Uber’s stunning decision to get out of the data-center business and pair up strategically with two major cloud providers means Google Cloud will now host Uber’s data platform, some core infrastructure, and some Google Security tools.
In this third installment of our series on what this landmark shift means for Uber and for its two new primary cloud providers — Google Cloud and Oracle — we get an inside view from Google Cloud vice president of global strategic customers and industries Umesh Vemuri on the high-impact role his company will play in support of Uber.
- What Uber’s CEO wants: In our first installment on this mega-move by Uber, I focused on what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is expecting from Oracle and from Google Cloud: You can check out my written analysis in “Uber Picks Oracle and Google to Drive Cloud-Powered Innovation and Growth,” or watch my video analysis in “What Uber CEO Wants From Oracle, Google Cloud.”
- Oracle’s role: I then dug into the deal from the Oracle perspective with a written analysis — “Is Uber One of Larry Ellison’s Billion-Dollar Deals for Oracle Cloud?” — and a video overview: “Is Uber One of Larry Ellison’s $1 Billion Cloud Deals?.”
Today we’ll explore the various ways in which Uber expects Google Cloud to help it remain a high-growth organization, dazzle its customers with superior experiences, expand into new markets, and drive innovation at higher scales than ever before.
The inputs below from Google Cloud’s Vemuri were sent to me via email, and I’m going to share extensive portions of his verbatim comments because I believe they provide a compelling view into the rapidly escalating expectations of customers here in the acceleration economy, as well as the new types of capabilities that world-class cloud providers need to offer.
Greatly Expanded Role
I opened by asking Vemuri how this new engagement with Uber differs from what Google Cloud has done for Uber in the past.
“Uber had previously leveraged individual solutions such as Google’s edge network and Cloud Spanner to address specific technical and business requirements,” Vemuri said in the email exchange.
“This new partnership greatly expands the scope of the partnership to include hosting Uber’s data platform, some core infrastructure, and Google Security tools. The new partnership represents a philosophical shift and trust in Google to facilitate Uber’s commitment to move out of the data center and entirely to Cloud. Google is excited to continue to support the modernization of Uber’s global infrastructure by bringing to bear the power of Google’s portfolio across Cloud, Ads and Google Maps Platform in an integrated, strategic approach that will transform Uber’s customer experience and supercharge growth globally.”
Hosting Uber’s Data-Cloud Infrastructure
I then asked Vemuri to go into more detail on Uber’s decision to have Google Cloud host its data-cloud infrastructure.
“Uber’s business model depends on data-driven decision-making and on-demand optimization,” Vemuri wrote.
“The company’s data platform tracks billions of daily events and organizes that data into a platform leveraged by users around the world. Therefore, the data infrastructure that hosts and powers these engines is fundamental to every aspect of Uber’s business. Data signals are incorporated throughout their platform to inform dynamic pricing, predict wait times, and match supply and demand. Moving their data and services to Google Cloud also supports Uber’s future growth strategy by increasing flexibility, scalability and providing immediate access to technology advances.”
Uber CEO’s Focus on Innovation and Growth
“CEOs who work with Google Cloud are able to partner not only on the cloud infrastructure which will power their business’ growth, but they also receive Google’s direct consulting and support for their modernization and innovation goals,” Vemuri said. “For Uber, the transition away from self-managing infrastructure will unlock new efficiencies and enable Uber engineers to focus more on launching new customer and business services that drive new revenue streams.”
Vemuri continued: “Uber’s infrastructure team completed rigorous technical POCs and validation of the strengths of GCP’s services relative to its competitors. In addition to demonstrating functional and performance benefits for the GCP services in scope, Google recommended future-state architecture that will enable Uber’s scale as well as its ability to bring features to users while reducing latency and improving security.”
Working in Concert with the Other Major Provider Picked by Uber: Oracle
Asked how Google Cloud and Oracle will work together to ensure seamless integration of their services for Uber, Vemuri was rather brief. “We work in environments with other cloud providers, as very few customers have a single cloud provider; this is nothing new.”
Uber Could have picked Microsoft and/or AWS — Why Google Cloud (and Oracle)?
While I feel Vemuri offered compelling insights across all of my questions, I thought his response on this one was particularly good as it showcased not only a truly unique competitive advantage that Google has but also touched on several high-level issues business leaders in every industry must solve for simultaneously in today’s disruptive times.
“For starters, we bring the innovation of Google,” Vemuri said.
“Customers choose us because we bring together innovations from across Google to deliver some of the industry’s leading cloud technologies built on global infrastructure that delivers high levels of performance and availability.
“Looking ahead, every company must become a tech company or get disrupted. This is why we partner closely with organizations to help them become the best tech company in their industry, and build a transformation cloud that accelerates their innovation through data democratization, app and infrastructure modernization, people connections, and trusted transactions—all on the industry’s cleanest cloud. The result is an organization that can take advantage of all the benefits of cloud computing to drive innovation, generate new revenue streams, and adapt quickly to market changes and customer needs.”