Google, concerned that it is not moving the needle nearly enough against the overwhelming market dominance of Amazon and other competitors in the enterprise web services business, staged a media event in San Francisco Sept. 29 to announce new tools and services designed to attract new users and sales.
The huge internet services provider started by announcing an overall simplification of its online services, which seemingly have multiplied as fast as the number of cars on the Bayshore Freeway near the company's Mountain View headquarters.
Senior Vice President Diane Greene introduced an amalgamation of formerly separate Google cloud products that is now called simply Google Cloud. This takes in the former Google Platform developer cloud and all the consumer-facing productivity apps (Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Quick Access storage and a list of others), the group of which is now called G Suite.
Business Intelligence Added into Tools
Important additional ingredients in G Suite are the inclusion of new collaboration features and business analytics options in many of the tools.
The reformed Google Cloud also melds in all the connections for Google machine learning tools and APIs, the enterprise maps APIs and the Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks that access the cloud, Greene said.
"Google Cloud spans every layer (of connectivity)," Greene said. "All of this was built for the cloud from the get-go. Moreover, Google Cloud has been engineered in an enterprise appropriate way, with integrated systems that include guarantees at the service level—all components integrated and meeting the SLA (service-level agreement) for whatever price point the customer chooses."
Google also introduced a set of new machine intelligence capabilities and services. These include features such as Team Drives and Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Expanding Data Center System
Google now has two 1 billion-plus user businesses, Gmail and Android, so it needed to expand its data center system to keep up with the demand on bandwidth.
Thus, the company announced the locations of eight new Google Cloud Regions: Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt, with more regions to be announced next year.
"By expanding to new regions, we deliver higher performance to customers," Google Cloud Vice-President Brian Stevens wrote in a blog post announcing the news. "In fact, our recent expansion in Oregon resulted in up to 80 percent improvement in latency for customers."
In a separate announcement, Google and four other technology giants launched a nonprofit initiative to develop best practices in the field of artificial intelligence and to advance public understanding of AI technologies.
Non-Profit Partnership on Artificial Intelligence
The group's new Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI) will explore opportunities in this area that will benefit people and society. The nonprofit will publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics and inclusivity in AI, privacy, interoperability and technology reliability.
The other members of the nonprofit are Facebook, IBM, Amazon and Microsoft.
Google has planned a San Francisco launch event for Oct. 4 in which it is expected to unveil its new Pixel smartphones, among other new products.