Google Cloud’s Australian outputs is “inundated” by partners wanting to work with it, but plans to be very selective when it forges new relationships.
CRN recently sat down with country manager Colin Timm and head of customer engineering Angelo Joseph to learn of the company’s local plans and the opportunities on offer.
“It's really important that we create the momentum that we need in the market for the channel to get on board,” Timm said, adding that “we're being inundated with approaches from the channel.”
Timm said those approaches are coming because the channel understands Google’s mission to organise the world’s information and increasingly appreciates how the company’s recent investments in artificial intelligence contribute to that goal
“That is the sweet spot for Google Cloud,” Timm said, because when customers or partners “start to really take the covers off our product, they see the points of difference there.” And those points resonate “Because every company is trying to figure out how they transform, either to drive costs down or transform to driving new revenue streams, or to become more profitable into new markets.”
The channel is also keen on Google thanks to container orchestration platform Kubernetes, which was spun out of Google’s own operations and released as an open source project. Kubernetes’ ability to co-ordinate container across multiple clouds, Timm said, appeals to end-customers and partners alike as they hatch plans to use multi-cloud or hybrid cloud architectures. And as Google Cloud has built a fine Kubernetes service, with an on-prem incarnation, Timm feels partners are keen.
So how will Google Cloud handle all that interest?
Timm said global SIs are a very good fit for Google and several has established practices that it appreciates.
“We try to be super-selective as to which partners will fit the mould in terms of the progressive position we take into the market, as well as a cultural fit of innovation in the value-add component that they're able to bring,” Timm said. “We've been very deliberate about that,” he said.
So what does Google look for in a partner? Timm said he looks for “unique IP that a partner will bring to the table that then generates extra additional value? It's the value added reseller proposition!”
Google’s found plenty who meet that brief: Timm said it’s grown from 50 partners in 2017 to “just short of 600” today.
And the company is making big offers to get more skilled Google Cloud users into the labour market: it recently announced a fast-track certification program that rewards those who complete a course in 90 days with $100 of credit at the Google store – enough to buy a smart speaker.
CRN suggested that this promotion could be seen as a way to ensure that Google can meet demand for skills on its platform, or a way to quickly inject skills into a market that’s not developing fast enough because of a skills shortage.
Head of customer engineering Angelo Joseph didn’t disagree with either proposition.
“I think it's both of the above, quite frankly,” he said. “The momentum that we're seeing in the marketplace is probably unprecedented.”
“We are going into large organizations and training thousands of people at times. And at the same time, we just want to make sure that the world at large is taking advantage of getting skills around our technology.”
Google Cloud ANZ has responded to the surge in partner numbers with a surge of its own.
Joseph explained intentions to hire staff to assist partners, and Google, to target major verticals.
An expanded local cloud footprint is also on the agenda, with news due to drop in coming months.
And when that new infrastructure lands, Timm and Joseph said partners will have even more reason to consider the Google Cloud, which by then they said will be running eight applications with a billion users
Android, Chrome, Maps, Search, YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive are already there, with Google Photos close to the billion-user mark too.
So while Google may trail AWS and Azure for revenue and scale, Timm feels partners of all sorts have plenty to consider. As does Google as it winnows the ones it wants!