Google announced its earnings report this week, and buried in a section called ‘Other Revenue’ was their cloud earnings — thrown together with a bunch of other ill-defined stuff that wasn’t ad revenue. The good news is that the number grew from last year by just about a billion dollars to $3 billion, but the bad news is we still don’t know what the real cloud number is.
It’s interesting to note that Google also trumpeted the news it had tripled the number of $500,000 or greater deals, which is great news for them, right? “In Q2, the number of big deals we closed worth more than half a million dollars is three times what it was last year,” Google CEO, Sundar Pinchai told CNBC. Of course, they didn’t say how many deals they had before.
The question is, why the lack of transparency. The cloud is an essential part of Google’s strategy moving forward and it seems they would want to be more forthcoming with their numbers. It also seems investors would demand more detailed information from the publicly-traded company. So far, it appears that nobody is pressuring the company for details.
Compare that with IBM, which in spite of 21 straight quarters of declining revenue, broke out its cloud revenue, loudly and proudly. In fact, every major vendor in the cloud breaks out its cloud revenue clearly including Oracle, Microsoft, and AWS when they reported earnings.
Here’s what we know about their revenue: Google’s Other Revenue totaled around $3 billion. It would be safe to assume that a majority of that money was from the cloud. Hardware like the Pixel Phone and Google Home, which are also included in the ‘Other Revenue” category, probably don’t account for all that much, but we are left to guess as to what the exact figure is.
Pushing the cloud
All of this is even more curious as the company has been pushing its cloud business for the last 18 months, ever since Diane Greene came on board to lead the cloud effort. The company has been trying to position itself as the developer-friendly cloud alternative. They are trying to project themselves as a firm that has a strategy focused firmly on the enterprise.
All that is all well and good, but customers want to know how you’re doing too, and if the company isn’t breaking out its cloud revenue, it’s hard to know.
Greene was asked an event last year to compare the cloud market to a baseball game, and she joked that it was still so early that we were just listening to the national anthem before the game started. More than a decade into the cloud market, she’s not exactly wrong. It is still early and there’s plenty of market to attack, but it would be nice to know just how much of that cloud market share belongs to Google without having to guess.
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