The billion dollar competition to provide Boeing with cloud computing services is over and the winner is… a split of three. Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft get a piece of the business, Boeing today announced.
in a LinkedIn PostSusan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer and senior vice president of information technology and data analytics, called it a “multi-cloud partnership.”
“This represents a significant investment in the digital tools that will power the next 100 years of Boeing,” he wrote. “These partnerships strengthen our ability to test a system, or an aircraft, hundreds of times using digital twin technology before deploying it.”
Doniz said becoming more cloud-centric will provide Boeing with “global scalability and elasticity without having to predict, purchase, maintain and pay for on-premises servers.”
Financial details related to the multi-cloud partnership were not disclosed.
Historically, most Boeing applications have been hosted and maintained through on-site servers that are managed by Boeing or third-party partners. It could be argued that Boeing’s extensive intranet paved the way for today’s cloud computing services.
“Commercialization and the provision of computer services imply a completely new way of doing business”, Boeing president T.A. Wilson stated in 1970 when Boeing Computer Services was formed.
In recent years, Boeing has transitioned its own aging computing infrastructure to cloud providers. For example, in 2016 the company chose Microsoft Azure to handle a significant proportion of your commercial aviation data analytics applications.
At the time, that was considered a “remarkable gain” for Microsoftbut Boeing has also maintained relationships with AWS, Google and other cloud providers.
Some had hoped that Boeing would choose a top supplier as a result of the recently concluded bidding process. Last year, Information cited its sources saying the deal could be worth at least $1 billion over the course of several years, and that Andy Jassy, who is now Amazon’s CEO, saw it as a “must have” for AWS.
But if Boeing is favoring one member of the cloud troika over the others, it’s being careful not to show it off publicly, to the point where today’s announcement consistently lists all three companies in alphabetical order. (If you happen to know who the big winner is, send us a tip.)
Update for April 6 at 4 pm PT: in a interview with insiderAmazon Web Services senior vice president of sales and marketing Matt Garman analyzed Boeing’s decision to divvy up cloud computing services contracts and said exactly what an executive in his position would be expected to say.
“They’re announcing that they’re going to have a couple of different partnerships,” Garman said. “I think the vast majority of that will land with AWS.”
Cloud services are not the only connection between Amazon and Boeing: in its press release on the Boeing cloud dealAmazon notes that it has more than 110 Boeing aircraft in its Amazon Air delivery fleet.
The other two cloud titans are also speaking out: Microsoft noted that it has been working with Boeing for more than two decades and that today’s deal will deepen the relationship. Meanwhile, Google emphasized its efforts to match 100% of the energy that powers its cloud workloads with renewable energy. “making it the cleanest cloud in the industry.”