Google Cloud channel exec says partners "generally agreed" with GSuite price hike

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Google Cloud channel exec says partners "generally agreed" with GSuite price hike
Ash Willis, Google Cloud

Australian Google Cloud channel partners have "generally agreed" with G Suite’s recent price increase, according to Google Cloud APJ head of partners and alliances Ash Willis.

“We’ve continued to add a lot of value to G Suite over many years and we haven’t had any price increases associated with that in the past,” he said.

“There was a need, and as we work with partners they generally agree that the value that we’ve added to the product continues to increase as well.”

Willis said the company is “very happy” with G Suite's performance and that the partner ecosystem continues to be “critical to building and scaling enterprise transformation solutions”.

In early 2019, Google revealed that it will increase the price of the productivity suite for the first time, and adjusted prices to local currencies. Australia in particular saw a 68 percent price increase due to currency adjustments, compared to the 20 percent increase in the United States.

In March, CRN found there was mixed reception of the price increase, with some accepting the increase as it is, while others complained that the increase should have been gradual.

Willis also spoke on the reception of the new Google Cloud Partner Advantage program, a revamped partner program and portal that went live in July 2019.

“I’d like to think everything that everything we’ve done with partner advantage has received a very warm welcome from our partners, and the reason for that is they are the ones that really helped us define what the new program would look like,” he said.

Some of the things Willis said he hears from partners is incentives “around building together” from a capability standpoint, but also helping partners differentiate themselves and knowing where to focus.

“The feedback’s been outstanding, and we’re very happy with it,” Willis said.

Google Cloud ANZ head of partners and alliances Rhody Burton highlighted the addition of “Expertise” in the partner program alongside “Specializations”.

Google Cloud describes “Expertise” partners as companies that have “demonstrated customer success by product, workload, and/or industry based on a defined set of requirements”.

“What we’re finding is partners are striving to have those specializations because it helps differentiate them in the market, but we’re also seeing a large uptake in partners that are wanting to get expertise as well, which not only spans across technologies, but also across industries as well,” Burton said.

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