Google is Watching the Pennies, Catching up to

Google has been making the news more in how it is watching its budget.

The news getting most of the traffic is Google's fumble of day care.

On Day Care, Google Makes a Rare Fumble

Two months ago, Google held a series of secret focus groups with employees who have children in Google’s day care facilities. The purpose was to gauge their reaction to the company’s plan to raise the amount it charged for in-house day care by 75 percent.

Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500 — well above the market rate. For parents with toddlers and preschoolers, who were charged less, the price increases were equally eye-popping. Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000.

At the first of the three focus groups, parents wept openly. As word leaked out about the company’s plan, the Google parents began to fight back. They came up with ideas to save money, used the company’s T.G.I.F. sessions — a weekly meeting for anyone who wanted to ask questions of Google’s top executives — to plead their case, and conducted surveys showing that most parents with children in Google day care would have to leave Google’s facilities and find less expensive child care.

Do you think you know how this story ends? You’re probably guessing that because it involves “do no evil” Google, Fortune magazine’s “Best Company to Work For” the past two years, this is a heart-warming tale of a good company reversing a dumb decision.

If only. Although Google is rolling back its price increase slightly and is phasing in the higher price over five quarters, the outline of the original decision remains largely unchanged. At a T.G.I.F. in June, the Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he had no sympathy for the parents, and that he was tired of “Googlers” who felt entitled to perks like “bottled water and M&Ms,” according to several people in the meeting. (A Google spokesman denies that Mr. Brin made that comment.) On Monday, Google began the first phase of its new day care plan, letting go of the outside day care firm it had been using.

From a data center perspective, there is Google's negotiation in Council Bluffs, getting the City to buy 2.5 acres to provide a sewer pump station.

On Monday, the Council Bluffs City Council will consider several resolutions to create the utilities corridor. The city would buy land for the corridor and utility easements for the site for a total of about $150,000. The city would be reimbursed by the Council Bluffs Industrial Foundation…

…The city plans to purchase about 2.5 acres of land at the site near Bunge and then build a sanitary sewer pump station there. The land will be sold for $30,000 an acre.

And, the interesting other place is the Google job postings for its Global Infrastructure for data centers.

Invoice Analyst, Global Infrastructure (Temporary) - Mountain View
Strategic Negotiator - Global Infrastructure - Mountain View
Strategic Negotiator - Network Focus, Global Infrastructure - Mountain View
Strategic Negotiator, Voice Focus - Global Infrastructure - Mountain View

This is another area where has Google beat as Amazon has the negotiation skills of a Wal-mart, and watches the pennies like a retailer.  The Invoice Analyst temporary position points to a short term need to work through Google's data center invoices.

We are seeking an ambitious and motivated individual for a temporary assignment assisting our Invoice Administration team in the Global Infrastructure Group. Professionals with experience in data center operations, telecommunications auditing, network carrier billing, or other related areas are encouraged to apply. This team member will work closely with both internal and external groups to ensure that all contractual terms/commitments are met by vendors. This position is a great stepping stone for a move into the Global Infrastructure team at Google. We are looking for top performers who will quickly adapt and respond to industry changes and internal product developments and who will thrive in a fast-growing technical environment. The successful candidate will be operational savvy, should have a ‘get it done’ personality, and the ability to function independently.


  • Audit inbound invoices against signed contracts, order forms, and internal monitoring tools to verify that all charges are valid.
  • Work closely with internal teams to confirm both regular and 'on demand' services have been properly authorized and delivered by suppliers.
  • Work with vendors to resolve any billing questions, issues, or disputes including request for proper Reason for Outage (RFO) and SLA credits after major vendor service interruptions.

It would seem a slow sales growth announcement from Google is coming up.