The discontinuity of the service is announced for August 16, 2023, the date on which the APIs of IoT Core Device Manager will no longer be accessible. MQTT and HTTP gateways will be decommissioned. As a reminder, the IoT service has been in general availability since 2018, after a beta phase started in 2017.
“We recommend that you act quickly to migrate from IoT Core to another service,” the service managers write to their customers. “As a first step, contact your Google Cloud account manager if you have any questions about your migration plans. Your account manager can also help you learn more about Google Cloud partners that offer alternative IoT technology or implementation services that meet your business needs.
Leave room for specialists and partners
The cloud giant did not really explain its decision. Speaking to Techcrunch, a spokesperson said that since the launch of the service, “it became clear that customers would be best served by partners specializing in IoT applications and services.”
It also became clear that Google Cloud wants to get rid of its legacy IoT services. He had announced the end of development of the Android Things OS from 2020, an end of support made effective on January 5, 2022.
There remains Google Pub/Sub, chosen by Sigfox before its receivership and its takeover by Unabiz. However, this service is primarily an asynchronous messaging solution for ingesting data into BigQuery.
Based on customer feedback on G2 and Capterra, IoT Core appears to be largely deployed by midsize businesses and SMBs. In 2019, Google highlighted the return of Augury, an Israeli startup specializing in industrial predictive analysis serving Fortune 500 member customers. It was then using Google IoT Core.
Among the mostly positive feedback from users, some demanded new features so that the service is not just a “simple MQTT broker”. In fact, IoT Core had not been updated since February 2019.
On LinkedIn, some employees of competing companies were quick to call on those still using Google Cloud’s IoT gateways to adopt their services. This is the case of Software AG, publisher of the IoT platform Cumulocity, of the French startup Kuzzle, or of members of the AWS IoT Core team, a service used by the industrial company Arkema. For its part, ClearBlade seems the closest player to GCP and provides a migration path supposed to avoid additional costs for Google IoT Core customers.
Google Cloud has other priorities
SAS and Microsoft employees were “surprised” by Google Cloud’s decision. Others like analyst Mohammad Hasan for research firm IoT Analytics had already observed GCP’s weak interest in the Internet of Things compared to Microsoft Azure and AWS.
“IoT seems to be missing as a strategic element for Google Cloud,” he wrote in February 2022. “Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian has never made IoT a priority in his speeches. Although Google has a few high-profile IoT customers, such as Philips, it seems that Google is less focused on companies that are adopting [cette technologie] and more on companies such as Spotify, Snapchat and Best Buy (all of which are well-known Google Cloud customers).
However, Mohammad Hasan said he was “shocked” by the Google IoT Core service interruption, as several industry experts on LinkedIn questioned the mode of communication and the lack of long-term support offered for certain services. from GCP.
Although the impact of such a decision appears limited, it could erode the image of the supplier regularly criticized for the launch and then the rapid closure of projects or services.
The end of life of Google IoT Core seems more linked to an economic requirement. As a reminder, in the second quarter of 2022, GCP generated revenue of $6.28 billion, but recorded a net loss of $858 million over the same period. According to financial analysts, this negative balance would correspond to investments to remain in competition against AWS and Microsoft Azure. At the moment, Google Cloud is focusing its developments on AI, datawarehousing, while expanding its presence in Asia-Pacific by deploying three new cloud regions in Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand.