10 New Google Cloud Programs, Certs, Incentives For Partners

Google Cloud is aiming to improve the Google Partner Advantage program in 2023—from creating a new migration program and support desk, to changing how it provides partner incentives. Here are 10 new Google Cloud launches that every partner needs to know.

Google Cloud’s Partner Strategy, Initiatives For 2023 Unveiled

Google Cloud is evolving its flagship Partner Advantage program, boosting incentives across the board for partners and investing heavily in new training and support in 2023.

“We’re unveiling a number of new incentives to drive new logos and consumption acceleration through our new, stackable incentive model which provides incentives to partners in every step of the customer engagement cycle,” said Google Cloud’s global channel chief Kevin Ichhpurani in an interview with CRN.

From a new unified migration program and introduction of product family-specific tracks to a new support desk for partners, Google Cloud is doubling down on increasing partner margins, sales, expertise, and customer opportunities in 2023.

“The big message here is that Google continues to double down with its investments in our partner ecosystem,” Ichhpurani told CRN. “What customers are expecting more is a much higher degree of deep specialization in areas like analytics, cybersecurity, and app modernization. So we’re making very material investments on ensuring that partners can build that deeper level of competency and successfully deliver a solution for the customer.”

[Related: Google Cloud Marketplace Revamped: 5 Huge New Launches]

Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program

Significant improvements are coming to the Google Cloud Partner Advantage program that all partners need to know.

The revamped program, which officially takes effect in July, will introduction of product specific specialized tracks including for Google Cloud Platform (GSP), Google Workspace, and Chrome Enterprise.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud computing giant is also revolutionizing how incentives will be paid to partners, including around specific products, implementations and accelerating customer consumption.

“We see that in all of the different parts of the engagement lifecycle, there is incentives that we need to provide partners,” said Ichhpurani.

Overall, Google Cloud is aligning its incentives and certifications in 2023 to reward partners who achieve these new product-level requirements, build highly-skilled and certified teams, and reduce customers’ time-to-value with top-notch services delivery.

Here are 10 new programs, specializations, support offerings, and trainings Google Cloud is rolling out this year that every Google Cloud partner needs to know about.

Google Cloud Unifies All Migration Programs Into Single Program

Google Cloud is launching a new migration program that will unify all its current migration programs.

“We’re creating one approach with one common methodology and incentives for partners to participate in this,” said Google Cloud’s Kevin Ichhpurani.

“We’re providing economic models to support where partners can get funding to actually help support us in the migration activities, both in the assessment upfront, as well as on the migration after we’ve executed an agreement with the customer,” he told CRN. “In both of those areas there’s incentives for partners.”

The new migration program aims to bring together best practices, tools, and playbooks to accelerate large-scale migrations, make them more predictable, and ensure customer success.

Google will work with migration partners to deliver frameworks and services to help customers plan project timelines, operating models and project cost-savings.

“The company is making one unified migration program,” said Ichhpurani. “That includes how do we do assessments with clients on what the migration strategy is, because a lot of the time migrations have a fair amount of complexity when you’re looking at which applications need to be modernized, which applications maybe need to be sunsetted, which ones can move to the cloud right now.”

New Support Desk And Knowledge Base Help For Partners

Google Cloud has invested in creating a new support desk to ensure that channel partners can quickly resolve technical issues and get answers to various questions.

“Partners were asking for a partner support desk. So for example when they’re in the middle of an implementation and they get stuck, they can call a partner support desk,” said Ichhpurani.

The cloud company is also launching a new knowledge base support unit for partners.

“So when a partner asks a question, ‘This is a problem we’re having. Can you give us a knowledge base?’—we’re rolling that out as well,” Ichhpurani said.

“Many of the new things that we are doing is all to help deepen the competency of our partners to make sure that they are more successful and ensure customer success,” he said.

‘Evolving’ Incentive Model To Create Stackable ‘Lego Blocks’ Incentives

The Google Cloud channel leader said the company is “evolving” its overall incentive model for partners by offering incentives across the entire customer engagement lifecycle.

“We see that in all of the different parts of the engagement lifecycle, there is incentives that we need to provide partners,” said Ichhpurani.

“For example in a new customer opportunity, there may be a new customer that a partner sourced—there’s incentives for that. Then as you get further in the journey, partners are helping this sale and solution, and does a POC—we have incentives for that,” he said.

Google Cloud is also paying partners incentives for specific products, transactions, implementation and accelerating customer consumption.

“So we have a stackable model where you can participate in all the different parts—from sourcing, to helping a solution sales; POC to transacting to positioning solutions; to consumption and acceleration, and delivering quality—all of those things are individual components and stackable, and you can participate in some or in all of them,” Ichhpurani said. “So think of it as Lego blocks.”

Place greater emphasis on skilled capacity and partners that invest in service capabilities by introducing new incentives for partners that are able to accelerate customer deployments and successfully execute large-scale digital transformations.

Many of the new incentives for partners will begin to toll out in April.

The new Partner Advantage program officially takes effect in July.

New Family-Specific Specialized Tracks

A major evolution in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage program is the introduction of product family-specific specialized tracks.

