Google Cloud is dramatically increasing its channel commitment with plans for a new managed service provider (MSP) program along with additional partner tiers, specialisations, certifications and incentives, according to US-based Google Cloud partners briefed on the strategy.
Changes coming from the No. 3 cloud provider — some of which will be announced at its Next ’19 summit in San Francisco that starts next week — are aimed at eating into No. 1 Amazon Web Services’ and runner-up Microsoft Azure’s market shares, the partners said.
The planned MSP program will track, measure and reward MSP partners.
The upcoming channel changes follow Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s pledge in February to heavily invest in Google Cloud’s sales organization and channel to compete more aggressively against AWS and Microsoft Azure and accelerate growth.
A Google Cloud spokesman declined comment.
Google Cloud’s nascent partner program currently has Partner and Premier Partner tiers with 10 specializations (application development, cloud migration, data analytics, education, enterprise collaboration, infrastructure, location-based services, machine learning, security and training) and seven certifications (associate cloud engineer, professional cloud architect, professional data engineer, professional cloud developer, professional cloud network engineer and professional cloud security engineer in addition to G Suite certification).
Google Cloud has identified six key areas – including SAP workloads -- where it believes it can make dents in the cores of Amazon’s and Microsoft’s businesses, and all play toward driving consumption, partners said.
In a recent interview with CRN USA, channel chief Gearhart said Google Cloud would allow partners to differentiate themselves in areas where they have depth and expertise -- whether it’s a vertical space, or Teradata combined with BigQuery, for example. The partners would get specialized credentials with a Google Cloud “Good Housekeeping”-type stamp of approval, according to Gearhart.
“You’re going to see, as we roll into Next, us relaunching sort of a new programmatic approach that allows the partners to really kind of define themselves just in the way in which they’re interacting with customers,” Gearhart said. “What they really want is to be able to is represent that in their own way. The specializations and expertise that we’re developing really stack really well with that.”
Gearhart said Google Cloud plans to introduce a “landing pad” between its individual certifications and partner specializations that will be partner-focused.
“We will double-down in areas of expertise, whether it’s healthcare or retail, media – some of the areas where Google has incredible depth and experience -- and allow partners to really show their expertise in those particular areas and as well the solution areas,” Gearhart said. “We’re really working on focusing in a way that…addresses Google’s key differentiators from a cloud perspective.”