Google's Diane Greene announced a major win over Amazon: Target is using Google's cloud

Google/Business Insider screen captureGoogle’s head of cloud Diane Greene with Target CIO Mike McNamara

  • Google Cloud Platform CEO Diane Greene has officially announced that Target is a customer.
  • This is the kind of large company that Google’s cloud needs to sign to show that it’s a player.
  • It’s also a kick in the shins from Google at the cloud computing leader, Amazon Web Services.

Google Cloud chief, Diane Greene announced Tuesday at Google’s Next 2018 conference that Target, one of the country’s largest retailers, is using Google Cloud Platform.

Greene hinted that this relationship wasn’t new, that Google’s cloud was helping Target back during last year’s Christmas season.

But it’s still a major moment for Google as the company attempts to lure large customers away from market leader Amazon Web Services and the acknowledged No. 2 cloud player, Microsoft’s Azure. Since Google is playing catch up, the company has relentlessly trumpeted the superiority of its technology.

Mike McNamara, Target’s CIO, joined Greene on stage. When Greene asked him why Target chose Google, he said that it wasn’t really him but Target’s engineers that chose.

“I think Target and Google have a lot of shared values. We learned learned a lot already from Google about site reliability. At the end of the day it wasn’t me. It was my engineers,” McNamara said.

That’s music to the ears of Google’s Greene. Her constant message is that Google’s technology and expertise is superior to the rivals and appeals most to the techies who actually have to use it.

But it also a not-so-subtle kick at Amazon’s shins. Amazon’s massive ecommerce business has been wrecking havoc in the retail world and the open secret in the cloud world is that many retailers won’t use AWS, period. This is Google’s way of telling all industries that feel threatened by Amazon (which includes more than retail), that Google is waiting with open arms to help them.

Target is the kind of large company that Google needs to sign to show that it’s a player in cloud, analysts say. Target operates more than 1,800 stores throughout the United States and for the past fiscal year booked $US71 billion.

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