Google’s enterprise cloud play seems rather … cloudy: Page 3 of 3
By Edwin Yapp April 29, 2016
Although DeMichillie had a valid point about public cloud players battling it out with on-premises providers, it does not change the fact that Google’s cloud ambitions still face a number of impediments.
Firstly, it is going to take time for Google to capture real marquee enterprise multinationals such as banks and those from the public sector, retail and other verticals. There is a lot of competition here.
While AWS today is the clear market leader, this didn’t happen overnight and it is in fact still trying hard to work on some of the tougher customers.
For instance, it took four years for AWS to work with General Electric to reduce the latter’s 9,000 applications down to 5,000 and eliminate 30 of its 34 data centres globally.
It is going to be an even bigger challenge for Google to work with similarly large customers, more so than when AWS first did it 10 years ago. And today, on-premises giants such as IBM, SAP, Oracle and other players aren’t going to sit back either.
Secondly, the cloud is not a zero-sum game, which means that any customer would likely not choose only one cloud provider, but may instead have many on board.
For example, while Autodesk did choose Google’s cloud recently, it did so specifically for 3D image rendering – much of Autodesk’s infrastructure still sits on AWS.
Ditto for Spotify, which may have chosen to move parts of its workloads to the Google cloud, but didn’t do so completely.
This is the nature of the cloud world, something that all public cloud players have to deal with, including Google.
Thirdly, while Greene’s appointment may have been a good move, she still has her work cut out for her in terms of wooing large companies.
Greene (pic) also needs to ramp up her regional lieutenants quickly, and communicate Google’s cloud plans more solidly rather than just painting broad, strategic strokes.
Despite GCP Next 2016 being her first public appearance, quite a few analysts felt, as did I, that she was short of details on Google’s actual tactical plans.
Both Gartner and Forrester analysts noted that Greene’s keynote “appeared shallow” and did not “articulate the business benefits” of the Google cloud well, and her keynote also lacked specificity on plans going forward.
Additionally, Google will also have to deal with all the teething problems of being a global cloud player – as AWS and Microsoft had to – when large parts of its infrastructure suffered outage only two weeks ago, due to various issues.
Lastly, Google may have revealed its general plans for Asia with the launch of a data centre in Tokyo, but it wasn’t prepared to say much more on what is arguably the largest cloud market outside of its home base.
An analyst who spoke to DNA anonymously summed it up thus: “The bigger issue is that Google seems conflicted over what it wants to share with the outside world but at the same time, its natural secrecy … is winning out.
“It sets up an event like this [GCP Next 2016] in order to be more open and outgoing, and then doesn’t really tell us much and doesn’t provide much access to key people.”
Edwin Yapp reports from Google Cloud Platform 2016 San Francisco, at the invitation of Google. All editorials are independent.
Previous GCP Next 2016 stories:
Innovation can be bred: Google creativity head
‘We’re dead serious about the cloud,’ says Google
Google’s cloud coming of age
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