Big Data is all the rage at the moment, with many believing it to be the panacea on the path to exceptional customer service and operational excellence. So with their analytics product so popular it is perhaps no surprise that Google are launching themselves into this industry.
They are doing so via a product called BigQuery. They first announced their plans back in November when they allowed a small number of developers access to their most powerful tools. This week it provided a follow up announcement, telling the world that it would be selling that software as a service to corporate customers.
“When you have really large data sets, we have the capability to analyze them,” said Ju-kay Kwek, product manager for Google’s cloud data effort. “A query with five terabytes of data involved could be returned in 15 seconds.” That is, he said, about 10 times faster than the speed of many corporate data systems. He noted that in companies today, “it’s not uncommon to have problems that take half a day to analyze.”
Now obviously if companies want to analyse data via the cloud then there is a good chance they'll have lots of data in the cloud as well, so Google will no doubt be pushing its own storage solutions alongside BigQuery. They are pricing the service at around 30% of what Amazon currently charge, so they're clearly aggressively pushing this new service.
At the time of writing Amazon don't have their own publically available analytics service, although they expect to launch one in the coming months.
“It’s still early days in cloud computing,” Kwek said. “We have huge respect for A.W.S., but we’re different in terms of philosophy.” Where Amazon catered to technically able people, largely at start-ups, Google wants to attract lots of less-proficient executives.
It adds yet another string to the Google bow, although their attempts at diversifying their revenue stream have largely failed thus far, with 95% of revenue still derived from Adwords.
Amazon has a clear lead in cloud computing services but with this announcement it's clear that Google has them firmly in the crosshairs. Whether they'll succeed only time will tell.
If you'd like to find out more about how cloud computing can improve your business, I recommend this whitepaper on the topic by IBM.