New certifications will include tracks for Google Cloud Platform (GSP), Google Workspace, and Chrome Enterprise within Partner Advantage.

“Because partners are looking for very deep expertise on a product family level, we’re creating unique tracks in Partner Advantage. So the track for Workspace, is a separate track from Chrome Enterprise, and separate track from GCP,” said Ichhpurani. “So certifications and competencies are obviously not the same as they are for Workspace as they are for GCP. So we’re creating specialized tracks,” he said.

These new specialized tracks will enable partners to advance through the program as they build expertise aligned to strategic products, grow their certified individual practitioners, and demonstrate proven success deploying these products with customers.

The new tracks will also help customers identify the partners with the right people and experience they need.

These product specific tracks will take effect in July 2023.

Google Cloud Sharing ‘Cookbook’ Of Best Practices, Methodologies And Runbooks With Partners

In a major investment, Google Cloud is providing partners with greater access to knowledge and expertise across the entire sales cycle by launching new account-specific training to share best practices from working with Google’s largest customers.

“We are taking our tooling, our best practices and our methodologies and externalizing them, including run-books, to share it with our partners,” said Ichhpurani. “So they have a cookbook on how to do an end-to-end process.”

For example, if a customer is moving from Teradata to Google Cloud’s BigQuery, the company will share the tooling, best practices and methodology Google Cloud’s own professional services organization uses to partners.

“So partners will have a recipe,” he said.

Google Cloud Bootcamps

As part of sharing its internal best practices and methodologies with partners, Google Cloud will host account-specific bootcamps for partners.

“We are doing bootcamps around the globe, to give real hands on knowledge above and beyond just certification and online learning,” said Ichhpurani. “That was something that our partners were asking for.”

Additionally, Google Cloud will test and “challenge” a partner around a specific account to see if the partner understands how to truly deliver and provide the Google Cloud solution.

“Let’s say you’re moving from Teradata to Big Query. It doesn’t help just to be a BigQuery expert alone. You need to know how to migrate from one to the other. We’ll implement what’s called a ‘challenge’, where we run you through a real world scenario, and give you yet more training and enablement to be able to manage that end to end process,” said Google Cloud’s channel leader.

Services Assurance Tools For Partners

Google Cloud is creating new services assurance tools so partners know that Google Cloud’s professional services experts are on-deck to help make their projects a success.

“We’re embedding our PSO [professional services organization] assurance services for partners,” said Ichhpurani. “We’ll embed our consultants alongside them in order to make sure that they have the deep assurance and safeguarding services to make sure those customers are successful.”

Google Cloud’s channel chief said the company provides partners with safeguarding capabilities and deep technical expertise to ensure a successful customer go live.

“We want partners to take the lead. This is a big differentiator for Google Cloud. We are not trying to scale a PSO organization, we want partners to lead the services engagement, which is a really big opportunity,” said Ichhpurani. “Partners are seeing better outcomes when they embed this capability from Google.”

New Google Cloud Specializations: Contact Center AI, Data Center Modernization and DevOps

Google Cloud unveiled three new specializations which are now available today.

Google’s new specializations include Data Center Modernization to help customers digitally transform; DevOps for developer-focused partners; and Contact Center AI to help partners leverage artificial intelligence for their contact center business.

“Customers are no longer looking for just generic capabilities. They want very deep specialization. So we continue to expand our specializations,” said Ichhpurani. “But more importantly, we’re helping with a whole slew of capabilities to help deepen the competency of our partners.

Expanding Delivery Readiness Index To All Services Partners

Google Cloud is expanding its Delivery Readiness Index (DRI) program to all its services partners to help them assess delivery readiness and assure customers they have the most delivery-ready team possible for their programs.

“We’ll actually give an assurance to our customers that the actual team that’s showing up is qualified to do that kind of work that has the necessary certifications, has been-there done-that project before,” said Ichhpurani. “DRI looks at the experiential knowledge of the consulting firm that shows up.”

Launched at Google Next in October, the Delivery Readiness Index program provides partners with more resources and training for specific customer projects.

The program makes sure a partner has all the expertise and real-world experience needed to successfully complete a customer project.

Growing Openness Ecosystem With Security And Data Vendors

As a broad initiative in 2023, Google Cloud is doubling down on customer choice.

The company said it will continue to build the most open data cloud ecosystem, supporting all major data formats and remove limits from data through Google’s work with partners like Collibra, Databricks, Elastic, MongoDB, Palantir Foundry, SAP, ServiceNow, Striim, and the more than 800 companies who have built their products on Google’s data cloud.

Last year, Google Cloud launched a Data Cloud Alliances with partners like Conflent, Databricks, MongoDB and others to help break down barriers between data.

Google Cloud plans to continue in 2023 ensuring customers can work with all leading cybersecurity vendors alongside Google Cloud by expanding its work with partners like Crowdstrike, Cybereason, Forgerock, Fortinet, Okta and Palo Alto Networks.

On the Google Workspace front, Google will further advance Workspace as an open platform for hybrid work, integrated with more productivity and collaboration applications from partners like Asana, Atlassian, Figma, Miro, and Zendesk.

In terms of ISV partners, Google Cloud is committed to bringing more partner applications and platforms onto Google Cloud to provide more options for customers.