Forrester: Google Cloud Partners See Big Success Since 2016
With apologies in advance for the Google overload, get the lowdown on some of the hotter cloud activity impacting the channel in North America and Europe over the past few days.
Forrester: Google Cloud Partners Showing Notable Growth
The findings build on those Forrester first uncovered for Google Cloud Platform in 2016. Since that initial report, partners report an increase in average deal size for GCP migration of three to six times. Cloud modernization and application development deal sizes on GCP have grown three to five times since 2016, Forrester said.
In terms of Google Cloud partner revenue, approximately 70% comes from professional and managed services, according to Forrester.
“Professional-service project gross margins ranged from a low of 25% to a high of 60% across the 19 interviewees, with higher margins associated with higher value analytics, AI/ML, cloud modernization and cloud-native application development projects,” analysts wrote. “Lastly, partners that built their own custom intellectual property on or for Google Cloud solutions were able to sell these offerings to customers, often attaching them to larger cloud engagements and earning margins in excess of 60%.”
That strategy of moving from selling existing Google Cloud services to offering custom solution on GCP results in “a larger total addressable market and higher margins,” Forrester noted.
In a Feb. 6 blog, Carolee Gearhart, channel chief at Google Cloud, agreed with that assessment.
“We know that it’s still early days for cloud migration across industries, but a few key product areas stood out as opportunities for partners – particularly, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and building custom intellectual property,” Gearhart said. “Customer engagements in these areas are leading to repeat business and larger contract values for partners, Forrester found, so building expertise can help ‘further bolster partners’ value proposition and differentiation in the marketplace.'”
Indeed, Forrester listed the following areas as the “big opportunities” for partners:
- Professional and managed services that span strategy and business consulting; cloud migration and modernization; cloud-native application development; and data, analytics and insight services. Profit margins can reach as high as 60%, depending on the engagement type, required partner specialization, and automation and repeatability embedded in service delivery, Forrester said.
- Resale of products including GCP, G Suite, Chrome Enterprise and Google Maps Platform, with margins ranging from 10-30%.
- Proprietary software and solutions that enhance or complement Google Cloud technologies or that solve a specific business problem. Here, margins can exceed 60%, analysts said.
- Continued investment in Google Cloud certifications, which allows partners to justify higher fees.
Continuing to expand in all those domains stands to culminate in further partner differentiation and success, Forrester predicted.
Forrester took several steps to evaluate the business impact of building a Google Cloud practice; approaches included interviews with Forrester analysts, Google stakeholders and 19 Google Cloud partners.
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