Google Set to Make Play for Cloud with Raft of Acquisitions

March 24, 2016

By Tara Seals - Contributing Writer

Google (News - Alert) is prepared to pony up millions to get up to speed in the enterprise cloud business, according to reports.

Sources told Re/code that Google has a wish list of companies that sell business cloud apps, including payroll and health benefits app provider Namely Inc. and Xactly (News - Alert) Corp., which offers a sales tracker. Other targets include Metavine, an automated app services startup, and CallidusCloud, which does sales enablement.

The search giant is also looking to “Amazon” itself by acquiring Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify Inc., the report said.

All of these companies dovetail well with Google’s own cloud data storage business, of course, and the enterprise app providers would give the search giant an end-to-end cloud proposition in the business market.

None of the rumors have been confirmed, and the sources said that the discussions are merely in the early stages. But it’s clear that Google has big cloud ambitions: Last year, it hired top talent, ex-VMware Inc. co-founder Diane Greene, to head up its cloud business, shortly after acquiring her startup, Bebop.

Google has been making headway as well: last week it was announced that Apple (News - Alert) was branching out from Amazon Web Services, and is now storing up to $600 million-worth of iCloud documents and photos on Google’s servers. Other customers include Best Buy, Coca Cola, Macy’s and Spotify. Google is still much, much smaller in the cloud business than AWS or Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure, but it’s making progress for sure.

Late last year, the company’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle said that he expected Google’s cloud business revenue to surpass its ad business within just five years. For a company built on monetizing the Internet, it was a bold proclamation. But the assembly of a stable of performing app providers could help it get there.

Edited by Maurice Nagle