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We caught up with Kevin Ichhpurani to learn more about the company’s channel efforts for 2023.

Kelly Teal

January 12, 2023

10 Slides

Google Cloud on Thursday released a nearly 1,300-word blog about changes coming to its partner program. The title alone – “Putting partners first in 2023” – caught Channel Futures’ attention. We’d like to echo Larry Walsh of the 2112 Group and Channelnomics in cautioning any vendor that considers itself partner-led to avoid such obvious declarations. Here’s what Walsh had to say in December on LinkedIn:

“A recent channel trade headline still making my head hurt: A vendor declaring to partners “We’re here for you.” First, such declarations aren’t news — especially if you’re one of the pillars of the channel. Second, it implies that they were drifting from partners or a chance they were pulling back from the channel. Third, no new information from it. It’s just a PR grab that signifies nothing. If you’re going to talk to the channel through the press, have a real message.”

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

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Google’s Kevin Ichhpurani

Luckily, Channel Futures was able to secure an interview with Kevin Ichhpurani, corporate vice president of global ecosystem and channels at Google Cloud, about that blog, attributed to him, which discusses the coming year. In his message to the channel, Ichhpurani called Google Cloud “a partner-first company” and reiterated the company’s intent to “work closely with the entire Google Cloud ecosystem” in the coming year.

One of the biggest takeaways for partners of all stripes is that Google Cloud intends to outsource all services to the channel (or ecosystem, if you want to think of the opportunity in its broadest terms, encompassing even the companies Channel Futures readers consider vendors).

A ‘Technology Company’

“We fundamentally are a technology company,” Ichhpurani told us. “Our goal is to have 100% of services attached [through partners].”

This all has to do with digital transformation, with emphasis on the services aspect. By the way, Google Cloud, like its peers, has a professional services organization. But, unlike competitors, it intends to keep that division small and partner-first. That means not going to market against partners via professional services.

“We’re committed to a 100% partner-first approach,” Ichhpurani said.

As such, Google Cloud sees its professional services organization as the arm for deep technical expertise and an ability to fit into an engagement however the customer and partner need.

Finally, the most impactful news concerns the Partner Advantage program. Think life cycle compensation, which is growing ever more imperative within the indirect channel.

See the slideshow above for more.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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