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Google Lands Orbitera, Provides Fresh Ammunition against Microsoft, AWS

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Google Lands Orbitera, Provides Fresh Ammunition against Microsoft, AWS

August 09, 2016
By Steve Anderson
Contributing Writer

Recently, we saw how Google (News - Alert) was losing ground to Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) on some fronts as Microsoft recently took business away in the form of Land O' Lakes. Google is clearly not taking this lying down, meanwhile, as the company acquired Orbitera in a deal valued at around $100 million.

While the exact terms weren't disclosed, sources “close to the deal” tell TechCrunch that the value is in the nine-figure range, meaning that Google's clearly putting a lot into Orbitera. With good reason, too; Orbitera is a company that offers a complete platform for both buying and selling cloud-based software. With around 60,000 enterprise stacks, at last report, already released to Orbitera, and given that Orbitera CEO Marcin Kurc was an AWS employee previously, it's a clear bet that Google wasn't just looking for Orbitera technology, but also talent.

Kurc himself noted that Google wasn't planning to make changes “at this time,” and would keep everything running as-is. That's a point assented by Google, whose head of global technology partners Nan Boden commented, “Looking to the future, we’re committed to maintaining Orbitera’s neutrality as a platform supporting multi-cloud commerce. We look forward to helping the modern enterprise thrive in a multi-cloud world.”

Orbitera is set to focus on four key points of a cloud marketplace from start to finish, including Marketplace and Catalogs, Packaging and Provisioning, Trials and Lead Management, and finally, Billing and Cost Optimization. Having all of these points together in one package should make it easier to get a hold of cloud services, and potentially, give Google the edge it needs to compete in a field with several other major names going after the same market. 

It could be a bit harmful to Google, however; in a sense, it's acknowledging that, in some cases, the product Google's offering on its platform may not actually be a Google product. That may not always be the case, especially the farther down the road Google goes with this acquisition, but the end result could be that Google starts hawking other companies' products...or only offers its own through this new platform.

That's an unusual new dynamic for Google, but we're talking about an unusual new market. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so surely unusual times call for similarly unusual measures. Can Google expect to keep its users purely on the Google Cloud reservation? Or will it have to adjust to the possibility that, as Boden also noted, “...both enterprise customers and ISVs want to be able to use more than one cloud provider...” and work accordingly?

This too is an unusual question and only time will tell the ultimate result. Still, by offering other companies' cloud measures alongside its own, Google may ultimately be driving its own credibility by being willing to say that sometimes it's not the company for the job. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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