Image Gallery: Google Cloud Next '17

Google Cloud execs, partners and reference customers came together in San Francisco to celebrate success, announce products and reconnect with business partners.

Channel Partners

March 10, 2017

  • Image Gallery: Google Cloud Next ’17

    By Kurt Marko

    Since snagging Diane Greene out of semi-retirement and moving the former VMware founder and CEO from board member to operational leader, Google has made clear that it is committed to the business of cloud infrastructure and services. At its premier event this week, executives, partners and reference customers of Google Cloud came together at the Next ’17 conference in San Francisco to celebrate success, announce products and reconnect with business partners.

    Google used the Next event to reaffirm its belief that the channel can drive adoption of its Google Cloud platform and services and announce additional investments, new technical specializations and technology alliances.

    The initiatives were unveiled in a blog by Bertrand Yansouni, the company’s new VP of global partner sales and strategic alliances, and Nan Boden, head of global technology partners for Google Cloud.

    “Google Cloud partners are essential to our commitment to help enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter and stay secure,” the two wrote. “Partners deliver significant value to our customers, and we’re committed to supporting their success.”

    While Google Cloud trails Amazon Web Services – the undisputed IaaS and PaaS leader – as well as Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud in market share, its continued focus on public cloud is good news for customers depending on continued downward price pressure.

    Last month, Synergy Research said AWS holds about 40 percent of the IaaS and PaaS market, more than Microsoft, Google and IBM combined.

    Back at Next, partner-focused changes at Google include:

    • Sales training and product development credits, as well as partner training and revenue goals now include all Google Cloud products.

    • New specializations will recognize partners that demonstrate customer success and technical proficiency in various areas, including infrastructure, application development, data analytics and machine learning.

    • Low-interest loans will be available to qualified partners, and allowable uses of co-funding dollars will be expanded.  

    Google also announced deals with channel-friendly suppliers including Veritas, Check Point and Egnyte as well as work with Intel on technology initiatives and market education efforts covering IoT and Kubernetes.

    Google isn’t a stranger to the channel.

    Last year, Intelisys announced that its partners could resell Google Apps for Work, Google Maps for Work, Google Search and Google Cloud Platform, including licensing, consultation, deployment and migration, training and cloud managed services. The G Suite Referral Program pays bounties of $15 per user, up to $1,500 per business, to partners that move customers into Google’s suite of email, online storage, shared calendars and video-conferencing. And, the company’s Chromebooks are wildly popular in the education vertical — almost 100 percent of those vertical sales come through the channel.

    Meanwhile, a new survey on the top cloud providers shows enterprises prefer Microsoft Azure, while SMBs gravitate toward Google Cloud Platform. The Clutch survey included 85 AWS users, 86 GCP users and 76 Azure users. Nearly 40 percent of Azure users identified as enterprises, while 41 percent of GCP users identified as SMBs.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Diane Greene


    Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, led the opening day keynote, but also addressed a pre-event briefing for analysts where she reviewed Google Cloud’s progress and plans.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Big Crowd


    Greene proudly stated that there were more than 10,000 people attending this year’s event, and the keynote presentation, packed technical sessions and product demonstration booths validated the interest in Google’s platforms.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: AT&T Park


    Before the main conference, partners and analysts had their own, separate events, which collectively illustrated Google’s commitment to building an ecosystem of service providers, customers and thought leaders.

    Partners were treated to a party at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Baseball, Anyone?


    AT&T Park, which is now privately owned after the organization paid off its 20-year, $170 million mortgage in December, was named the 2008 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Customer Success Stories


    In both the keynotes and analyst presentations, Google execs emphasized the importance of customer engagement, product feedback and partner assistance. Much of the opening-day keynote was devoted to customer success stories such as Home Depot, which ported its online site to Google Cloud prior to Black Friday and successfully navigated an even busier online sales year without incident.

    HSBC is another deeply committed Google Cloud customer, basing several new applications on Google’s services. HSBC’s CIO, Darryl West, explained the financial services company’s usage of Google Cloud.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Partners


    Partners received plenty of attention during both keynotes and analyst sessions. Tariq Shaukat, Google Cloud president and head of customer engagement, shared the organization’s partner ecosystem matrix.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: The Landscape


    The landscape consisted of a mix of companies providing core technology and enterprise delivery.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Go-to-Market Model


    Shaukat then shared Google Cloud’s go-to-market model that focuses on partners as the customer contact and solution provider with backup from Google’s inside sales and engineering support.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Customer Engagement


    Google’s typical customer-engagement process illustrates the emphasis it places on direct customer contact to understand business needs, assist with scoping cloud-based solutions and providing deep technical support.

    Partners are critical in all stages, said Shaukat, and their level of involvement will depend on the partner’s business model, whether providing cloud design and consulting or end-to-end cloud-based services based on the Google Cloud.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Reference Customers


    Google also showed off an impressive list of reference customers that span industries and use cases.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Not Ceding Ground to AWS


    Although AWS is rapidly becoming synonymous with cloud services, the most senior Google execs are not ceding any ground.

    Both Google CEO Sundar Pichai and legendary executive chairman Eric Schmidt enthusiastically outlined the company’s commitment to providing cloud services and the cloud’s potential to transform business models and operations.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: Cloud Stats


    Schmidt and Pichai insist the cloud business is still in its earliest stages, with less than 10 percent of IT spending going to cloud services.

  • Google Cloud Next ’17: The Democratization of AI


    Partners building a cloud-services portfolio must evaluate all of the major service options and select those most appropriate for their customer’s needs; however, Google Cloud is staking claim to leadership in big-data analysis and machine learning by providing services that bring sophisticated technologies to the masses.

    It’s what ex-Stanford professor and now head of Google Cloud’s AI efforts, Dr. Fei-Fei Li, calls the democratization of AI.  

  • Image Gallery: Google Cloud Next ’17

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