I just returned from a week in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services’ annual conference. I have either attended or watched the live stream every year for the past several years, and I am continually amazed at the number of new services and features that AWS cranks out annually. During the course of each year, I keep reading about how the other public cloud providers are gaining ground on AWS. However, I am not seeing that. Amazon is dominating with large enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. Many of the big wins from the other cloud providers are in companies looking at multicloud strategies or targeting specific workload types (e.g., Google for big data workloads).
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There has been a lot of buzz this year about Amazon, Microsoft, Citrix, IBM, and VMware, but what about Google? Google has seemed to me to be lacking a clear direction and focus in the way it pursues its business customers. Google has no problems taking care of any and all technical aspects of the business, but it has been missing one of the most important pieces. That piece is a strong, vibrant sales force.
The tracking of user activities increases over the holidays. A user is either a device (car, phone, tablet, etc.), a person (shopping online or off), or a thing (a credit card, etc.) The goal is to offer the users and the owners of the devices and things opportunities to buy more, to shop more, to be tracked more. It is an opportunity, one which normal people cannot avoid. A recent holiday saw the same things coming into my mailbox that show up every Monday, but each web visit led somewhere else.
I was fortunate enough to attend an invite-only Google event to get briefed on numerous announcements pertaining to Google’s cloud services. The announcements included updates on products ranging from Google Docs to Google’s public cloud offering. Additional information was shared on Google’s go-to-market strategy and staffing ambitions as it gears up to gain ground on AWS and Azure over the next few years.
There are a number of companies that are in a race to own the enterprise landscape when it comes to infrastructure automation and development pipelines (aka continuous integration and continuous deployment). What is unfolding here is very similar to what we have witnessed in the cloud market.