AWS Superstar 2nd Watch Ramps Google Cloud Play

The born-in-the-cloud AWS and Microsoft partner added a Google Cloud Platform practice in May at the direct request of customers looking to adopt a multi-cloud posture. The pioneering consultancy is now expanding its Google assessment, migration and app modernization packages.

2nd Watch made a name for itself as a pioneering, all-in partner in the Amazon Web Services ecosystem, and later expanded that booming practice to Microsoft Azure.

In May, motivated by specific requests from customers platformed on those two industry-leading clouds, the Seattle-based born-in-the-cloud consultancy for the first time added a Google Cloud practice, reflecting a rapidly emerging multi-cloud reality.

2nd Watch Tuesday launched a Google Cloud service aimed at helping customers more easily move applications from on-premises environments and other clouds to Google’s infrastructure, Chris Garvey, 2nd Watch executive vice president of product and marketing, told CRN.

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“It was really done in response to customers and prospect demand for GCP [Google Cloud Platform] solutions in support of multi-cloud initiatives,” Garvey said.

[Related: 2nd Watch Debuts DevSecOps Strategy Service]

The new Cloud Modernization Readiness Assessment does a deep dive into a customer’s applications and dependencies, supporting tools and technologies, costs, and organizational skills with the goal of helping enterprises effectively adopt Google Cloud to enjoy the benefits of less technical debt, better resiliency and lower costs.

2nd Watch has fostered an enviable enterprise base as one of AWS’ most prominent channel partners and a force in the Microsoft ecosystem. Many of those customers want to keep AWS or Azure as a primary cloud but also explore moving some workloads—especially those hungry for advanced data analytics—to GCP, he said.

“For us, clients are coming in, particularly those going into a multi-cloud strategy, and it’s becoming an interesting option for them,” Garvey said.

The desire to add Google to the mix is driven by that provider’s analytics tooling, with technologies like BigQuery, as well as the ability to modernize on-premises environments with Google’s Anthos containerization platform.

To buttress its emerging Google practice, 2nd Watch now offers a portfolio of GCP services.

Beyond the new cloud modernization readiness assessment, there are “two flavors” of GCP migrations: standard lifting-and-shifting of virtual machines to the cloud or cloud-native modernization leveraging Google’s Anthos.

There’s also a “data ops” accelerator, Garvey said, to build out data lakes in Google’s cloud.

Anthos is a relatively new product from Google, launched in 2019 at the Google Cloud Next conference. 2nd Watch isn’t seeing tremendous demand yet, Garvey said, but expects to based on early discussions with enterprises looking for a platform that can deploy workloads across multiple clouds, which is “kind of the holy grail.”

“That’s where everyone really wants to get,” he said, and while true multi-cloud portability is not always realistic because of dependencies on specific services, eventually the industry is likely to get there.

2nd Watch sees many customers interested in exploring Anthos as a vehicle to first modernize on-premises applications, and then leave open the possibility of a seamless cloud migration later on.

“Sometimes that’s an easier motion for clients,” Garvey told CRN.

A few years back, when enterprises had interest in Google Cloud, it was almost always for analytics to be used by the data science team, Garvey said.

“That’s changed quite a bit,” he told CRN. “They have some very compelling offerings in compute.”

While Google can’t match the hundreds of thousands of SKUs of its two larger competitors, “what they have is really good technology, so I think they’re becoming a compelling offering for enterprises.”

And 2nd Watch has been impressed with the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program.

“The partner program is very straightforward, very partner-friendly and really embraces partners when it comes to doing co-delivery on behalf of the customers,” Garvey said. “So far it’s been a great experience.”