​Google - Climbing the cloud ladder in A/NZ

​Google - Climbing the cloud ladder in A/NZ

As businesses increasingly migrate to the skies, Google Cloud aims to capitalise on its standing as a cloud contender.

Renee Gamble - Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Google Cloud (Photo by Maria Stefina)

Renee Gamble - Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Google Cloud (Photo by Maria Stefina)

With trillions of dollars up for grabs, a catalogue of vendors remain lured by the lucrative riches seemingly on offer.

Yet as the public clouds part and the industry settles - in Australia, New Zealand and overseas - a core group of frontrunners remain.

While statistics vary slightly, Amazon Web Services’ lead appears unassailable in light of 31 per cent global market share, followed by Microsoft, Google and IBM with 11 per cent, eight per cent and five per cent respectively.

Combined, the four powerhouses control over half of the worldwide cloud infrastructure service industry, yet for Google, Australia represents a new battle ground to claw back market share.

“We think there’s plenty of headroom left in the market,” Google Cloud country manager of Australia and New Zealand, Renee Gamble, said.

“We’ve invested early in Australia in terms of our Google Cloud business and as a country we’ve been part of the first wave of adoption in terms of the overall cloud offerings.”

Such a statement of intent is backed up by plans to launch the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in Australia in 2017, a move which will see the introduction of three availability zones in Sydney.

In taking the local fight to AWS and Microsoft in particular, the launch is designed to deliver new levels of value to customers around products and services, with the GCP now serving over one billion end-users across the world.

“We’re already seeing momentum pick up locally following the announcement, which is benefitting both customers and channel partners,” Gamble observed.

“Australia is one of our strongest markets and that’s why we are serious about investing locally given the growth potential we see.”

New-look cloud

Australia aside however, Google continues to change global opinion through the hiring of over 1,000 new cloud-focused jobs worldwide, in addition to opening new Google Cloud Regions in Mumbai, Singapore, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt.

Renee Gamble - Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Google Cloud
Renee Gamble - Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Google Cloud

Furthermore, some of the world’s most innovative organisations are choosing Google Cloud Platform, including Coca-Cola, Spotify, Philips, Heathrow Airport and HTC.

Collectively, it paints a different picture for a vendor renowned for its internet search capabilities.

But it doesn’t stop there, with the recent rebranding of Google Apps for Work emphasising yet another shift in focus, with the newly named G Suite illustrating a unified collection of tools, rather than merely a set of individual offerings.

“We have thousands of customers in Australia already using G Suite and there’s lots of appetite from the channel also,” Gamble said.

Spanning productivity and collaboration tools, more than five million organisations use the Microsoft Office 365 competitor worldwide, including 60 per cent of Fortune 500 companies.

Yet for Gamble, the smaller end of town provides equal amounts of potential for cloud adoption across Australia.

“We play really well in the start up space because we are easy to acquire and easy to onboard,” Gamble explained. “We don’t lock customers into contracts which is appealing to smaller organisations, while also allowing larger businesses to start testing and playing with our services.

“We’re strong among small businesses for G Suite because these companies are already comfortable moving to the cloud. It’s a natural evolution to start moving applications and increase investment around infrastructure platforms.”

Intelligent cloud

With businesses at both ends of the market increasingly interested in creating intelligent applications, there's an arms race among public cloud providers to provide the best machine learning capabilities.

Google fired its latest salvo in November through enhancements to its existing suite of cloud machine learning capabilities.

The first was a new Jobs API aimed at helping match job applicants with the right openings, alongside slashing the prices on its Cloud Vision API and launching an enhanced version of its translation API.

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