5 Key Google AI Resources Made For Google Cloud Partners

‘I have seen a lot of technology waves. [Generative AI] is not a hype cycle. The ROI is real,’ Google Cloud’s global partner leader, Kevin Ichhpurani, tells CRN.

From the new Built with Google Cloud AI partner program to funding partner-led generative AI workshops with customers, Google is investing heavily in partner resources to drive new customer opportunities around generative AI.

“I have seen a lot of technology waves. This is not a hype cycle. The ROI is real,” said Kevin Ichhpurani (pictured), Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem leader, in an interview with CRN.

“Oftentimes they say, ‘This is like the iPhone moment.’ I think that’s a very poor comparison. It’s more like the advent of electricity. This is a true tectonic shift,” said Ichhpurani. “You can almost go into a meeting and never get off of this [generative AI] discussion because it’s front and center on every board agenda right now.”

[Related: Deloitte’s Big Bets On Google Generative AI, ‘Proactive’ Workforce Transformation]

Ichhpurani is corporate vice president for Google Cloud’s global partner ecosystem and channels business, responsible for the company’s partner programs and partnerships with solution providers and ISVs. He has nearly three decades of experience in the industry, including a 12-year stint at SAP before joining Google in 2017.

Generative AI: ‘The ROI Is Immense’

“Organizations are working on their strategy of how can they create completely new customer experiences with generative AI,” said Ichhpurani. “How can they create new employee experiences? New experiences for their trading partners and develop entirely new business models for the company? The ROI is immense. And that’s why this is not a hyper-fad.”

Google Cloud’s worldwide partner leader said ROI is achieved through generative AI via improved business efficiencies, the ability to reach new customers and the ease of growing top-line revenue.

“Just the efficiencies alone is so immense, which is why this will be something that’s sustainable,” said Ichhpurani. “But we’re still in the very early innings. There’s a lot more innovation to come from Google Cloud.”

In an interview with CRN, Ichhpurani talks about five key programs and investments Google Cloud is making around generative AI to drive channel partner margins and new customer opportunity.

Built With Google Cloud AI

Google Cloud recently launched a new partner program called Built with Google Cloud AI that helps partners start building applications using Google Cloud’s AI services.

“It involves deep technical enablement of our partners,” said Ichhpurani. “We have a lot of software companies and services firms that are building IP and building unique repeatable solutions. For example, if you’re a bank and want to build up a personal financial assistant for a bank—that could be a repeatable solution.”

Built with Google Cloud AI grants partners access to Google AI and machine learning experts who assist in the use of APIs, reference architectures as well as building apps.

“We have access to partner engineers and core Google engineers to actually help you on that journey and hand-hold you through that entire journey—from not only knowing the platform, but even helping with your initial customers,” he said. “We also have financial incentives, credits, developer sandboxes and so forth.”

New Google Cloud Marketplace AI Capabilities

Google Cloud has created some new capabilities for online IT solutions store Google Cloud Marketplace such as its new Model Garden.

“Let’s say you’re a developer and you want to be able to create a model and expose that to a customer. You can actually put it on Model Garden and a customer can come and search and discover that solution and incorporate it into one of their applications,” said Ichhpurani. “Or maybe they have their systems integrator incorporate it into one of their applications. So it’s an opportunity to really create a sharing environment, a Marketplace if you will, for generative AI models.

“What we do is we actually have that integrated with the Google Cloud Marketplace. So a customer can actually then procure that solution and decrement their commit with Google Cloud dollar-for-dollar just like a Google product, and have integrated billing and so forth.

Go-To-Market AI Programs And Funding

Google Cloud has set up several go-to-market programs and MDF available to partners to drive generative AI customer wins.

For example, Google provides funding for partner-led generative AI workshops with customers. In addition, the company is providing go-to-market solution kits for generative AI.

Ichhpurani said Google is focused on pairing its internal sellers together with channel partners.

“We have go-to-market programs as well and go-to-market funding so that we can really get our sellers together with our partners, and join them to take those joint value propositions to those clients,” Ichhpurani said.

Partners have access to Google Cloud’s go-to-market Solution Connect program.

Google also provides AI sales and presales technical training through its Partner Learning Center.

Google Cloud AI Center of Excellence

The new Google Cloud AI Center of Excellence guides partners on how to maximize their use of Google technologies and tools.

Google Cloud’s AI center offers predictive and generative AI knowledge and resources to help partners with their customers’ AI needs.

“It supports partners with providing all of the technical expertise needed to enable and to build your solution. They’re very deep technical architects focused on generative AI and predictive AI,” said Ichhpurani.

“We’re still in the very early innings of generative AI,” he added. “There’s a lot more innovation to come for partners from Google Cloud.”

Google Launches New AI Solutions And Use Cases

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured) said the company is at an “inflection point” in AI and the need to launch new products is more important than ever before.

“We have an opportunity to make AI even more helpful for people, for businesses, for communities, for everyone,” said Pichai during Google’s I/O 2023 event last month. “We’ve been applying AI to make our products radically more helpful for a while. With generative AI, we’re taking the next step.”

Google has injected generative AI capabilities inside flagship products such as Google Workspace, while also consistently adding new features to its conversational chatbot Bard.

On the enterprise front, Google Cloud recently launched PaLM API, a developer offering to make it easier and safer to experiment with Google’s large langue models. PaLM API can be used for a variety of applications and provides access to models that are optimized for multi-turn use cases— such as content generation and chat, as well as general-purpose models optimized for areas like summarization and classification. PaLM 2 was launched in May and offers stronger models in logic and reasoning.

Another new offering is Duet AI for Google Cloud, which is an AI-powered collaborator to help cloud users of all skill levels solve their everyday work challenges. Duet AI serves as an expert pair programmer and assists cloud users with contextual code completion, offering suggestions tuned to a customer’s code base, and assists with code reviews and inspections.

Finally, Google Cloud recently enabled generative AI support for Vertex AI, which is the company’s machine learning platform for training and deploying ML models and AI applications. The new feature gives teams access to foundation models from Google and others, letting users build and customize atop these models on the same platform they use for homegrown ML models and MLOps.

“What’s unique about Google is we have a multitude of models to solve your specific use case. There is no one-size-fits-all model,” said Ichhpurani. “What’s differentiated is we will have a vast array of models to solve customer-specific use cases like PaLM. So that is a unique differentiator we bring to the table, these special-purpose models for your specific use case.”