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Google Cloud Platform signs up enterprise giants, how does it compare to AWS?

March 23, 2016 6:16 PM
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At the 2016 Google Cloud Platform Next conference, company leaders laid out the next steps in its plan to stay competitive in the cloud.

In the cloud platform wars, Google Cloud Platform sits squarely in third place behind Microsoft Azure and AWS, respectively. However, Google has been been making major moves to bolster its offering in an attempt to make itself more competitive in the enterprise.

On Wednesday, at the Google Cloud Platform Next conference in San Francisco, Google announced Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media and Coca Cola as the newest customers of the platform.

Google has made strides with some enterprise customers, but the platform has primarily been targeting SMBs and startups—even going as far as to offer $100,000+ discounts to help get startups on board. However, it's clear that enterprise customers will be critical in the battle between IaaS and Paas providers.

In addition to Disney and Coca Cola, Google also recently netted Spotify and Apple as customers of the cloud platform. Add that to big business users like Best Buy, and the growth of stalwart users like Snapchat, Google is positioning itself as a real competitor in the cloud market.

But, how does that stack up against its top competitor AWS? Netflix made headlines as the poster child of AWS when it announced that it was migrating its streaming service to AWS. But, AWS also claims enterprises like NASA, Expedia, Samsung, Nokia, and Adobe as well.

While Google Cloud Platform's announcement of Disney and Coca Cola as customers seems to pale in comparison to the volume of massive enterprise customers held by AWS, it is worth noting that the caliber of these new Google clients is impressive and gives them clout as they pitch future customers.

Also, the cloud isn't a zero sum game. Coca Cola, for example, is also an AWS customer. Walt Disney Animation Studios uses AWS as well. If Google can differentiate itself as a better value, or a more innovative partner, it could slowly leech aspects of AWS client companies away from them.

At the Google Cloud Platform Next conference, Google also announced a host of new features and tools to make its platform more enterprise-ready. Security features such as such as audit logging, new encryption keys, and identity and access management (IAM) roles will be making an appearance among other tools.

Additionally, new cloud networking tools like Subnetworks, Cloud Router, and Cloud CDN, as well as new features for BigQuery were announced.

Google hasn't been shy about its ambitions. In February, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google Cloud Platform was "ready to be used at scale." And, recently, Google announced that it was expanding its geographic footprint, with new data centers in Oregon and Tokyo, as well as expanding into 10 new regions through 2017.

Also, Diane Greene's appointment as the head of Google Cloud Platform was an intentional move as well. Greene, who previously co-founded VMware and served as its CEO, brings major clout with the enterprise and the ability to sell corporate customers.


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