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Putting partners first in 2023

January 12, 2023
Kevin Ichhpurani

Corporate VP, Global Partner Ecosystem & Channels

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Google Cloud is a partner-first company, and in 2022 our ecosystem of partners delivered incredible innovation and value to customers, like migrating entire data centers to the cloud, modernizing businesses’ data strategies, solving industry-specific challenges, and more. As we kick off a new year, the opportunity for our partners to drive digital transformation will be greater than ever. Customers will need industry value networks of partners to solve their toughest challenges and address their biggest opportunities. 

That’s why we believe you cannot be customer-centric if you are not also partner-centric. In 2023, we’ll work closely with the entire Google Cloud ecosystem, including technology providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), global systems integrators, and the channel to innovate on new products and solutions, deliver more value for customers, and accelerate customers’ time-to-value. 

To support this effort, today we’re introducing new commitments, resources, and program updates that strengthen our commitment to openness and choice, provide more knowledge and expertise to our ecosystem, and significantly grow the services capacity available to customers through our partners. 

Strengthening our commitment to choice and openness

Last year, we introduced new initiatives designed to ensure customers have flexibility and choice to work with the vendors and partners of their choosing. For instance, we launched the Data Cloud Alliance with partners like Confluent, Databricks, MongoDB, and others to help break down barriers between data. We also reiterated our commitment to open source AI development, and introduced new partnerships to grow our trusted cloud ecosystem.

In 2023, we are doubling down on customer choice, and will embrace partners’ innovation, even when their services overlap with Google Cloud’s. This open approach will yield more innovation for customers and increase the total addressable market (TAM) for our partners. And, we’ll work closely with our partners to help customers modernize in every major product area, including:

  • Building the most open data cloud ecosystem, supporting all major data formats and removing limits from data through our work with partners like Databricks, Elastic, MongoDB, Palantir, SAP, ServiceNow, Striim, and the more-than 800 companies who have built their products on our data cloud. Our open approach to data represents a significant opportunity for highly qualified services partners to help customers build new data-driven processes, better understand their customers, and optimize common processes in areas like manufacturing, supply chains, financial services, and more.

  • Ensuring customers can work with all leading cybersecurity vendors alongside Google Cloud by expanding our work with partners like Crowdstrike, Cybereason, Forgerock, Fortinet, Okta, Palo Alto Networks, and many more, and creating new opportunities through our acquisition of Mandiant for partners to deliver security posture assessments, managed security operations services, and complementary technologies to help companies address vulnerabilities.

  • Helping customers address real-world industry challenges with artificial intelligence (AI) by growing the breadth of applied industry AI solutions available on Google Cloud and our partners. We’ll also continue our commitment to open source AI innovation, working with our partners we announced recently and industry groups like the Pytorch Foundation and the OpenXLA initiative.

  • Continuing to build Google Workspace as an open platform for hybrid work, integrated with more productivity and collaboration applications from partners like Asana, Atlassian, Figma, Miro, and Zendesk.

  • Supporting our ISV partners with world-class infrastructure and leading capabilities in AI, machine learning (ML) and data analytics, and bringing more partner applications and platforms onto Google Cloud to provide more options for customers.

Adding new capabilities to transact in Google Cloud Marketplace

The Google Cloud Marketplace is a go-to destination for partners and customers to deploy enterprise applications. Already, customers can decrement their commitments with partner applications through Marketplace, and benefit from simple, integrated billing. In 2022, we introduced new features to provide more flexibility in transactions and deployment, including reducing our standard Marketplace rate to 3%, introducing options for private offers, and rolling out Private Marketplaces. Starting this year, we've also increased compensation for our own sellers on partner applications sold via Marketplace

Throughout 2023, we’ll continue to evolve Google Cloud Marketplace as the go-to destination for our partners and customers to deploy enterprise applications. This will include adding more capabilities for resale partners to transact through Marketplace, accelerated solution onboarding, more granular cost management, and new governance capabilities to support customers in industries with specific procurement requirements such as the U.S. public sector. These new capabilities will roll out over the coming year.

Evolving Partner Advantage to emphasize partners’ delivery excellence

To optimize this partner-led services opportunity and drive the best outcome for customers, we’re evolving our Partner Advantage program to emphasize excellence in services delivery and the importance of upskilling individual experts who can help make every customer’s project a success. In July 2023, the Partner Advantage program will evolve to:

  • Place greater emphasis on skilled capacity and partners that invest in service capabilities by introducing new incentives and opportunities for partners that are able to earn more individual certifications, accelerate customer deployments and successfully execute large-scale digital transformations.

  • Introduce product family specific tracks for Google Cloud, Google Workspace, and Chrome Enterprise within Partner Advantage. This will enable partners to advance through the program as they build expertise aligned to strategic products, grow their certified individual practitioners, and demonstrate proven success deploying these products with customers. These new tracks will also help customers identify the partners with the right people and experience they need.

  • Align our incentives to reward partners who achieve these product-level requirements, build highly skilled teams and reduce customers’ time-to-value with excellent services delivery.

These new requirements will take effect in July 2023, giving partners a six-month readiness period to earn their certifications, develop product expertise, and demonstrate proven customer success. 

Empowering our service partners with additional resources and tools

We’re committed to supporting our ecosystem - in fact, our incentives and investments for partners grew by more than 50% in 2022, and will continue to reward partners who accelerate consumption and drive new customer acquisition.

Given the particularly large opportunity for our services ecosystem, we’re making significant investments in providing new resources, programs, and tools to help these partners build their services capacity and deliver success for customers. Building on our commitment to more than double our spend in support of partners, these new resources and updates will include:

  • Providing partners with greater access to Google Cloud knowledge and expertise across the entire sales cycle by launching new account-specific bootcamps to share best practices from working with our largest customers, a new knowledge base and support desk to ensure partners can quickly resolve technical issues and get answers to questions, and new services assurance tools so partners know that Google Cloud’s experts are on-deck to help make their projects a success.

  • Expanding the Delivery Readiness Index (DRI), which evaluates partners’ experiential knowledge combined levels of certification, to all our services partners to help them assess their delivery readiness and assure customers they have the most delivery-ready for a specific implementation 

  • Launching a new, world-class migration program, which will unify multiple migration-related motions into a single initiative. This comprehensive program will bring together best practices, tools, and playbooks to accelerate large-scale migrations, make them more predictable, and ensure customer success. Like all other areas, we’re relying on partners to deliver migration and implementation services through this new program. We’ll work with experienced migration partners to deliver frameworks and services to help customers plan project timelines, operating models, and project cost-savings.

The opportunity for our partners to drive innovation and digital transformation will only grow this year. Thank you to all of our partners for your continued innovation and focus on customer success. For more information on these new programs and resources, reach out to your Partner Account Manager or login to the Partner Advantage portal at partners advantage.goog.

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