The Google Cloud Partner Program now has three tiers, according to announcements at the company's channel partner conference in San Francisco today. The move comes as major public cloud providers -- Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace and more -- also continue to enhance their partner programs.
Roughly 700 Google partners are attending this week's partner gathering. On the SaaS front, more than 10,000 partners now resell Google Apps. In contrast, today's Cloud Partner Program enhancements seek to accelerate partner success with Google Compute Engine (IaaS), App Engine (PaaS) and more.
Generally speaking, most cloud partner programs initially focused on SaaS -- since hosted applications serve clearly defined markets, and are natural destinations for on-premises applications moving to the cloud.
But now the public cloud providers are building deeper, more formulated partner programs in the IaaS and PaaS markets. Google's enhanced Cloud Partner Program now offers three levels:
- Premier Partner - all the benefits of the core partner program and access to premier level services.
- Authorized Partner - core partner program with branding, relationship management and access to online resources and training.
- Registered Company - entry level status with access to online resources and training.
Generally speaking, VARs and MSPs have been seeking IaaS partner programs that include phone support, rapid response, and dedicated support personnel. We're checking with Google to see if the Premier Partner level offers such services.
Meanwhile, Google's cloud rivals aren't sitting still. Rackspace recently changed CEOs and some pundits expect the company to jumpstart a cloud partner program soon. Microsoft is expected to announce Windowss Azure partner program enhancements at Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in July. And Amazon is quietly reaching out to the world's top 501 MSPs -- as tracked by MSPmentor -- to plug them into AWS.
Bottom line: Channel partner programs for SaaS are maturing. Now, the IaaS and PaaS battle for partners is heating up. Talkin' Cloud will be back with more insights from the Google Partner Summit later this week.