January 27, 2022
Kevin Ichhpurani, the new channel chief at Google Cloud, didn’t waste much time espousing what the company’s goals would be heading into this year and beyond.
Google Cloud’s Kevin Ichhpurani
“To continue meeting growing customer demand in 2022 and beyond, I am pleased to share that we are bringing together our ecosystem and channel sales teams into a single partner organization to bring a more streamlined go-to-market approach for our partners and customers,” Ichhpurani said.
To support this change, Google Cloud plans to double what it spends to support its partners in the next few years. This includes rolling out increased co-innovation resources for partners. In addition, the organization plans to offer more incentives and co-marketing funds. The company will make a larger commitment to training and enablement.
As far as a go-to-market strategy, Google plans to train 40 million people on Google Cloud. The initiative should particularly help system integrators, Ichhpurani said.
Ichhpurani comes to the position after spending five years as head of global ecosystem and business development with the company. Prior to Google, he held executive roles at GE Digital, Ernst and Young and SAP.
He replaces Carolee Gearhart who came to Google also from GE Digital. Gearhart held the channel chief role for more than three years. The position remained empty for nearly a year prior to her arrival, but Gearhart transformed the operation and spearheaded its partner global strategy.
Her numbers spoke for themselves.
Google Cloud’s Carolee Gearhart
“In 2021’s first half, our channel partners won 75% more deals than in the same period last year versus this year, and saw a 175% increase in the number of deals year over year,” Gearhart told Channel Futures in October.
The results came early during her tenure.
“We got a really strong signal we were going in the right direction [because] … between 2018 and 2020, partners were involved in three times the number of customer deals than they were before,” she said.
In her final days at the company, Gearhart worked on developing Launchpad. Google Cloud has taken the curriculum it uses for its internal sales teams and tailored it to the channel. The Launchpad platform will be generally available in 2022, Gearhart said last year.
Moreover, Gearhart helped the Google Cloud partner ecosystem grow by more than 400%.
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