15 things to know about Amazon, Google, Microsoft cloud businesses 

Over the past six months, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have forged new partnerships, made various acquisitions and rolled out new business strategies related to their cloud businesses.

Here are 15 things to know about the tech giants' respective cloud businesses since last October, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review

Amazon

1. Amazon's value on Jan. 31 topped the $1 trillion mark after an impressive fourth quarter of 2019 financial report, which was led by huge growth in revenues from the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. AWS saw a 34 percent year-over-year increase for the quarter, and a 37 percent increase for the year. The company's shares closed the same day with a total value of $999.96 billion.

2. Amazon's hiring website listed more than 37,800 full-time jobs as of Feb. 17 — most in software development — potentially the most ever listed at once by the tech giant. More than 13,000 of the openings are positioned within AWS cloud business.

Google

3. In early February, Alphabet released its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2019, marking the first time the tech giant disclosed Google Cloud revenues. Google Cloud earned $2.6 billion in the quarter, bringing revenues for all of 2019 to $8.9 billion, a significant jump from 2018's $5.8 billion in cloud revenue.

4. Since taking over as Google Cloud's chief, Thomas Kurian has made tough decisions to alter the company's strategy. To compete with Amazon and Microsoft, in February Mr. Kurian said Google Cloud is now specifically targeting the C-suite and creating services for businesses in the fields of healthcare, retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and manufacturing.

5. Mr. Kurian also cut jobs within the tech giant's cloud-computing division as part of a restructuring effort to improve how Google works with customers. Google did not confirm how many employees were affected, but an unnamed source close to the tech giant told CNBC in February that the number was fewer than 50. Despite the job cuts, Google Cloud is focusing on expanding its sales team, with plans to double its staff to 3,000 employees by the end of 2020.

Microsoft

6. Microsoft reported double-digit year-over-year increases in revenue, earnings and operating income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. More than one-third of that revenue came from the company's commercial cloud products and services, which generated $11.6 billion in revenue, a 36 percent year-over-year increase.

Acquisitions

7. Google in early January purchased both Pointy, a retail tech startup, for a reported $164 million and AppSheet, a no-code development platform for cloud applications, for an undisclosed amount.

8. Apple purchased Xnor.ai on Jan. 15 for a reported $200 million. The latter spun out from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and creates high-powered AI algorithms that require only minimal local power.

9. On Feb. 18, Google announced it acquired Cornerstone Technology, an IT company that will help migrate customers' mainframe workloads to the tech giant's cloud platform.

Partnerships

10. Last October, Google Cloud partnered with Suki, an artificial intelligence, voice-enabled digital assistant for physicians.

11. Meditech announced on Oct. 2 that it will be one of the first EHRs available through Google Cloud.

12. In November, Amazon Web Services launched its new service AWS Data Exchange, which allows customers to search, subscribe to and use third-party data from companies including Deloitte and Change Healthcare within the cloud.

13. Epic reportedly began telling customers in mid-January it will not pursue further integrations with Google Cloud and will instead focus on collaborations with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

14. Biotech company Moderna Therapeutics is using its partnership with Amazon Web Service to develop personalized cancer vaccines, the company's CEO told CNBC in January. Moderna Therapeutics is using the cloud platform to test dozes of drugs for clinical trials.

15. Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital in February partnered with Google Cloud and ProofPilot to enhance the existing ProofPilot digital clinical trial platform to better serve researchers at academic medical centers and universities.

More articles on health IT:
Most Epic hospitals are in favor of HHS' interoperability rule, report finds
How EHR vendors fared in 2019: Earnings from Allscripts, Cerner & Meditech
Allscripts president also filling CFO position: 5 things to know 

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