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Google, Dell, and Intel form new computing group for transforming cloud and IT tools

The Modern Computing Alliance also includes Slack, Zoom, and others

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google, Dell, Intel and a handful of other major tech companies in the IT and cloud computing industries have banded together to tackle joint problems around security, remote work, and other enterprise issues that have only become more important during the coronavirus pandemic. The consortium these companies have formed is called the Modern Computing Alliance, and its founding members also include Box, Cirtrix, Imprivata, Okta, RingCentral, Slack, VMWare, and Zoom.

The Modern Computing Alliance will initially be focused on four areas: performance; security and identity; remote work, productivity, and collaboration; and health care. The goal is to pool knowledge and resources toward solving shared problems around how companies perform work in the cloud and the tools they use to do so. The alliance will focus on developing new standards and interoperable technologies that can be used by any company that relies on one of the partners’ platforms or products. In particular, Google is engaged in the effort with its Chrome browser and Chrome OS teams, as well as the division responsible for Google Workplace.

“Today, we’re excited to announce Google’s membership in the Modern Computing Alliance — to address the biggest IT challenges facing companies today with integration from silicon to cloud,” says John Solomon, Google’s vice president of Chrome OS. “Working with a group of forward-thinking industry leaders, we’re aligning standards and technologies to provide companies with the choice of high-performance, cloud-first computing solutions from the vendor of their choice who provide modern solutions for the modern era of business.”

The Modern Computing Alliance predates the coronavirus pandemic; Solomon tells The Verge discussions first began at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year. But in March, as the reality of COVID-19 set in and companies everywhere began transitioning to remote work, the group decided it needed to expand its scope and bring in even more partners, like Slack and Zoom, that were witnessing massive shifts in how corporate work was being performed.

“The needs that our users are expecting and the way that compute is changing really require a new way of working,” Solomon tells The Verge. “It’s not the most natural thing to say, ‘Let’s form a consortium.’ But this isn’t an ordinary time.”

Looking ahead, the group aims to bring in as many IT professionals as it can to help build a council of experts that can identify problems and figure out ways to solve them. The group also intends to have some concrete action plans to share in the first half of 2021.