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September 20, 2019

Thomas Kurian Lands WPP Win, as Google Cloud Gets Wind in its Sails

GCP contract comes amid WPP shakeup

By CBR Staff Writer

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has landed a major enterprise contract win, with WPP — the world’s largest advertising holding company — set to tap GCP for campaign governance, customer data management and AI-based intelligence.

WPP’s move is the latest sign of momentum under new GCP CEO Thomas Kurian, who is attempting to boost Google Cloud’s attraction to enterprise customers tempted by the dominance and feature richness of AWS or Azure’s enterprise record.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian

The contract comes as the UK’s Daily Telegraph earlier this year also went all-in on GCP, migrating a number of AWS applications over to the hyperscale rival, and comes after GCP agreed in June to buy business intelligence firm Looker for $2.6 billion.

The terms and length of the contract revealed this week were not disclosed.

WPP, which reported revenues of $7.6 billion in the first half of 2019, has a major presence in the UK, where it employs over 14,000. Whilst best known for its portfolio of PR/marketing agencies, WPP also offers data management, marketing technology consulting and systems integration services.

Read this: The Telegraph Ditches AWS to Go All-In on GCP

GCP CEO Thomas Kurian said: “WPP is deploying Google Cloud across multiple projects—from building a media planning stewardship system, to improving campaigns with the use of tools for image recognition, sentiment analysis, and natural language processing.”

He added: “By incorporating cloud technology into WPP’s daily practices, teams can speed up their time-to-insight and uncover new opportunities for clients. Also, by connecting Google Cloud to other products like the Google Marketing Platform, WPP can deliver better experiences for their audiences across media and marketing.

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WPP Google Cloud Contract Comes Amid Modernisation Shakeup 

The move comes as part of a broader shake up at WPP that has seen it dispose of 44 of its companies in the past 15 months in a bid to improve profitability, and tout some major new business wins in H1: L’Oréal, eBay, Instagram

Reporting H1 results in August, WPP CEO Mark Read noted: As a creative transformation company with stronger, more tech-enabled agencies, we are well placed for the future as clients look for modern partners to help them navigate an increasingly complex and challenging marketing landscape.”

Its use of GCP will revolve around three key elements, the two said:

1: “Creating better ways of working through cloud-driven automation for campaign set-up, creative management, reporting and optimization across the WPP network.”

2: “Bringing together data points from the customer, market intelligence and WPP data into an open data platform to enable better insights, planning and activation.

3: “Using Google Cloud’s ML tools and technology to help fuel innovation in WPP’s analytics, campaign optimization, content intelligence and customer experience practices.”

See also: 70 Applications, 15 Teams, 9 Months: Lessons from the Guardian’s “All-In” Move to AWS

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