Sergey Tarasov -

Google Cloud gaining ground in APAC

The cloud supplier claims substantial growth in Asia-Pacific, and is upping the ante on partnerships and infrastructure investments across the region

Google’s cloud business in Asia-Pacific (APAC) has been gaining ground since it launched its first cloud region in Taiwan 18 months ago, underscoring the growing appetite for cloud services across the region.

At Google Cloud Next in San Francisco, the company’s top executives revealed that Google Cloud had seen “substantial growth” in the region, driven by demand from both cloud-first startups and traditional enterprises that want to improve customer experiences and become more agile – beyond improving operational efficiencies.

“The cloud market is phenomenal, but the adoption rate is still less than 10%,” said Paul-Henri Ferrand, president for global customer operations at Google Cloud. “We’re just at the beginning of the market.”

As a testament to that market potential and without revealing specific growth numbers, Ferrand said Google Cloud had clinched three times the number of deals that exceed $1m on a year-on-year basis.

Across the APAC region, Google already counts the likes of AirAsia, Go-Jek, Mahindra and Mizuho Bank as clients. “Customers are telling us that we’re the most commercially flexible cloud, without vendor lock-in, and offer the best price-performance,” said Ferrand.

Moving forward, Google Cloud’s APAC managing director, Richard Harshman, said the company would “double down” on partnerships with regional systems integrators and enterprise technology companies. “We’re really seeing that taking shape in India where we have than 4,000 technology partners,” he revealed.

Google is also ramping up its infrastructure investments in the region. By the end of 2018, Harshman said, enterprises would have six Google Cloud regions across APAC, including Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Sydney, Mumbai, as well as Hong Kong in the later part of the year.

The cloud supplier is also part of a consortium that is building the Indigo subsea cable to connect Australia and Southeast Asia in a bid to mitigate disruptions caused by fibre cuts, and to meet the growing demand for internet services in the region.

Experts say the fact that Google is part of the Indigo consortium is indicative of the cloud supplier’s efforts to deliver higher service levels. Rather than rely on third-party telcos to provide the links between its datacentres, Google will be able to do so on its own and get guaranteed bandwidth at a more predictable cost.

“A lot of our customers, especially in Asia, are sensitive to latency, availability and uptime – and that’s what our network is offering,” said Ferrand, noting that Google Cloud offers over 100 points of presence across 35 countries, giving enterprises the ability to serve customers wherever they are.

Sash Mukherjee, principal analyst at Ecosystm, a Singapore-based technology research firm, noted that while Google has a strong portfolio and is rated highly for its local datacentre presence, it lacks other cloud rivals in industry knowledge based on a global market study.

According to Synergy Research, Google ranked fourth in APAC based on market share – behind Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft – during the first quarter of 2018.

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