Here's how one enterprise is using Google's Cloud, along with many other providers

Land O'Lakes tapped Google for a new Cloud application, but it's going to be one of many vendors

Land O'Lakes picked Google to run the backend when it decided to launch a new application that connects a bunch of different cloud services to one another for the sake of improving farmers' decisions.

It's something of a surprising choice for the decades-old company. Much of the company is built on Microsoft technology, said Teddy Bekele, the vice president of IT for Land O'Lakes's WinField division. While Microsoft's Azure cloud platform was in the running to host the new WinField Data Silo tool, Microsoft ended up losing out to Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

It's a major win for Google, which has been trying to entice more large companies over to its cloud platform. And Land O'Lakes's decision is emblematic of the way that companies -- especially those with decades of technology history -- are approaching the public cloud.

Rather than going all in on one provider, companies are looking for a diverse set of platforms on which they can build their business. Land O'Lakes has workloads running on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and its own on-premises data center, Bekele said.

The agriculture conglomerate has built its Data Silo application on top of GCP with the help of consulting firm Cloud Technology Partners. The application is designed to use information from a variety of sources, including third-party data providers like John Deere and Monsanto, along with farmers' own data. Farmers then get recommendations, like which crop they should grow in a particular field.

The company chose Google for the WinField Data Silo in part because of its deep Maps API integration, which will overlay data from the application onto a map to make it easier for users to digest the information. For this application, WinField looked at Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Box, before deciding to go with GCP.

If Google's solution ever becomes unsuitable for Land O'Lakes's purposes, the company has built the WinField Data Silo to be capable of moving to competing cloud platforms, along with its other applications, Bekele said.

However, that doesn't mean he's unhappy with the way things are going now. If other people inside Land O'Lakes asked him if they should use Google Cloud Platform, he says he'd absolutely recommend the provider if he believed Google's capabilities were well-suited to the application.

Looking forward, Bekele is taking a pragmatic approach to figuring out which cloud provider will power Data Silo.

"I mean, even now, for us, going forward, we definitely plan on staying on GCP for the moment," Bekele said. "But if there are other capabilities [we need] as we start rolling this out to customers, and some other needs come up that are kind of critical, we might consider something else instead."

That said, he's also interested in some of the intelligent functionality built into Google's cloud for future development.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?