Google Cloud Chief Diane Greene: 'We're Dead Serious About This Business'

Diane Greene, the VMware co-founder who's now leading Google's cloud business, says the search giant is now ready to make its mark in a public cloud market where it's trailing Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure by a wide margin.

"We are dead serious about this business," Greene said in press conference Wednesday at Google's GCP Next conference in San Francisco. "We've spent billions on data centers and are going to use them as much as we can. This is a long-term, forever event."

[Related: Cloud Makes For Strange Bedfellows: Apple Signs On With Google, Cuts Spending With AWS ]

Google has been in the public cloud space for several years now, with modest results so far. Google has around 4 percent of the market compared to 31 percent for cloud services kingpin Amazon Web Services, 9 percent for Microsoft and 7 percent for IBM SoftLayer, according to Synergy Research.

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Google may be playing catch-up in the cloud platform services market, but it has an edge in areas like machine learning, open-source software and security, Greene said in the press conference.

Greene said Google also offers better pricing and performance than the competition. "We have extraordinarily efficient data center systems and these operations let us offer lower prices," she said.

Morgan Stanley recently estimated that Google's cloud infrastructure business generated around $500 million in revenue during 2015, while AWS said in January that its business was on a $9.6 billion annualized run rate. Microsoft doesn't break out Azure revenue.

Google lags when it comes to attracting large enterprise customers to its cloud, and Greene -- who sold to large companies during her time at VMware -- has been brought in to get the ball rolling. To further reinforce Google's commitment to cloud, Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google CEO Sundar Pichai also took the stage to talk up the progress being made on this front.

At the conference, Google revealed that Home Depot, Disney and Coca Cola are now Google Cloud Platform customers. Google also said BMC, Pivotal, Red Hat, SAP, Splunk, Tenable Network Security, Veritas and several other enterprise software vendors are working to integrate their offerings with Google Cloud Platform.

The big enterprise customer wins come on the heels of a blockbuster Google deal to provide Google Cloud Platform services to Apple, which was first reported by CRN last week.

Since inking the Google deal late last year, Apple has also significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon Web Services, whose infrastructure it uses to run parts of iCloud and other services, according to CRN's sources.

Earlier this week, Google announced that it's building new data centers in Oregon and Tokyo, both of which will begin operations later this year. Google said it's also planning to open an additional 10 data center facilities by the end of 2017.

Google, which unveiled enhancements to its cloud channel program earlier this week, is planning to put partners front and center in its public cloud push.

"Partners are a critical piece of our strategy to helping customers run their applications on Google Cloud," Brian Stevens, vice president of product management for Google Cloud Platform, said in a blog post.

"What Google and Diane Greene are doing with GCP is now landing in earnest, and it now feels maintstream," Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems, a Los Angeles-based Google partner, told CRN. "The future is now, and I can finally see why Google's cloud business can surpass the advertising business."