txtNation attended Google’s invitation-only Atmosphere event in the heart of the City of London, at Whitbread’s original brewery. Atmosphere is an annual event where business leaders meet to engage with Google. The search advertising giant presents on a number of topics, including “making better decisions”, “transforming your business”, and “working the way you live”.

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Amit Singh, President of Google Enterprise, kicked off the day with an informative talk, predominantly making the point that they see their future as heavily focused on mobile both at Google and everywhere throughout the world; key points:

This quarter for the first time worldwide there are more tablet and smartphone users than desktop PCs.

  • In India there are more mobile internet users than broadband.
  • There were 450 million Gmail users last year and 915m this year.
  • 58% of Fortune 500 companies are using Google enterprise, users are no longer early adopters, they are the majority.
  • The Eurovision final this weekend used Google’s cloud server processing for scale and speed.

S├ębastien Marotte, Vice President, Google Enterprise then took the helm; notable points:

  • Google see the future as everything being internet connected; parking meters relaying to car navigation devices, cars transmitting traffic data to shared maps for the common good, home appliances e.g. refrigerators being able to order food when items are perishing or used, etc.
  • At their I/O Conference last week they revealed an API into Google maps that will let advertisers push targeted ads depending on a users location. This leading the way to seeing shopping Malls auto linking with their stock inventory to push targeted offers to specific target markets as they walk through indoor areas.
  • Location data linking with your Google Calendar to alert you if you are nearly not within travelling time of your next appointment.

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Transport For London, Pearsons and Ocado were then invited to the stage to talk about their uses of Google Enterprise products. Paul Clarke from Ocado, aptly timed with their recent press gave an insightful presentation, endorsed by Google as them being coined “Market Disruptors”, completely changing the way markets operate. They drew parallels from how Blockbuster video has been obliterated with the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm.

Google sight their next major competitor as not Yahoo or Microsoft but the person in the bedroom with a good idea, as there are no longer the barriers to entry that Google faced back when they set up out of a garage. The public now has access to supercomputing, payable by the hour.

Following breakout sessions, focussing on each of Google’s Enterprise products, the main hall convened again to hear an inspirational presentation on Google’s “Moonshot Projects”, where they clearly take innovation to another level, with a series of slick videos, looking at their driverless cars, and spin off’s from their Moonshot Projects, encouraging all companies to not focus on the 10% improvements, but to aim for x10 improvements.

Their key philosophies to Moonshot Ideas and projects being:

Take risks “the biggest risk of not taking a risk is not taking a risk”.

  • Take risks but if you’re going to, fail fast.
  • There are often spin off benefits from “Moonshot Ideas”, e.g. both the cordless drill and the waterproof zip were both spin offs from early space travel.
  • Not having to fight internal hierarchies to test an idea.
  • Breakthrough perceived wisdom. Altavista was the place to find everything online until Google came along with their simplified search engine.
  • Don’t penalise failed ideas, 1 out of 10 will work.
  • Ideas so often get stamped out prematurely by people finding flaws. Try saying “Yes, and…” rather than “No, but…”.

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One comment of note that chimed with an initiative that we are looking to drive forward at txtNation, was where Google commented that they rarely use desktop phones anymore, favouring video phoning (albeit a pitch for Google’s Hangout service).

We are constantly looking for ways to engage with clients better, so anyone looking to setup a video conference rather than communicating through tickets or phone, let us know and we will book in a priority slot with you.

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