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

Google Cloud channel chief Carolee Gearhart talks with CRN about the company's focus on open source, its artificial intellligence and machine-learning chops, and why she thinks now is the time for innovation-focused channel partners to join Google.

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What have been your first priorities since coming aboard in July?

My main priority was to do no harm and understand what's going on. At this point, I've visited every [Google] region around the world to really assess where things were at. There were things that became clear right out of the gate—making sure the infrastructure under Nina [Harding, chief of global partner strategy and programs] is able to support and scale the growth that these partner businesses are experiencing. One of the biggest things I heard was our partners can't hire fast enough—which is something I've never heard before consistently in every global market, so we are looking at what we can do to help extend opportunities to our partners.

Also important is making sure we expand the certifications into the specialization space because another thing we hear consistently is that partners are really excited about these areas where we have a clear, differentiated solution that is ahead of the market, and they want to make sure they have the skills to be able to meet those requirements, particularly as they are taking on so many new people. High growth is a challenge.

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