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Google's cloud business nabs Home Depot as client

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 07:52

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Google Inc, long an also-ran in cloud services, has scored an important victory in its effort to win corporate clients: Home Depot is moving some of its data to Google's cloud.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Google Inc, long an also-ran in cloud services, has scored an important victory in its effort to win corporate clients: Home Depot is moving some of its data to Google's cloud.

The deal, flagged Tuesday by Google executive Greg DeMichillie in a briefing and expected to be announced formally on Wednesday, highlights the momentum Google Cloud Platform has gained under the leadership of Diane Greene, a co-founder of VMWare who joined Google late last year.

VMWare sells its "virtualization" technology for improving the efficiency of data centers to many of the same customers that Google Cloud is targeting.

Many of Google Cloud's more prominent customers, including message service Snapchat and accommodation service Airbnb, are new Internet-based companies - not always the best references for chief information officers at more traditional companies.

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Landing Home Depot, the Atlanta-based construction and home-improvement retailer with over 2,000 stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico, bolsters Google Cloud's standing among bricks and mortar businesses. Home Depot declined to provide any details on its deal with Google.

Google's cloud business generated about US$500 million in revenues last quarter, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, up from US$400 million the quarter before. That compares to US$21.32 billion overall for parent company Alphabet Inc, but the cloud business is one of its fastest-growing business areas.

Overall, Google is the No 4 player in cloud infrastructure services, according to Synergy Research, with 4 per cent market share last year. Amazon's AWS took 31 per cent of the market, Microsoft's Azure 9 per cent, and IBM, 7 per cent.

But there are signs Google is gaining ground. Apple, long a user of Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure, has started using Google's cloud for its iCloud, the service that allows Apple customers to store music, photos, and documents, according to an industry executive.

And last month, music service Spotify, a high-profile customer of Amazon's AWS, said it would use Google's cloud for some computing infrastructure.

Google is also building up its data centers across the world, launching two new regional centers in Japan and Oregon to bring the number of regions it serves to five.

Google kicks off its cloud conference in San Francisco Wednesday.

REUTERS

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