“Machine learning is a big differentiator,” Marotte told Silicon. “We have the best technology when it comes to analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence.”
Again this would be a bold claim were it not backed up by the fact that Google has its artificial intelligence (AI) division DeepMind with its Go champion beating AlphaGo, its work on autonomous driving systems, and the rather smart AI-based Google Assistant, to serve as examples of Google’s data and machine learning prowess.
While the use of machine learning in enterprises is growing rapidly, the capabilities are worth squat if the infrastructure to handle massive data loads is not in place.
But Google is in luck here; over the years Google has expanded its cloud infrastructure to support its own data hungry services, the byproduct of which is a globe spanning, tried-and-tested cloud backbone that it can offer to other companies.
“That’s where I think Google really excels; because if you look at the infrastructure we’ve had to build in support of YouTube [for example], we have an accelerated advanced start on infrastructure and building it out,” said Bill Hippenmeyer, head of Cloud Customer Engineering for EMEA at Google. “We think we have a better engine for being able to scale horizontal and vertical.”
Given the relatively rare occasions Google has suffered cloud outages, such claims are given a solid dose of credence. Furthermore, Google has plans to open more European data centres, which will expand its footprint further, yet at the same time the powerful performance of its other business units allow it to drive the price of GCP for its customers down to a level that makes it hard for all but the biggest cloud players to compete.
Google’s ambitions in the European arena and its boasts of technological superiority may have raised a few eyebrows, especially among any eavesdropping Microsoft executives, but the search giant backed up its bluster with tangible examples and a solid customer roster, something that many technology firms prefer to keep quiet.
As such, it is not hard to picture Google as the company that could over time knock AWS off the cloud top spot, as difficult a challenge that might be, and beat Microsoft in the enterprise arena.
However, time will tell if the search giant can bring all its ambitions to bear, particularly in the face of a seemingly invigorated Microsoft, and if it can truly navigate the hurdles of operating in Europe with upcoming data protection changes.
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