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Microsoft? AWS? Nein und nein. Deutsche Bank signs up with Google Cloud for its latest crack at digital transformation

5 months after request for proposal, Satya and Jeff left to languish on sidelines

Deutsche Bank has snubbed the world's two biggest purveyors of clouds to name Google Cloud in a deal that the German giant said "is as much a revenue story as it is about costs".

The bank had reportedly been courting Amazon, Microsoft and Google since February as it sought to "transform its IT architecture" or, more likely, put its ageing infrastructure out to pasture in favour of something more services based.

Google Cloud has won the day and, once the multi-year contract has been signed (expected in a few months), will get cracking on a phased overhaul of the bank's current IT systems.

The Chocolate Factory has been actively slithering its tentacles into the financial services sector of late. In March, its Anthos and Apigee technologies caught the attention of UK banking giant Lloyds.

Deutsche Bank has an eye on Google's smarts when it comes to data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The tech will be put to work on financial forecasting, risk analytics and securing client accounts. The bank said it also hoped to simplify the interactions between customers and employees.

There is certainly work to be done. Deutsche Bank has been on the receiving end of regulatory scrutiny, although it did manage to turn a profit (€132m before tax) in the last quarter (while shedding employees.)

Google was cock-a-hoop over the win, however, it is not the first tech outfit to have a crack at modernising Deutsche Bank's systems. The bank inked a deal with HP five years ago to use the Helion private cloud.

A year later, a sad-faced HP engineer finally pulled the plug on the concept.

Microsoft may have been left a tad deflated. It was trumpeting its new Azure regions in Germany as recently as 2019, and said that Deutsche Bank was using its cloudy wares to develop "innovative financial products and services," while also keeping an eye on international and local regulatory requirements.

All three cloud rivals enjoy Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalog (C5) attestation and Amazon was the first to claim the trophy at infrastructure level, back in 2016.

Deutsche Bank was keen to emphasise that it would continue to work with its existing technology partners – including any rivals to Google Cloud – but with DB's revenues year-on-year essentially flat, things need to be switched up.

"The partnership with Google Cloud will be an important driver of our strategic transformation," said Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank. "It demonstrates our determination to invest in our technology as our future is strongly linked to successful digitization. It is as much a revenue story as it is about costs."

The financial value of the contract has yet to be confirmed. ®

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