Partners Gain New Tools, Specializations As Google Seeks To 'Build A Better Cloud' With The Channel


Google Cloud wants to continue the strong momentum it saw from the partner community last year, so the tech giant is arming solution providers with more tools and specializations to help bring more customers aboard the Google Cloud Platform.

The tech giant took to its Partner Summit on Monday to fill solution providers in on how it plans to build a better, bigger cloud alongside the channel.

Nan Boden, senior director of global technology partnerships for Google Cloud, told CRN ahead of the Summit that focusing on technical and business enablement -- something that Google has been demonstrating over the past two years -- is what will ultimately make Google Cloud partners successful.

"We're here to not only enable technology, but also [partners'] businesses and goals," Boden said. "The new programs we are putting in place just accelerate that."

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[Related: Google Goes Hollywood: Tech Giant Launches 17th Cloud Data Center Region In Los Angeles]

Specializations help customers find the right partner for the job. To that end, Google is introducing five new specialization areas, bringing the total number of specializations partners can achieve to nine. The new specializations include security, cloud migration, enterprise collaboration, education, and location-based services.

Specialized partners must undergo a capability assessment by Google's Professional Services team, and Google announced it has already designated 19 new partners across these five specializations.

Security in particular has become a big focus for Google. Many customers are realizing that their data may, in fact, be safer in the cloud than on-premises, Boden said.

"Being able to help a customer get to [the cloud] to get their assets secure has not only been a key part of our own strategy, but also in helping partners build solutions," she said.

Google signed several new partnerships and expanded some existing relationships with high-profile channel partners last year, including Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG. These partners, among others, have been instrumental in boosting Google Cloud adoption, Boden said.

Alongside these partners, Google introduced new technology integrations with GCP that will give customers more solutions to choose from.

Google, in collaboration with global systems integration and consulting giant Deloitte, is unveiling a new SAP solution set for GCP. The new suite includes Deloitte Invoice Management Solution, an offering that automates invoice processing in the SAP system landscape, and the Deloitte Visual Inspection Solution, which automates the visual inspection process and accelerates tasks, such as inventory restocking.

"It really enables the full lifecycle of managing parts and materials from an API on a [user's] phone," said Jacques de Villiers, Google cloud practice leader for Deloitte.

De Villiers said that Deloitte's own cloud market offering is the company's fastest growing portfolio, having doubled in size from last year, and Google is at the heart of it. Deloitte -- No. 15 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 -- has been named Google's partner of the year.

Google is an attractive cloud partner for companies focused on AI and machine learning because it has always been an engineering-first company, said Thomas Galizia, Deloitte principal and global lead consulting alliance and commercial partner for Google.

"We've seen it firsthand -- AI and machine learning is pervasive across all 300 of its business units," Galizia said.

Tapping into the world of blockchain, Google revealed new distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions with launch partners including Digital Asset and BlockApps. Customers will be able to test open-source integrations for blockchain frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum later this year in the GCP Marketplace.

For customers interested in a more hybrid cloud approach, Google introduced a new VMware plug-in for vRealize Orchestrator, which will let customers use GCP alongside their on-premise VMware environment. The plugin will allow customers to keep their existing governance and approval processes, making consumption of cloud resources secure and trackable, Google said.

Cloud data services specialist NetApp earlier this month revealed new capabilities aimed at helping businesses moving workloads to the cloud access high-performance, shared-file systems that their applications require. The latest solution, NetApp Cloud Volumes for GCP, also includes an SMB protocol service so Windows and UNIX-based applications can be built and deployed on GCP.