Mission Google – what can automotive companies learn from Google?
Interview with Marc Ritter, EMEA Automotive Partnerships, Google Germany GmbH
Google wants to support companies in their digital transformation, and the auto industry is particularly interesting. We spoke to Marc Ritter, Google Germany’s automotive expert, in Berlin.
CTI: Mr Ritter, the automotive industry has just presented itself here as ‘forward-looking’. People at the symposium don’t just talk about transmissions or drive trains any more – increasingly, it’s all about connectivity here too. Surely that must be music to your ears?
Marc Ritter: Absolutely, we can definitely help there. And we’re very happy to do so, with our cloud solutions and with the aid of machine learning. Industries like this are an ideal application – industries that were always strongly integrated anyway, and need to be even more so in future.
CTI: In the past you often had to go on the defensive at events like this. Many suppliers and manufacturers couldn’t see where the cooperation models might lie. But today you didn’t have to explain once. As you see it, how’s the partnership with the auto industry going right now?
Marc Ritter: We have really clear models for who processes which data and who owns which data. All of that is transparent at Google, and that’s something we’ve now succeeded in articulating successfully and credibly. Not just to the auto industry, but to other industries too. And like other cloud providers, Google separates its B2B and B2C operations clearly too. Hence our success today.
CTI: But that’s not the only reason why so many people here want to talk to you. The automotive and supplier companies are also interested in your model for treating employees, and in how you adapt very fast to changing market conditions. Can you envision cooperation models there too, perhaps so the auto industry can adapt faster as well?
Marc Ritter: We’re doing that already. We’re very, very happy to assist with digital transformation processes. We’ve now set up the first training centres – one of them is in Munich, it’s called Zukunftswerkstatt. Another one in London is for C-Levels of large European industries; in two-day courses, we help them equip their entire business with a new mission. Google itself is no stranger to change: in 19 years, we’ve already reinvented ourselves 3 times. And we try to pass on these experiences to large companies.