Google Cloud is trying to shatter a handful of perceptions about its services as it takes on rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
Google Cloud's big developer conference was all about "myth busting" this year, says Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst of Lopez Research, referring to its virtual Next conference this week where it announced a variety of new products and customers.
In particular, Google Cloud wanted to counteract the idea that it's less secure than competitors and not able to attract customers in heavily regulated industries, Lopez says. Currently, Google Cloud still trails behind AWS and Microsoft as it competes for a bigger slice of cloud market share.
With a handful of announcements around giving customers the option to use multiple clouds, Google Cloud was also refuting that its commitment to multi-cloud is just "lip service," Lopez says.
"Last year was more about whizzy innovation," Lopez told Business Insider. "This year was much more practical."
The three themes Google hammered away at, according to Lopez, were: "Why we're the most secure, why we're the most reliable, how we can do multicloud better."
Google has struggled with perceptions on data privacy
Over the years, Google has faced criticism for how it handles data privacy, and Lopez says that the handful of new security products Google Cloud announced this week could help distance it from Google's reputation.
For example, a security product called Confidential Computing will encrypt data while it's being processed.
"It really speaks to me that they have been struggling with the perception that they have poor security and, for some reason, data will be leaked if it's in Google Cloud or it will be used by Google," Lopez said. "That's a perception that has been propagated by competitors."
Google Cloud is trying to 'morph' itself into an 'enterprise grade player'
There's also the perception that established and regulated industries would not want to use Google Cloud, which the company counteracted by announcing a host of new customers in banking, automotive, and telecommunications, and more.
When Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian took over the role, he announced that the company would triple its salesforce and focus on selling to specific industries. Google Cloud's new set of customers — including Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachz — show that it's working to deliver on that promise.
"They're still trying to morph themselves into an enterprise-grade player," Gartner vice president Sid Nag told Business Insider. "They're moving forward but still have a ways to go."
As part of this drive, Google Cloud also has been hiring new leaders to focus on those industries. For example, in May, it hired two new VPs of industry solutions: Lori Mitchell-Keller and George Nazi, who will focus on telecommunications, media, and entertainment.
"Google is attempting more outreach for clients, purely in the interest of increasing their subscriber base," James Sanders of 451 Research (now a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence), told Business Insider. "They've hired away a lot of executives from companies to refocus their efforts on Google Cloud and that shows."
Google Cloud is taking a 'humbled approach' by allowing customers to use multiple clouds
Google Cloud wants to be at least the No. 2 cloud, and it's taking a "humbled approach" to get there, Nag says. Google Cloud is building capabilities for customers to use multiple clouds – even those of rival clouds like AWS and Microsoft.
Last year, Google Cloud announced a hybrid cloud product called Anthos and this year it announced BigQuery Omni to run data analytics on multiple clouds. While it can be a lot of work for customers to completely switch from one cloud or another, many customers still have plenty of data they haven't moved to the cloud – and Google Cloud wants to jump in on this opportunity.
New products like BigQuery Omni highlight Google's strengths, while being friendly for customers that already use another cloud service.
"Their strategy is to get in there with a non-threatening manner and highlight the capabilities where they shine: To land and expand," Nag said. "I think that's their best option."
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