Google Cloud Platform breaks through with big enterprises, signs up Disney and others

Google Cloud Platform has lagged behind AWS and Microsoft Azure since its start. But, will key customers and new tools help turn the tide?
Written by Conner Forrest, Contributor
Image: Conner Forrest/CBS Interactive

Diane Greene made her pitch to CIOs on Wednesday and argued that Google's Cloud Platform is ready for primetime.

Coming off a few key wins recently, Google Cloud Platform has been growing in its offerings and competing with AWS and Microsoft Azure in the price cutting wars. However, the company has struggled to make its case with major enterprise clients.

On Wednesday, at the 2016 Google Cloud Platform Next conference in San Francisco, Google announced that Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media and Coca Cola would be joining the fold as the newest Google Cloud Platform customers.

Greene said that she believes customers choose Google Cloud Platform for three key reasons:

  1. Better value
  2. Reduced risk
  3. Access to innovation

SEE: The Google Cloud Platform: 10 things you need to know (TechRepublic)

The news comes only a few months after Google netted big deals with both Spotify and Apple, with the two implementing Google Cloud Platform within their organizations. It's worth noting that Coca Cola is also an AWS customer, and AWS poster child Netflix is also a Google Cloud Platform customer as well, so most deployments aren't zero sum.

Outside of adding customers, Google has been making other pushes to improve its Cloud Platform, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently announcing that Google Cloud Platform was "ready to be used at scale."

Google pitches roadmap

Google's Brian Stevens announced the Google Stackdriver beta, which offers unified monitoring, logging, and diagnostics was also announced, in hopes of improving operations across the Google Cloud Platform, but it is also available to manage AWS accounts as well.

Google also announced new enterprise features for the Cloud Platform, such as audit logging, identity and access management (IAM) roles, and customer-supplied encryption keys for Compute Engine, which is generally available, and for Cloud Storage, which is in beta.

Data and machine intelligence also made an appearance on the first day of the Next conference, with the announcement of a new Cloud ML (machine learning) platform and speech API.

Google's BiqQuery got a few new features and the company announced new cloud networking tools like Subnetworks, a virtual private cloud tool, Cloud Router, and Cloud CDN.

The platform has also recently expanded its reach geographically, adding data centers in Portland and Tokyo, with plans to expand into 10 more regions by the end of 2017.

Greene, the former CEO and co-founder of VMware was hired by Google to lead a few of its enterprise cloud initiatives in November 2015, at the same time Google acquired her startup Bebop. Greene's experience dealing with corporate clients is the type of enterprise clout that Google needs to stay competitive in the cloud space.

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