Google Cloud Next ’17 Impressions

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Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!  The enterprise cloud race has officially begun and we now have a three horse race. 

With the excitement and latest announcements at the recent Google Cloud Next event, Google has positioned itself as a significant player in the enterprise cloud market. After struggling for more than 2 years to figure out the enterprise market, Google is now accelerating in the right direction. The hiring of Diane Green, a Silicon Valley veteran and ex-CEO of VMware, is quickly transforming Google into a real force to be reckoned with.

She has revamped the leadership team by bringing in industry veterans and, more importantly, improved Google’s channels and GTM messaging. They still have much work to do to catch up to the market leaders in terms of maturity, but Google certainly should be considered as a serious option for any enterprise looking for a public cloud option. The announcements were numerous at the event and  if you missed the event, you can go here (https://blog.google/topics/google-cloud/100-announcements-google-cloud-next-17/) for a quick summary. Here are just a few highlights that should catch your attention

Investments

If there was still any doubt that all enterprises should get out of their datacenter business and, rather, focus on their core business, the fact that Google spent $29.4 billion in CAPEX in the last 3 years should put any arguments to rest. In addition to the 100+ POPs and dozens of regions, Google announced three more last week in Montreal, California and the Netherlands. Enterprises cannot possibly compete on that level of scale and efficiency with any of the top public cloud providers. Google also made a number of new acquisitions announcements in a range of innovative areas.

Competitiveness

Google continues to push the market leaders in terms of price and pricing flexibility by announcing the ability to have custom machine types and by-the-minute consumption models. Google has always been able to offer lower prices than some market leaders but without the enterprise support services. Now we see improved flexibility and more serious enterprise support. Also a joint announcement with SAP on fully certified SAP HANA on GCP and a collaboration with Intel on the latest Skylake chipsets solidifies Google as a real enterprise contender.

Innovation

In terms of innovation, Google did not disappoint. There were dozens of announcements from all product divisions including an impressive horizontally scalable Cloud Spanner database, the Titan security chip, new ML features and the very cool Jamboard (a whiteboard in the cloud). All these new features will give new entry points for enterprise clients to give GCP a try.

Google has always been a company driven by innovation but they have not had the enterprise know-how to convince enterprises to consider them as a serious player. But with the recent  management changes and announcements, things have changed for the better. I expect there will be a market pivot to Google and more competition in the cloud space, which is good news for all enterprise cloud consumers.

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