Google’s Expanding Channel Plans Deserve Close Scrutiny
Amid the continued high volume of M&A activity, “big company buys small company” isn’t exactly a novel storyline. One such deal is worth a closer look from a channel perspective, though: Google’s recent announcement that it will buy data migration vendor Alooma.
This follows Google 2018 purchase of cloud migration company Velostrata and is the latest sign of Google getting serious about making up ground on AWS and Azure in the enterprise public cloud market. As company observer 9to5Google wrote about the deal, “While Google may tout its AI lead, the company has to make it easier for prospective companies to actually use and transition to its various products.”
Partners are likely going to have a growing role to play there: It’s not just tools like Alooma’s but the technical expertise partners can bring that is often in short supply in companies still in the nascent stages of their cloud migrations. It’s another reason why we’re seeing such a high level of investment interest – and correspondingly high valuations – in cloud-oriented MSPs and other partners.
“In today’s multicloud/multiplatform world, orchestration, automation, integration and security are non-optional components of a functioning IT environment. The number of possible connections between systems and data sources expand logarithmically with each new platform,” says Anurag Agrawal, principal analyst at Techaisle. “The role of a channel partner is essential: being the beacon that guides enterprise IT managers to establish processes for connecting, securing, balancing and optimizing systems.”
So don’t be surprised if, once the deal closes, the Alooma deal feeds another expansion of Google’s growing partner programs, because it’s not as if there’s a magic “migrate to cloud” button out there for most companies.
As Google execs Amit Ganesh and Dominic Preuss note in a blog about the Alooma news, this isn’t just a cloud or database (Google is also hyping Cloud Spanner and Cloud Bigtable as beneficiaries of the acquisition) play, either.
“This simplified migration path also opens the door for customers to take advantage of all the technologies we have to offer, including analytics, security, AI and machine learning,” they say.
Add mobile to the list, though for slightly different reasons: On the same day that it announced the Alooma purchase, Google said that it was expanding its Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) program, which launched in 2018, to include MSPs.
“Google wants to provide enterprise customers with a choice in mobility solutions deployment, especially when [an] increasing number of customers are using Google Cloud Platform in addition to Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure,” Agrawal tells us.
Partners are taking note of all the above, especially on the cloud front, where Alooma appears set to give Google another boost in terms of moving traditional enterprise workloads to the cloud. A recent Techaisle survey found that 44 percent of channel-partner respondents are investing in technical resources for deploying Google Cloud solutions, third on a list of priorities following security and cloud orchestration.
Google’s announcement that it would open AER’s doors to MSPs noted that it was starting with Accenture, Brodos, Cognizant, DXC Technology, Econocom, Honeywell Enterprise, Mobile Mentor, Mobility MEA, Offshore Tech, SCC, SHI, Skywire, Stratix, Tech Data and Vox Mobile as validated partners.
“Over time, we plan to add more MSP partners to the program,” the company said.
Agrawal points out that the web giant might have a learning curve in …