Ferrand for his contribution to Google Cloud's growth over the years.

Ferrand spearheaded and cemented the "partner attach" mantra at Google Cloud, which meant involving a partner in every deal, services engagement and marketing campaign. That gained him a lot of respect from the partner community over his tenure, said Keith Millar, senior vice president of the services business at Pythian, a Google Cloud partner based in Ottowa, Canada.

“This laid a strong foundation for Google working more closely with partners in the field which increased significantly in 2018,” Millar told CRN.

Pythian expects Enslin will continue that strong support for Google’s growing partner ecosystem, he added.

“Google Cloud's growth and internal teams are laser-focused on customer success executing on Thomas Kurian's mandates of deep targeted industry approach, building customers for life, and adopting a multicloud/hybrid cloud strategy to name a few. Added horsepower with Enslin's history of strong sales leadership and global enterprise experience can only help accelerate these mandates,” Millar told CRN.