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Google rebrands cloud business, adds more artificial intelligence

By Julia Love
    Sept 29 Alphabet Inc's Google said on
Thursday it renamed its business-to-business cloud computing
brand and enhanced some enterprise applications using artificial
intelligence, the company's latest gambit to better compete with
Amazon.com and Microsoft Corp. in the lucrative cloud business. 
    Discussing the rebranded Google Cloud, Diane Greene, senior
vice president of Google's enterprise business, said the company
has made good progress courting customers and improving its
technology. 
    Cloud computing uses remote internet servers to store,
manage and process data, and Google offers a range of apps like
word processing and email, as well as the ability to host data
and offer resources for developers. The new name replaces the
Google for Work brand. 
    "We are closing the gap incredibly fast" with competitors,
Greene, a former CEO of VMware who joined Google last year to
ramp up its cloud business, told experts and journalists at an
event. 
    Analysts say Google trails Amazon and Microsoft in market
share but is gaining under Greene. Although the business is not
big enough to break out separately in its quarterly earnings
statement, Google reported a 33 percent surge in "other revenue"
in its most recent quarter, which analysts said was probably due
largely to gains in cloud computing.  
    Greene has moved quickly to streamline engineering and
appointed new leadership to beef up the company's cloud
business. This has helped improve sales, Google Chief Executive
Officer Sundar Pichai said during the company's latest earnings
call.
    Earlier this month, Google acquired cloud software company
Apigee Corp in a deal valued at about $625 million.
    The company on Thursday also announced a partnership with
consultant Accenture to develop cloud services for clients in
industries such a retail, healthcare and finance.
    In addition, the company said it had woven more artificial
intelligence into its apps to help employees work more
efficiently. Using machine learning to crunch troves of data,
Google says its apps will prompt users to, say, open files at
certain times of day or propose meetings based on their habits.
    Google recently added a U.S. data center in Oregon in order
to speed up service and next year will open more in Virginia,
Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, São Paulo, London, Finland and
Frankfurt. 
     

 (Reporting by Julia Love, editing by Peter Henderson and Alden
Bentley)

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