Google Cloud surprises channel with expanded services

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Google Cloud surprises channel with expanded services

Google Cloud has surprised its channel by significantly expanding its support services, along with opportunities for partners to profit from the new offerings.

Vice-president of cloud support Atul Nanda today blogged about a new suite of “Premium Support” services “designed to better meet the needs of our customers running modern cloud technology.” The new service covers Google Cloud and G Suite, or both.

The new offering includes “an updated support model that is proactive, unified, centered around the customer” and will see “cases handled directly by context-aware experts who understand your unique application stack, architecture, and implementation details.”

It gets scarier: the new service will see Google’s support team “work hand-in-hand with your technical account manager to deliver a customer-centric support experience with faster case resolution, more personalised service, and higher customer satisfaction.”

It even includes support for some third-party technologies and a service level obligation of 15 minutes.

But Google has tried to hose down channel fears, telling CRN it "unveiled this offering to a group of partners this week and plan to more broadly engage with the ecosystem over the next few day. [sic]". The company also told us that partner can resell the new services.

Details of Google Cloud's Premium Support offering. Click to enlarge.

Google Cloud partners contacted by CRN said they received no advance warning of the changes. Speaking to CRN on condition of anonymity for fear of blowback from Google, one CEO told us that he feels Google’s behaviour is “immature” with regard to channel communication.

“Microsoft will tell you 200 times before a change,” the CEO told CRN. Google, by contrast, just blogs its news and fills in the details later.

Another senior channel leader told CRN she considers the new offering a potential competitive threat.

The first CEO to which we spoke agreed, but was optimistic that the nature of the program means it is directed at only very large customers and will have a six-figure floor price. At that level of expense, he said, the new offering will only appeal to Google Cloud’s very largest customers and leave plenty of support work for the channel.

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