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Google Plans to Boost Its Cloud Game

March 22, 2016, 1:25 PM UTC
Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google Enterprise.

Google, which is trying to boost its cloud computing capacity versus rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, plans to add 12 new cloud-focused data centers to its roster in the next year and a half, according to a Bloomberg report.

That should help. Google’s (GOOG) cloud data center count pales in comparison to that of either Amazon (AMZN) or Microsoft (MSFT) as Battery Ventures’ technology fellow Adrian Cockcroft has pointed out for the last two years. Google disclosed its data center expansion plans in its cloud blog on Tuesday..

Still, Google has to do more than add capacity to its cloud to eat into Amazon’s market share lead in public cloud. This is the model in which a company, in this case Google, builds massive pools of computing, storage, and networking that it then resells or rents to customers who don’t want to build more of their own data centers.

Google’s problem is that Amazon Web Services just had its 10-year anniversary and in that time racked up huge numbers of startups and increasingly bigger companies to its cloud. AWS has sort of become synonymous with public cloud, although business-friendly Microsoft got into the act with Azure a few years ago.

Microsoft has long-standing relationships with most of the big companies on the planet, and Amazon has been building them. Google now needs to do likewise and offer the sort of business contracts and outreach big customers are used to from their other vendors

For more on Amazon’s cloud, watch:

So ironically Google, the king of massively scaled infrastructure used in its search business, has both a bit of an infrastructure deficit plus a long way to go to convince chief information officers and their brethren that Google’s cloud suits their needs.

Later this week at the Google Next event, Google’s enterprise chief, Diane Greene, is expected to talk more about how Google will be a more enterprise-friendly public cloud supplier. As co-founder and former chief executive officer of VMware (VMW), Greene knows this business audience.

Google’s Secret Plan to Catch Up With Amazon in Cloud

Google, like Amazon, is a huge, multifaceted company. It pays the bills with its search and advertising business and it wows computer scientists and data geeks with advanced tools like TensorFlow. It’s doing self-driving cars. But big companies have to be reassured that Google wants to be a trusted supplier of IT services to them, and that’s a big chunk of Greene’s job.

Her hiring along with that of former Red Hat (RHT) chief technology officer Brian Stevens, two years ago, were two indications that Google was getting serious about big business customers.

It also helped that Google CEO Sundar Pichai actually talked about Google Cloud Platform on the company’s last earnings call in February.

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At Google Next, Greene and the company need to trot out some big customer accounts and perhaps some brand-name software companies that will start offering their applications on Google cloud, much as Oracle (ORCL) and SAP (SAP) offer their applications on Microsoft Azure and AWS, for example.

Note: This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. EDT with a link to Google’s blog post.