CRN Exclusive: Google Cloud Forming Global Partner Organization To Roll All Partners Under One Umbrella

It takes a village to innovate and deliver end-to-end solutions, according to Google. That's why the cloud giant is bringing all its technology, software, and consulting partners under one roof.

Google has formed a new Global Partner Ecosystem organization that combines support for all the cloud giant's partners. The realignment is important because Google noticed that the lines were blurring between its partner types, and Google wanted to actively triangulate relationships between partners, said Kevin Ichhpurani, corporate vice president of global ecosystem at Google Cloud, who will be running the new organization.

"Many of our partners were starting to fall into multiple categories," Ichhpurani told CRN. "We wanted to get away from those traditional classifications. It's really about bringing an ecosystem to a customer, as opposed to a partnership."

[Related: Google’s Carolee Gearhart On Workforce Transformation, 'Leaning In' On Open Source, And What Partners Can Expect In 2019]

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The Global Partner Ecosystem organization will help Google on its mission to pick up more enterprise customers. In fact, the organization was formed based on feedback that Google has been receiving from some of its largest end customers, Ichhpurani said.

"Our goal is to serve end-to-end solutions and success to our clients, but that's not just done through Google Cloud alone," he said. "We're pretty excited about [the new organization] because it allows us to service our customers better through our partner ecosystem."

An important part of the reorganization will include solution maps for partners broken up by industry -- including healthcare, finance, retail, and oil and gas. These solution maps will help partners identify the right partners in the ecosystem to work with to address specific problems that customers in these industries face, Ichhpurani said.

The new partner organization will also include new resources that Google's different partner types may not have all had access to, including the ability to tap Google's technical team for help using some of the unique aspects of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), such as machine learning and analytics.

Customers want to see more specialization from Google Partners. To that end, Google has boosted its enablement strategy to help more partners earn more certifications.

"We're continuing to expand our certifications to make them more granular," Ichhpurani explained. "We're moving from more generic certifications to certifications focused on specializations and competencies like analytics, ML, app modernization and Kubernetes."

Ichhpurani, who has worked at Google since he left GE Digital earlier this year, has been supporting Google's strategic partnerships. His new role will include overseeing Google's various partner organizations, as well as Google's digital marketplace, partner engineering organization, and its startup ecosystem.

"We really want to start cultivating companies leveraging our GCP capabilities early on in their lifecycle," he said.

In his new role, Ichhpurani will still be working closely alongside Google's channel team -- which isn't changing, including Google Cloud Channel Chief Carolee Gearhart and Nan Boden, senior director and head of global technology partnerships for Google Cloud, who will now be focused more on customer innovation.