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Thomas Kurian: Why Google Cloud Bests AWS, Azure For Partners

Mark Haranas

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian talks to CRN about the advantages the company has over its two main cloud rivals, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Partners are always thinking, ‘Who do I lead with?’ Microsoft engages with partners in other ways like with its O­ffice Suite, while AWS was very early to the game in on-boarding the channel. What’s the pitch to partners as to why they should bring Google Cloud to their customers?

We’ve not only shown that we are a new player in cloud computing, but it’s shown through our results that we are successful. So partners need to know, first of all, that all the success we’ve had to date would not have come without partners helping us. And the partners that have helped us have done astonishingly well in building large, large businesses alongside Google.

Now, why should partners work with us? What cloud computing is about now is vastly different than what it used to be about. When you talked to customers three years ago, most customers said, ‘I’m going to pick a primary cloud vendor.’ Today, when you talk to large enterprises, everyone says, ‘I’m going to work with at least two or three cloud providers.’ So this notion of using multiple clouds becomes a big deal. We have technology that uniquely makes it possible for a customer to build and run applications across multiple clouds. Large companies are using that, and many of our partners have actually helped us with that.

Second example, when we look at analytics and data, Google is uniquely positioned because we offer a capability that others don’t: the ability to work and do analysis when your data is in multiple clouds. When your data happens to be structured and unstructured data, we can still let you do analysis. Our data business is growing extremely quickly as a result. So if you look at the work we’ve done with Lush, which is a cosmetics and consumer products company, two of our partners in Europe—Ancoris and Clarinet—we help them move to Google Cloud to provide them not only high performance e-commerce infrastructure, but also great customer analytics and understanding. Same thing, if you look at an example from [beer brewing company] Anheuser-Busch InBev. They wanted to really optimize how they do large-scale manufacturing data analysis on their manufacturing floor. Our partner, Pluto7, worked with us to build that solution for Anheuser-Busch. So the second segment that we see a lot of interest in is around analytics and data. Similarly, we have a lot of interest in our collaboration tools and cybersecurity solutions.

Another reason is, when I joined [Google Cloud] I was very clear that we are a products and solutions company, we’re not a services company. So there is zero channel conflict—zero channel conflict. So it makes it much easier for a partner to know when you go in with Google, ‘they’re not going to try and bring their own services and compete with us.’ … We reward partners both for the initial up-front sell as well as any ongoing sales that they do with our customer base.

 
Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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