“The cloud is driving transformation.”

Without cloud solutions, there can be no digital world of work. Bernd Wagner, Managing Director Germany at Google Cloud and long-standing industry expert explains the motivations behind the digital transformation and the new opportunities for businesses. He is absolutely convinced that the cloud is much more than technology, both in terms of its implementation and in it’s power to drive change.

Pictures: © Google

Bernd Wagner, when were your first drawn to the cloud?

Bernd Wagner: It all started with my family, or rather it was they who concentrated my passion. I’m a family man and we often do things together, which results in a colossal amount of photos we want to share with each other. Cloud storage was the obvious and simplest solution to do this, and I found myself wondering how cloud use could be scaled up in corporate environments and which other use cases were feasible. I regularly use features such as voice control and localisation services these days, and so my private passion for cloud solutions has, to some extent, triggered my interest in corporate applications and also impacted my career.

What expectations do you have of yourself when you think of your new tasks at Google Cloud?

I’ve been in the German IT industry for over 25 years and in this time, I’ve seen a lot of transformation and witnessed the respect that many companies still have for changes. Together with my team, I would like to continue to teach, create trust and realise application scenarios with our customers that reduce complexity in processes and structures so that all employees benefit from the positive effects of cloud solutions.

Many companies currently find themselves in the midst of far-reaching transformation processes. What role is the cloud playing?

First and foremost, we see that the cloud is driving transformation and leading companies towards a digital, agile and future-proof world of work. External factors such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and growing number of environmental disasters are stretching rigid corporate structures to their limits and static working models are no longer financially sustainable. On the path towards customer-centric, data-driven business, cloud solutions are helping to drive daily operations. This means companies are investing more in the customer experience and therefore ultimately in their success.

You are well aware of the expectations of future-oriented corporate IT architectures. Where do you see the most urgent need?

We know that businesses and markets will be more digital in the future, which is why we are focussing on developing technologies, keeping in mind the needs and goals of our customers, who want high-performance, flexible and secure IT as well as a collaborative working environment. Customers are making the switch to the cloud to boost operation efficiency and lower IT costs. Our strengths in data analysis, artificial intelligence and security as well as our ability to manage multi-cloud environments definitely come into play here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernd Wagner,

has been the managing director of Google Cloud Germany since 1 July 2021. He had previously worked for eight years as the Senior Vice President Sales at T-Systems International, responsible for German sales. Before T-Systems, Bernd Wagner had already held several leadership positions including as CEO at the Leipzig-based consultancy firm, Softline AG; Senior Vice President at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Managing Director at EDS Global Field Services and Board Member at USU AG.


Alongside this visionary spirit, we also need partners who understand the customers, their business situations and where they are on their cloud journey.

 

Bernd Wagner


Let’s talk about the possibilities of cloud technology. What is now feasible, which in the past was just pie in the sky?

The potential of corporate cloud applications particularly in terms of data processing and analysis is immense. The ability to be able to decentrally collect large amounts of data and then analyse them decentrally or centrally in real-time not only facilitates workflows, but also helps identify savings potential. It also makes systems more intelligent and powerful. AR and AI applications are therefore no longer just a “what if”, but can actually be realised.
As an example, let’s take the banking and finance sector, which has sometimes been sceptical about the benefits of cloud technologies for a while due to its structures, data volumes and increased security requirements. It was only last year that we entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Deutsche Bank to help smooth the way into the cloud and work on developing new products and services. When we talk about these kinds of projects, we tend to forget that the cloud is much more than a technological achievement. It brings people closer together by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, information and even holiday photos.

What is particularly important to you in a business partnership?

Generally speaking, we look for business partners who share and embrace our vision of a digital and future-oriented world of work. Alongside this visionary spirit, we also need partners who understand the customers, their business situations and where they are on their cloud journey. At the end of the day, we want to create solutions that bring real benefits. With the right digital transformation strategy, we ourselves are also giving our customers some added value from our own Google culture. But this only works if everyone involved pulls in the same direction. In Bechtle, we have an extremely experienced partner on the German and European markets that understands the needs of its customers.

What are the benefits of having Bechtle as a cloud business partner?

Implementing cloud solutions often leads to far-reaching changes for companies that require support. Soft skills and soft factors are crucial here as technological solutions alone cannot start a revolution. The basis for success is therefore in the right mix of technical expertise and soft skills, as well as the willingness and understanding of the company and its employees. In Bechtle we have a partner with many years of experience and a well-founded understanding of customers, which are both vital qualities if you aspire to offering each customer the best possible solution. Bechtle understands this and delivers to the customers on-site.

 

The sun shines on the solar field of the Google data center in St. Gishlain in Belgium.

 

Let’s fast forward five years. What do you think will be possible using cloud solutions?

In five years, I think the cloud will not only have a technological and economic impact, but will also affect our social interactions. Who knows. Maybe we’ll see the fist autonomous cars on the motorway or flying taxis in our city centres. The cloud is what the user makes it. We are looking to whatever challenges our customers will pose of the Google Cloud in the future and will try and tackle them with an eye on sustainability and focus. After all, the cloud is about growing with these challenges.

One final question. Can you tell us your dream for the future in one sentence?

Not to save the world with Google Cloud, but to at least make it a bit better!

 

 

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Bechtle update editorial team
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Published on Dec 8, 2021.