CEO Thomas Kurian is looking to take Google Cloud’s channel strategy to the next level by attaching channel partners to every single customer engagement as the public cloud giant is growing sales by co-selling with its army of tens-of-thousands of partners.
As customer spending through channel partners continues to explode at a triple-digit rate for Google Cloud, Kurian says Google has effectively “eliminated channel conflict.”
“When I joined, I was very clear that we are a products and solutions company, we’re not a services company. So there is zero channel conflict,” said Kurian in an interview. “So it makes it much easier for a partner to know that when you go in with Google, they’re not going to try and bring their own services and compete with them.”
Kurian’s goal is to “attach partners to 100 percent” of every customer engagement regardless of whether the partner plays a role in discovering the client, driving the deal or closing the customer win.
“Our goal—whether it’s in data, infrastructure, collaboration tools, etc.—our goal is to get to 100 percent attached with every client with a partner,” said Kurian. “The nature of cloud is it’s a platform business. And in a platform business, you want to enable the partner ecosystem to deliver solutions to work with clients, to bring them to our cloud. Our difference is that we’re very committed to the partner ecosystem. We’re giving them not only great and differentiated technology, but also facilitating them in terms of aiding and building solutions and sharing the growth that we have with them.”
For example, customers spending through channel partners and the Google Cloud Platform “more than doubled” from 2020 to 2021, according to Kurian.
The number of customers spending over US$1 million per year in the Google Cloud Marketplace, which is where the company provides easy access and visibility to channel partners' services and solutions, increased by 600 percent from 2020 to 2021.
Changing sales to help channel partners
There are currently “well north of tens-of-thousands” of Google Cloud channel partners across the globe, Kurian said, with room to invite everyone to the customer table as sales skyrocket.
Google Cloud revenue soared 44 percent year over year to US$5.82 billion during its first quarter of 2022. The public cloud unit now accounts for 8.6 percent of its parent company Alphabet’s total revenue, up from 7.3 percent just one year ago.
The market is showing “unprecedented” demand for Google Cloud and its partners to provide cloud infrastructure and a wide variety of services for customers of all sizes, Kurian said, including around workload migration, cybersecurity, and big data and analytics.
“There’s a huge opportunity for partners. Our goal is to make sure that we make it super easy for partners to be able to reach our customers. Second, we made it very easy for partners to collaborate with the Google salesforce so that they can serve clients together,” said Kurian. “There’s a lot of things we’ve done with our sales organisation to make sure that partners are seen as really complementary to us.”