The News: C3 AI and Google Cloud today announced a new, first-of-its-kind partnership to help organizations across multiple industries accelerate their application of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Under the agreement, both companies’ global sales teams will co-sell C3 AI’s enterprise AI applications, running on Google Cloud.
The entire portfolio of C3 AI’s Enterprise AI applications, including industry-specific AI Applications, C3 AI Suite®, C3 AI CRM, and C3 AI Ex Machina, are now available on Google Cloud’s global, secure, and low-latency infrastructure, enabling customers to run C3 AI on the industry’s cleanest cloud. Read the full release from C3 AI here.
C3 AI and Google Cloud Partner to Accelerate Enterprise AI Adoption
Analyst Take: The same day as C3 AI is set to deliver its fiscal Q1 earnings, it pops out with a strong PR about a strategic partnership with Google. Google Cloud has been on an aggressive growth path, and over the past several quarters, has significantly grown its revenue while narrowing losses. Google has also been steadfast in its efforts to position its vertical capabilities while also leaning heavily into AI as a differentiator. All of this sets the tone for partnering with C3 AI.
This is a clear positive for C3 AI as it moves to accelerate the adoption of its unique AI-based approach to unlocking the value of enterprise data. As we’ve noted in prior coverage, C3 AI’s model is based on an AI-first approach where artificial intelligence resides at the core of the enterprise with data analytics and applications layered on top. This is in contrast to most data-centric providers that wrap AI-based applications around a core data engine. For C3 AI, and its customers, the value is clear – organizations can better leverage the power of AI, machine learning, and other applications to ingest, analyze, and drive business insights from across an extended enterprise, from first suppliers to the end customer.
As we’ve noted in prior research, there are two key challenges for C3 AI moving ahead.
First, while providing a higher level of long-term value than the traditional approach (of layering AI-based applications on top of existing data engines), C3 AI’s model can require a higher level of integration and planning. C3 AI has addressed this through the implementation of industry-specific models and pre-set applications. As noted in the release, this partnership is targeting industries where C3 AI has the deepest experience and pre-set applications, although we expect this will broaden over time:
- Manufacturing, focusing on reliability of assets, predictive maintenance, improved forecasting of revenue, and long-term sustainability through optimized energy management — a key focus of C3 AI.
- Supply Chain and Logistics, focusing on risk management, system resilience, and optimized inventory and controls.
- Financial Services, focusing on the modernization of applications for cash management, improved lending processes, and the reduction of customer churn.
- Healthcare, focused on improving the availability and readiness of healthcare equipment and assets through predictive maintenance solutions.
- Telecommunications, focused on improving network resiliency, customer experience, cost reduction, and the lowering of an organizations operational carbon footprint.
The second challenge facing C3 AI is one of market access — the ability to get in front of customers beyond the reach of its own sales team. And this is where the partnership really drives value for C3 AI — all of C3 AI’s industry-specific applications (spanning C3 AI Suite®, C3 AI CRM, and C3 AI Ex Machina) will be made available to Google Cloud customers with both sales teams cross-selling the complete Enterprise AI/Google Cloud offering. Obviously, this is a significant boost to Google Cloud as it needs to deepen its application and integration support to differentiate from other pure play hyperscalers.
The Forward Look
C3 AI has been aggressively expanding its sales and integration reach in 2021, including announced partnerships with:
- Cloud data platform provider Snowflake,
- Singapore-based NCS, part of the Singtel Group with deep reach into South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, and
- ERP provider Infor, focusing on predictive maintenance for Internet of Things (IoT) devices within Infor’s Enterprise Asset Management system.
This announcement warrants attention from markets and technology leaders as it clearly reflects the maturation of both Google Cloud and C3 AI’s offerings. Google is now at the point where its own capabilities (e.g., Google Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and Vertix AI) can be leveraged to support rich AI-based applications in a standardized service offering. And C3 AI has developed its industry-specific tools and applications to the point where they are approaching COTS (commercial off-the shelf) status and can be sold and implemented more quickly and efficiently through cloud partners.
This article includes contributions from Futurum Research Director and Senior Analyst Fred McClimans.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Related Research: C3 AI Finishes Fiscal ’21 at 17% Annual Growth as Q4 Outpaces