Google Is Recommending Palantir to Clients. Here's Why.
A couple of news stories broke this weekend that had many people in the Palantir community wondering about what's going on.
For years we've heard that Google is potentially a massive competitor to Palantir. There is no way the world's biggest technology company would let Palantir get a piece of the AI pie. Right?
Well, Google is an amazing company - many of you may have found this article through the google search engine. It's a complex challenge to manage the world's information.
But they also need help in places where they may not be the most efficient because they simply don't specialize within those sectors. That help can come in the form of working with other technology companies, not always competing against them.
Stephen Elliott Appointed Head of AI Solutions at Google Public Sector
The headline above broke last Friday. While the headline seems boring, the article's first two paragraphs were, to say the least...interesting.
It stated, "Google’s government and education arm has named cloud and analytics executive Stephen Elliott as its head of artificial intelligence solutions. According to his LinkedIn profile, Elliott will collaborate with public sector customers in his new role to deliver cloud and artificial intelligence technologies, with a particular focus on leveraging the Palantir Foundry platform."
Yeah, that last sentence had Palantir shareholders really, really excited/confused/confuzzled, what's the best word for it!?
Stephen Elliot is someone who had worked for AWS cloud solutions for public sector clients, primarily education institutions, for the previous 8 years. His job was essentially to serve as a consultant to make sure AWS could land major contracts in the public sector. He needed to educate clients about the benefits they could get from moving to AWS's cloud.
He now works for Google's public sector division as the head of AI solutions. According to his profile, his job is to get major public sector clients to now adopt GCP (google cloud platform) and also offer AI solutions along with cloud compute - those AI solutions will be leveraging Palantir's Foundry Platform.
Attached below is a screenshot that also confirms that Google is indeed selling Palantir to their clients along with GCP.
What Does This Mean For Palantir?
There are two things to understand here. First, obviously this is bullish. Now, it's not something that's going to move the stock or get wall street excited - primarily because it is not a joint partnership. There is no official release from either company about this, along with the fact that Google itself is not running on Palantir (and there are obvious reasons why they choose not to, likely around competition)
Nonetheless, it is bullish to see Google recommend Palantir's platform to clients. It allows Palantir to gain another method of distribution outside of their sales force. It is also mutually beneficial for Google because if they suggest a very strong solution to clients, those clients continue to use GCP even if they are using Palantir.
This is very similar to Accenture's (one of the biggest consulting firms in the world) partnership with Palantir. If you can sell a service and add another service and recommendation on top of what you are selling that enhances the solution, then the client just gets a better product and trusts you more. In this way, Google is working with Palantir in a PAAS (platform as a service) provider because they are showing clients how both platforms can operate together.
Second, Palantir is able to run on top of AWS, GCP, and other major cloud computing providers - that's not new news - what is new is the fact that GCP is actually recommending Palantir's software.
That's the part that actually excites me. If there are strong competitors against Palantir, Google could theoretically work with them and recommend their products to clients. There is a reason they are picking Palantir.
That reason is likely rooted in the fact that Palantir simply has the best technology in this field, also showing Google giving up some concessions to the software. This does not mean Google doesn't have competing products in the works or wouldn't want to offer their own services, but it does mean that at least for now, Google is choosing to work with a product like Palantir because they believe they can enhance the package of services they sell to clients.
If they could just sell their own products because they do exactly what Palantir does, why wouldn't they?
My argument is that one day they might, but for now they are choosing to recommend Foundry with GCP because they see a symbiotic relationship between the two and feel it would provide a cohesive, comprehensive solution to clients looking for cloud compute and AI services in the cloud.
Overall, this is great news - but it is not something that's going to change anything for Palantir outside of land them some new clients. If Google were to run on Palantir themselves, it would be a whole new question.
What does get me excited is Google's willingness to actually work with Palantir in a business relationship and how that may potentially lead to stronger joint partnerships in the future.