At a press conference today, Google’s new cloud boss Diane Greene said the company’s cloud tech is on par with competitors.
The real challenge is getting the word out.
“We’re getting a lot of confidence because the customers that are on us actually love us quite a bit,” Greene says.
Google Cloud Platform is the company’s entrant in the ongoing cloud race with Amazon and Microsoft, where the tech giants let developers and IT departments rent functionally unlimited computing power from their hyperefficient datacenters.
For the last several years, Google has been seen as lagging in the cloud market thanks to a weakness with big businesses, even as the overall market has exploded into a market worth many billions.
But Greene insists the company is dedicated to turning that around with a renewed focus on winning over those corporate customers.
As evidence, she says, consider that Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared at today’s Google cloud event.
If nothing else, the fact that Google Cloud Platform exists in Google’s global network of hugely efficient data centres is still a huge product advantage, for cost, reliability, and ability to scale. After all, Greene says, Google has invested lots of cash in those data centres, and it wants to maximise its investment.
“We’re gonna put ’em to work as much as we can. This is a long term play,” Greene says.
At the same conference, Google’s original cloud architect — and eighth employee — Urz Hölzle explained that Google’s key advantage has historically been its technology. But Google had to learn that not everybody builds bleeding-edge software like it does, Hölzle says.
In the past, Google cloud services like AppEngine reflected a very Google-ish way of building brand new apps, he says — but enterprises just wanted to make their existing ways of doing things more efficient.
And so, Hölzle says, Google will keep building new, cutting-edge services like Google Cloud Vision, which lets computers see. But Google is refocusing on making sure that those services are available for its biggest customers, but not core to the sales pitch.
“We’re very agnositc to what you’re actually using, as long as it works for you,” Hölzle says. “At your leisure, adopt new things.”
Hölzle also reaffirmed his belief that the search giant could make more from its cloud computing services than advertising by 2020.
To Hölzle’s mind, the Google Clould Platform today is where Google’s advertising business was back in 2000, “when we had text ads.”
Google’s early investment in search advertising paid off when that exploded into a tremendous market. And if you take the long view, Hölzle says, “IT services is much, much larger than the ads market.”
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