Google first announced its plan to become a top cloud provider for the enterprise in June 2012. But turning an inward-focused, engineering-driven company inside out to cater to enterprise customers has been a struggle. By most estimates, Google Cloud remains a distant No. 3 behind AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Last week’s Google Cloud Next conference may mark a turning point. At 10,000 attendees, the three-day event was more than four times the size of last year’s conference. A change in tone emerged: Google spent more time actively reaching out to enterprises than it did flogging its technical superiority.
Instead of SnapChat or Evernote, real enterprise customers waltzed across the stage, including Colgate, Disney, HSBC, Schlumberger, and Verizon. Plus Google announced a partnership with the fusty enterprise software vendor SAP, which will run its in-memory HANA analytics database on Google Cloud.