Is Google's cloud better than the others?
Not at all – the cloud is a classic commodity market, even in the field of AI and machine learning. In terms of how far behind Google is in public cloud computing compared with AWS, Evernote's decision is something of a coup that might give Google a leg-up in attracting other, similar apps and companies.
"All the cloud providers – such as AWS and Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Azure and Cortana – offer AI, so the playing field is relatively level," says Jones. Facebook is also opening up its APIs to developers to help create bots for its Messenger service. "But this is a good win for Google's cloud platform – they have been chasing new customers hard, and Evernote is not just a single consumer," adds Jones.
That's true – as well as individual users, Evernote itself does serve a much wider business community. "Evernote for Business has a reasonably established client base, so this will help Google's cause, but winning credibility in the enterprise is challenging, and Google has struggled here, I believe." Selling something to one big client at a time, that isn't also riddled with its own advertising, is not where Google's experience lies.
Could this be a blueprint for business?
Cloud platforms are no longer just about scalable data hosting. It's not which cloud you put your data on, but what you do with it once it's there, and Evernote's decision could be a blueprint for any company that has data at the very core of its business.
"With these APIs, any task currently performed by a costly black box data platform can be done in-house for the price of a data scientist's salary or consultancy fee," says Jones. "Companies can build their own tools, to their own specification, while maintaining complete control of their valuable data – it saves a lot of money and opens many new opportunities to use data in a more bespoke and business-focused manner."
High-profile Google cloud-ers that also have millions of customers and vast data-reliant businesses that could use some contextual AI include none other than Spotify and Snapchat.
A major trend
Evernote's transition to the Google Cloud Platform isn't about the trend for businesses migrating to the cloud – that's been happening for years – but rather it's about using it to access the very latest in AI and machine learning to supercharge new services and features.
"The decision of a household name like Evernote to move to using openly available machine learning and artificial intelligence APIs is likely to be the start of a major trend, which has been brewing since the end of last year," says Jones. "Expect many innovative, data-heavy companies to follow."
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Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),
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