Google's Diane Greene on stage at Cloud Next '18, July 24. Google

Google Touts 'Most Advanced Cloud,' Gains on AWS, Microsoft

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene took a victory lap at the company's Next '18 and previewed tools to help partners more easily model and train machine-learning capabilities.

(Pictured above: Google's Diane Greene on stage at Cloud Next '18, July 24.)

Two years after taking over as CEO of Google Cloud, Diane Greene on Tuesday took a victory lap for the company’s considerable progress in creeping up on its two rivals, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

While the search giant has never lacked for scale or technology against its rivals, Greene used her opening keynote at the third annual Google Next conference in San Francisco, to underscore the company’s increased credibility with enterprise and commercial customers.

“People acknowledge that Google has the most advanced cloud and it’s pretty amazing, Greene said. “Since I joined two years ago, I’ve viewed my job as serving the various technologies and services and bringing excellence to how we make it available and easy to use for companies around the world.”

Google has taken an aggressive focus on commercializing much of the technology – such as Kubernetes – it has developed over the years. The company has also been accelerating alliances with major IT infrastructure and software providers Cisco, SAP and VMware, including several key announcements Monday. Greene said Google also has differentiated itself.

“Google is an enterprise company, but we’re just a very modern enterprise company,” Greene said. “Google’s business is information; we have a cloud that’s built to efficiently take in the information, organize it, and put it back out with a lot of intelligence, and this is what every company needs today.”

A key focus on its go-to-market partnering efforts is also helping. The company now requires its sales force to refer the implementation of all leads to partners.

“Their sales people are incented to have partners engaged in all opportunities,” said Alain Dias, COO of Dev9, a Google Premier partner for two years. “It’s a really smart way to go about it, and for us, it’s been great. In some ways they are disrupting the partner engagement model.”

Vanessa Simmons, VP of business development for Pythian, shared a similar view.

“Amazon and Microsoft have a very large partner ecosystem and are much more well established; Google is in hardcore growth mode and [is] very accessible and easy to work with,” she said.

Greene also emphasized several new offerings that will enable partners to more easily help organizations transform existing applications and processes with new AI and machine-learning capabilities. Among those previewed include:

  • Updates to Cloud AutoML, Natural Language and AutoML Translation and to its Cloud Vision API with support for handwriting recognition and the ability and support for new file types including PDFs.
  • New enhancements to its Dialogflow Enterprise Edition text-to speech offering with support for DeepMind’s WaveNet raw audio platform and new tools.
  • Contact Center AI, which will bring machine-learning intelligence to call-center offerings from Appian, Chatbase, Cisco, Five9, Genesys, Mitel, Quantiphi, RingCentral, Twilio, UiPath, Upwire and Vonage.

Dev9’s Dias said the updates to AutoML will make it easier to build new applications with intelligence for customers.

“This is essentially a pre-packaged set of skill sets, he said. “As much as you need developers with expertise in machine learning to structure the data, you also need data scientists to apply those models to develop them. Both those skill sets are hard to attract and are expensive.”

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