Google Cloud Makes Its Pitch to Retailers
Google Cloud Platform is throwing out an array new offerings and partnerships integrated with advanced capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics in hopes of making deeper inroads into a retail market that could be a bit more open than others in the fast-growing public cloud space.
At the company’s recent Google Cloud Next 2019 show, CEO Thomas Kurian and other executives put an emphasis on retail, which is being heavily courted by Google and other cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud, who note a wariness in some retailers to fully embrace dominant cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Google Cloud rolled out its Google Cloud for Retail, a collection of solutions designed to make it easier for retailers to embrace cloud services throughout their operations, from inventory management and logistics and fulfillment to customer acquisition, merchandizing and e-commerce. They also touted the use of AI and machine learning capabilities throughout various solutions and a wide array of technology and SI partnerships with such companies as Salesforce.com, Accenture, Deloitte and SAP to create offerings for retailers.
The offerings come at a time when retailers increasingly are turning to the cloud to help address the growing demand among customers that the on-premises experience be as easy and seamless as the online experience, according to Pravin Pillai, global lead for industry solutions market for retail at Google Cloud.
“These customers are looking for tools that can make recommendations or better help them find what they need,” Pillai wrote in a blog.. “And they want the entire experience to be faster and more personalized than ever. As a result, many retailers are turning to cloud technologies to help meet these needs. … We’ve invested deeply in our solutions for retailers and many take full advantage of Google Cloud’s expertise and innovation in areas like data analytics and AI.”
At the same time, some retailers are looking for an alternative or a complement to AWS, by far the dominant public cloud provider. Part of it is the growing trend among businesses in general to adopting a multicloud approach by using more than one cloud services provider; however, some retailers also see a growing competitor in AWS, given Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of national grocer Whole Foods in 2017 and the launch of the highly automated Amazon Go stores, not to mention the e-commerce giant’s impact on book stores over the years.
AWS has a broad range of retail customers and services available to them, but Google Cloud and others see an opportunity to leverage any worries among retailers in hopes of gaining ground in a global public cloud services market that Gartner analysts say will grow to $214.3 billion this year.
“Amazon has been the easiest to work with and there have been a lot of people who use Amazon as their cloud services provider,” Roger Kay, principal analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, told Channel Futures. “The problem is a lot of these guys see Amazon as coming after their businesses.”
The relationship between some retailers and AWS has become one of “love-hate” or “frenemies,” Kay said. It’s also become one where, because of AWS’ long shadow over the public cloud space, many retailers can’t …