July 29, 2021
Welcome to Protocol | Enterprise, your comprehensive roundup of everything you need to know about the week in cloud and enterprise software. This Monday: Microsoft and Google's cloud businesses are surging, Google makes a promise to its customers, and the opposite of security hygiene.
The second quarter of 2021 marked one year since COVID-19 neatly divided the business world into Before Pandemic and After Pandemic, a three-month period of lockdowns beginning in April 2020 that forced businesses to change the way they operate. It was also a time during which it became very clear that there was plenty of cloud computing business to go around.
A year later, Microsoft and Google are in a much stronger position than they were heading into the pandemic, thanks to the surge in demand for cloud services over the past year. While they both still trail AWS in the key infrastructure cloud services market by a sizable margin, they continue to grow that part of their business at a 50% clip.
The enterprise is a full-time business for Microsoft, while at Google it remains a fraction of the overall company. Still, both companies are clearly attracting business that even just a few years ago might have gone to AWS by default, which ups the competitive stakes for all three companies and, ideally, will give cloud buyers a stronger set of options.
Microsoft has been on a tear for several years now as it reprioritized the business customer and embraced cloud computing. Nothing changed during this last quarter, but a few things stood out.
Google Cloud is also growing faster than it was a year ago, recording a 54% jump in revenue to $4.6 billion after posting 43% growth during the second quarter of 2020.
There's still plenty of expensive work to be done at both Microsoft and Google should they want to strengthen their hand against AWS.
But there's little question that the momentum from a year's worth of business disruption caused by the pandemic continues to benefit enterprise tech vendors, especially when it comes to the Big Three.
— Tom Krazit
Outages aren't a matter of if, but when. According to data from ThousandEyes, global disruptions in March 2020 — when we saw remote work roll out at scale — were 63% higher than they were in January 2020.
Join Protocol's Biz Carson for a conversation with Atomic's Swathy Prithivi, Accel's Rich Wong and Asana's Oliver Jay during our upcoming event: Going Global: How Tech Companies Can Expand Internationally August 10 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET Learn More
Google's promise: Reputations matter. Just ask the Google Cloud folks who worked on its new Enterprise APIs policy. The new policy promises Google Cloud customers that the company will keep many of its cloud APIs available and stable as long as customers are actively using them, and will provide a year's worth of notice should it need to close or significantly alter one of those services.
Three's company: Tableau decided to promote three executives — Kedar Doshi, Kate Wright and Jim Joudrey — to replace new CEO Mark Nelson in his old job as vice president of product development, Protocol's Joe Williams reported. The moves come after former Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky left the company to replace Andy Jassy as CEO of AWS earlier this year.
What was your first tech job?
My job was to be a grunt! I got a part-time job my senior year in high school at a home/small business computer parts and repair business that also ran user workshops. IBM PCs were brand new, and Apple had just launched Lisa. My job was to do whatever the owners asked, like packing and unpacking boxes, making deliveries, setting up the classroom, getting lunch, etc. And, in turn, I got to tinker around in their repair shop and audit classes.
What was the first computer that got you excited about technology?
Not sure if the Magnavox Odyssey counts as a computer, but the hours playing Pong on our TV as a kid had to be one of the first and most exciting. The original Mac was exciting as well. It was the first time I ever used a mouse and yes, there were games as well.
What's your favorite pastime that doesn't involve a screen?
Cruising around town on my new Vespa with my wife! I was going to say riding my Peloton, but there's a large screen on the handlebars. And golf, yoga, cooking, reading and gardening are too boring.
How can enterprise tech improve its current status around diversity, equity and inclusion?
By building a diverse culture organically with committed and engaged executive leadership. It starts at the top and grows from the bottom. Get the loud voices to listen and the soft voices to speak up. Empower passionate leaders to drive change without throwing corporate dollars at top-down programs.
What will be the greatest challenge for enterprise tech over the coming decade?
Delivering high-quality user experiences that are consistent, effortless and secure.
ServiceNow revenue beat Wall Street expectations with a 31% gain during the second quarter, and it raised guidance for the full year.
AMD's stock hit a record high Wednesday after it posted a huge earnings beat that saw revenue from its data-center business triple.
Intel, which has been the victim of AMD's success, announced plans to build chips for Qualcomm and AWS as its renewed foundry strategy starts to take shape.
Nuclear watch dogs are using artificial intelligence to track worker movements at a secret facility in Iran in hopes of understanding how the country is expanding its nuclear efforts.
Linkerd, the open-source service-mesh rival to Google's Istio, reached the CNCF's "graduation" milestone, which generally signifies that a project has reached an enterprise-ready level of maturity.
Japanese quantum computing researchers will be able to use a new system from IBM for their work, the second time IBM has shipped a quantum computer to a lab outside its walls.
Eric Newcomer had a nice profile of Bessemer Venture Partners, well-known in the SaaS world for several prescient investments in influential enterprise software companies.
DataRobot raised $300 million and acquired Algorithmia to move further into the growing world of AI-enhanced infrastructure operations.
There's no space on the medal podium for this Italian broadcaster who read his computer's password out loud during live coverage of the Olympics.
In hybrid work, the Internet is your new enterprise network. To understand what happened when a notable outage occurs, and what you can learn from it, subscribe to the ThousandEyes Internet Report, a weekly podcast that uncovers what's working, and what's breaking on the Internet—and why.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday!