Google is taking another big step in its enterprise growth by convening a one-day cloud computing summit April 12.
Google's Atmosphere 2010 event is intended for CIOs, the decision makers who must choose whether to leave the legacy comforts of on-premises software installed on corporate servers to procure applications hosted by vendors such as Google over the Web.
Here's the landing page for the event:
Several key Google executives will speak at the event, including Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management for Google, who spent part of the last two months putting out the fires around Google Buzz; Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard, who now oversees 1,000 employees primed to challenge Microsoft's Office and SharePoint hegemonies; Marissa Mayer; vice president of search products and user experience; Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management who oversees Google Chrome; and Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management for Google's Android platform.
Googlers aren't the only key speakers. Also on tap are Amazon VP and CTO Werner Vogels, who helms Amazon's Web Services cloud computing infrastructure efforts; Morgan Stanley Director Mary Meeker; and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.
Benioff's commitment to speak is interesting because it's the first time Salesforce.com is joining Google since the introduction of the Google Apps Marketplace.
Google launched the Google Apps Marketplace March 9 as a way to let third-party software developers sell business applications that integrate with Google Apps, including Google Docs, Calendar and the Sites Web publishing app.
As much as Google and Salesforce.com downplay it, the Marketplace is a shot across the bow of Salesforce.com's AppExchange platform, which is geared to let programmers build apps on the back of Salesforce.com's CRM-based cloud.
Google may announce usage statistics for the Marketplace later today.
My guess is there may be some news announced at Atmosphere 2010, but exactly what is unclear because there are so many disparate Google speakers. But this is an enterprise event, so maybe Google will unveil something or several somethings in that vein.
Maybe Google Voice, Google Wave and even Google Buzz will finally arrive for the enterprise. What we may hear are knocks on Microsoft, the rival for which Girouard and Benioff reserve derisive comments.
Microsoft is expected to launch Office 2010 May 12 with cloud capabilities.
Google and Salesforce.com would argue that Microsoft is behind the eight ball in the cloud, but Microsoft has enterprise clout the likes of which few can contend.
In any case, Atmosphere 2010 could be an important summit for the industry, which looks up to Google and its lofty cloud ambitions.