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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 can partners expect in 2019?

[The channel] can expect a partner that is deeply committed to customer outcomes. I think the thing that companies sometimes miss with partners is that partners are trying to sell to customers over a long arc of time and are building that relationship, so they are super invested in making sure that customer gets value. These are companies that put value around doing the right thing, so we are going to make sure that customer outcome is great.

Partners also want a two-way street to engagement with the vendors they work with, and I think Google has demonstrated that in a whole variety of ways with the technology we are bringing to the table and showing who we are as a collaborative company. You can look at pieces of technology, but coupled with the ‘who we are’ part is probably the most compelling if you're looking to build a business with someone who is going to be a great partner for you.

What's Google's message to partners as 2019 approaches?

My message to partners is overwhelmingly, the time is now—you can feel the momentum. Put on your seatbelt and jump in now, because things are moving so quickly and there's a window of opportunity now to get in, or you might get left behind.

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