For most organizations, digital transformation means moving to the cloud. But as many will quickly point out, it takes much more than just “lifting and shifting” legacy, on-premises data and applications.
To help organizations truly achieve their digital transformation goals, Google Cloud works with them to modernize their cloud data platforms and empower their people with tools that leverage cloud resources to the fullest. This is the key to enabling data-driven decision-making, accelerating innovation, and delivering more personalized customer experiences.
The fact that Google Cloud has delivered measurable results for organizations in more than 200 countries and territories is a testament to its digital transformation philosophy. And as a partner in the VMware Cloud-Smart Ecosystem, Google Cloud plays an especially important role in helping VMware customers reach their digital transformation goals.
In fact, the partnership between Google Cloud and VMware has grown even stronger since Google Cloud VMware Engine has been made available through the VMware Cloud Universal program. “Bringing Google Cloud VMware Engine into the VMware Cloud Universal program provides customers with choice and flexibility, reduced TCO, and speed and ease to move to Google Cloud and modernize their applications according to their timeline,” says Bronwyn Hastings, VP of Global ISV Partnerships and Channels, Google Cloud.
Now, it’s even easier for organizations to access and use Google Cloud VMware Engine to gain a cloud-native VMware experience that allows them to rapidly and seamlessly migrate their data, workloads, policies, and tools to Google Cloud. The team at Google Cloud works with organizations through the entire journey, beyond migration to modernize their operating model so everyone across the business is cloud-powered for innovation and growth.
That dedication and commitment to delivering genuine transformative business impact is one of the reasons Google Cloud was named the Worldwide VMware Cloud Innovation & Transformation Award winner for 2022. Among other contenders, Google Cloud stood out for its ability to solve complex customer problems, accelerate decision-making, and meet aggressive delivery expectations to shepherd customers along their digital transformation journeys.
Google Cloud’s transformation capabilities are exemplified by its recent engagement with a global retailer with 13,000 stores in more than 30 countries. This company is constantly evolving its retail formats to simplify the customer shopping experience. But over time, the retailer amassed a patchwork of on-premises data centers and a mix of public and private cloud services. With so many stores spread across multiple countries, the heterogeneous infrastructure environment became a hinderance to the company’s growth and agility ambitions.
To advance its mission to deliver the best retail experience possible, the company wanted to focus on offering omnichannel shopping choices. This effort meant modernizing its aging IT infrastructure by adopting a cloud-first strategy. One of the retailer’s European divisions led this effort by committing to have 50 percent of all its workloads running in the cloud by 2022.
Well, it’s 2022, and with the help of Google Cloud and VMware, the European division achieved its cloud goal. In line with a genuine transformation, the company did not simply move all its on-premises applications over to Google Cloud. It decommissioned some applications, refactored others for the cloud, and modernized platforms and processes to support a cloud-first future.
To accelerate migration of its large VMware footprint, the retailer took advantage of Google Cloud VMware Engine. Using VMware HCX, a key component of Google Cloud VMware Engine, the company was able to seamlessly extend its on-premises workloads to the cloud. Consequently, the retailer avoided disruption to employees and customers during the transformation. Moreover, the company’s IT team can still manage its VMware software-defined data center running in the public cloud with familiar VMware tools without the need to learn new skills or use new tools.
The retailer’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) says, “Google Cloud VMware Engine has given us a fast and simple route to the cloud. We were able to migrate on-premises VMware workloads to Google Cloud within minutes.”
With its workloads and applications increasingly based in Google Cloud, the retailer quickly realized efficiency gains by leveraging FinOps techniques, such as switching off non-production machines automatically. And to handle peaks in demand, Google Cloud scales easily and automatically, enabling the retailer to acquire additional cloud resources as needed.
The retailer can also apply analytics and AI to its vast amounts of customer data, leveraging Google Big Query to better understand its customers and deliver more personalized experiences. For example, working collaboratively, data science teams from Google Cloud and the retailer have set up a recommendation engine for its ecommerce services, enabling them to create personalized offers based on customer preferences.
“Being able to leverage the AI expertise of Google Cloud is a huge benefit for us,” the retailer’s CTO points out. “With our new recommendation engine, we can tailor the shopping experience to our customers’ needs and increase sales. During COVID-19, our ecommerce revenue increased by 60 to 70 percent, and part of that success is due to personalization.”
The retailer also uses Looker, another Google Cloud product, to visualize data and analyze the results in intuitive dashboards, boosting the company’s data monetization program. Additionally, by providing data-based insights to suppliers, the retailer can improve collaboration with business partners.
Importantly, the retailer has gained financial and sustainability benefits. For example, by moving its VMware workloads from on-premises data centers to Google Cloud, the company reports that IT operating costs are now running 30 percent lower, which is expected to lead to lower prices on supermarket shelves. What’s more, running workloads in the cloud decreased the company’s energy consumption by approximately 35 percent—an achievement expected to continue improving from initiatives by both VMware and Google Cloud toward zero-carbon operations by 2030.
The retailer’s CTO notes, “With Google’s commitment to operate on carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030, the energy we are consuming is greener than before, enabling us to significantly lower our global carbon footprint.”
Beyond these savings, the retailer also accelerated innovation to deliver new shopping features and services faster, and improved agility to adapt to unpredictable market shifts and consumer trends.
Following on the successful migration of all VMware workloads in its European division to Google Cloud, the retailer is now focused on its corporate 2026 digital retail strategy. Consequently, operations around the world will also leverage the VMware solution and locally established best practices as they transition to Google Cloud.
The retailer’s CTO concludes, “We’re excited to share the best practices established in our division with other countries as they execute our 2026 digital retail strategy.”
Stay tuned for more spotlights on our 2022 VMware Partner Achievement Award winners just like this one. Interested in becoming a VMware Partner? Learn about the VMware Partner Connect program. Looking for a VMware Partner like Google Cloud? Find one using our Partner Locator. Then learn how VMware Principal Partners can help drive your business success.