AWS Takes Shot At Google's Lack Of Enterprise Experience, Says Apple Leak Is A 'Puzzler'

Amazon Web Services apparently believes that Alphabet's Google leaked details about signing up Apple as a cloud customer, and now it's fighting back.

As CRN was first to report Wednesday, Apple became a Google Cloud Platform customer around the end of last year and Google executives have told partners the deal is worth between $400 million and $600 million.

CRN also reported that Apple has significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon Web Services -- whose infrastructure it uses to run parts of iCloud and other services -- but remains an AWS customer.

[Video: Apple Goes With Google Cloud, Cuts Spending With AWS]

Sponsored post

An AWS spokeswoman, in an emailed statement sent late Wednesday in response toCRN's report, said Apple's move to work with Google does not amount to a "competitive defection."

The AWS spokeswoman also suggested that Google is playing fast and loose with customer confidentiality.

"It's kind of a puzzler to us because vendors who understand doing business with enterprises respect [non-disclosure agreements] with their customers and don't imply competitive defection where it doesn't exist," the AWS spokeswoman said.

Google spokespeople didn't respond to a request for comment.

Many enterprises that are moving to the cloud don’t want to be named for security reasons, said Luis Benavides, founder and CEO of Day1 Solutions, an AWS partner in McLean, Va.

’The NDAs are in place to protect them from a scenario where their name is used publicly or their intentions could be misinterpreted,’ said Benavides. ’AWS does a great job keeping those customers who want to remain private from being named publicly, I think it’s an example of how strongly they feel about security."

Calling out Google's enterprise experience is an unusual move for AWS, which rarely trash talks rival vendors. Clearly, AWS isn't about to let Google -- widely seen as the distant No. 3 player in public cloud after AWS and Microsoft Azure -- sign up one of its top customers without fighting back.

Google, despite its vast cloud engineering and data center expertise, has had modest success in attracting enterprises. Its customers include Snapchat, General Mills, Coca-Cola, HTC and Best Buy. Under a partnership with Google formed in 2014, PricewaterhouseCoopers steers its customers to develop custom apps and mobile offerings on Google Cloud Platform.

Since VMware co-founder Diane Greene joined Google last November, the Mountain View, Calif.-based vendor has been ramping up efforts to attract enterprise cloud customers and partnerships. Last month, Google signed up Spotify as a cloud customer, touting it as a competitive win.

"Google has made great strides over the past few years to expand and enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of Google Cloud Platform. Clearly, those results are paying off with some significant wins,’ said Allen Falcon, founder and CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based Google partner.

But despite landing Apple as a customer, Google still trails AWS by a wide margin in public cloud. AWS accounted for a 31 percent share of the market in the fourth quarter, compared with Google's 4 percent, according to Synergy Research. Market researcher Gartner said last May that AWS has more cloud capacity in use than its next 14 competitors combined.

Not only does AWS have a larger stable of enterprise customers, but it also has dozens of enterprises and software vendors -- including Netflix, Time Inc., Intuit, Infor and Splunk -- that have moved all of their computing into AWS data centers. Spotify also runs part of its service using AWS and remains a customer.

An executive from one AWS partner told CRN that he's surprised by Google's slow march into the enterprise cloud market.

"I would have thought they would have done better, given their natural relationships and contracts with enterprises due to advertising and email business agreements," said the AWS partner, who didn’t want to be named.

However, the AWS partner acknowledged that Google Cloud Platform is highly regarded among cloud technologists, though it remains to be seen whether Google can parlay that into actual business.

"We haven't come close yet to losing a deal to Google, but we haven't come up against a pure technical competitive situation," said the AWS partner. "Most buyers are more familiar with AWS and Microsoft Azure, and see Google as more esoteric and advanced workload-specific."