In a bid to surge ahead rival cloud vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon, Google has announced the re-branding of its cloud portfolio as “Google Cloud”at its Horizon event in San Francisco held last week. The company also announced two new partner certification programs to enhance the proficiency of channel partners in the deployment and management of cloud solutions.
The Data Engineer program enables data-driven decision making by collecting, transforming, and visualizing data. Whereas, Solution Architect is a learning path that helps architects get up to speed with designing solutions for Google Cloud Platform. Google also announced to introduce a new Managed Services Provider program.
Tariq Shaukat, president of Google’s customer engineering efforts said that these certifications recognize partners that become proficient in the skills increasingly important to customers deploying advanced solutions.
Google made several crucial announcements at the Horizon conference to strengthen its enterprise cloud offerings. The company announced eight new ‘Cloud Regions’ including one in Mumbai, India, which is expected to go live in Mumbai in 2017. The data center expansion is aimed at growing its cloud business—Google Cloud Platform (GCP)—to support more software environments, and applications, the company said.
Google Cloud includes the Google Cloud Platform, public cloud infrastructure, Google Apps for Work, enterprise versions of Android and Chrome OS, and application programming interfaces (APIs) for machine learning and enterprise mapping services. The company claims that the Google Cloud Platform now has more than 1 billion users, right up there with Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, and YouTube.
The platform enables partners to build their practices or products on the Google Cloud Platform. The program provides marketing, sales, support, training and technical resources to help businesses leverage Google Cloud offerings.
In addition, the company has announced launch of a new team named ‘Customer Reliability Engineering (CRE)’ consisting of Google engineers. These engineers will directly work with customers who use the Google Cloud Platform.
According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow at 17.2 percent in 2016 to total $208.6 billion, up from $178 billion in 2015. The highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (Infrastructure as a Service) at a rate of 42.8 percent this year. Software as a Service is expected to grow at 21.7 percent in 2016 to reach $38.9 billion.
Google is steadily building its cloud capabilities with geographical expansion and addition of new features and channel programs. The company announced the acquisition of US-based Apigee, an API management company to enhance its cloud business in early September for reported $625 million. The company bought Anvato, a cloud based platform to scale media processing and workflows in the cloud.
However, the software giant is facing severe competition from its counterparts such as AWS, Azure and IBM who are equally bullish over the booming cloud business. AWS who also acquired a slew of cloud companies in past one year announced 69 percent y-o-y revenue growth in Q4, 2015. Microsoft’s cloud unit Azure Media Services reported a revenue growth of 120 percent with the usage of the platform doubling year over year during Q3 2016