Point of View

Google goes big on data and partnerships for cloud growth

July 19, 2021

As service providers build their cloud practices to serve their customers better, Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP) is becoming an increasingly relevant part of the enterprise data and analytics discussion. By developing a more cohesive partnering program, Google is helping its partners develop skills around application and data modernization, both essential to the journey to Cloud Native.

Enterprises are increasing the migration of workloads to public clouds to deliver services to their business, employees, and customers at scale. Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure platforms have taken an early market lead, but GCP garners significant interest as an alternative solution. With a focus on data and analytics, Google is worth considering for technology leaders and cloud teams when engaging with their services providers.

Enterprises seeking to infuse Data in their Digital DNA should look at Google’s Offerings

From a buyer’s point of view, Google offers a “born in the cloud DNA” and brings infrastructure, compute, data and analytics, and delivery as core pillars. In 2021, GCP’s work with partners will help the end customer develop technical skills and best practices. Customers can leverage Google’s services for composing, consuming, and curation across solutions for cloud adoption, application modernization, and delivering data-centric assets.

Exhibit 1: Google Cloud Platform

Source: Google, 2020

Enterprises are increasingly leveraging Open Source. As Google is an active contributor to open source where Cloud Native tools like Kubernetes have been developed and adopted by customers, partners, and competitors en-masse. However, Google’s bread and butter are in data and analytics. As a result, companies looking at large amounts of structured and unstructured data—from SAP databases to IoT—may benefit from the vendor’s BigQuery, Dataproc, Cloud SQL, and more.

Many enterprises are developing or containerizing their applications. The curation of containers requires Kubernetes, and while Google has handed Kubernetes to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it continues to develop both Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and has developed Anthos to provide customers with an alternative to Red Hat OpenShift or SUSE Rancher. However, Anthos’ real power might be in how it allows the customer to work with services partners to connect data sources across multiple clouds at scale. Thus, GCP can make it easier to overcome the challenge of finding the Kubernetes talent required to manage data and application containers across public and private clouds and workloads.

Access to partners skills and capabilities are essential for Enterprise adoption of GCP

Google prioritized building its partner ecosystem with global systems integrators (GSIs) and business consulting partners to support end-user adoption. These investments are increasing talent allocation, professional certifications, and product go-to-market plans. Many services partners have answered by developing customer success and dedicated business units for Google and are promoting vertical, technology, and application and data modernization capabilities to their customers.

GCP is betting partners and customers will see the value it brings to the market for data, analytics, and workloads. By playing to its heritage to collect, organize, anticipate, and contextualize data, Google is prioritizing offering a cloud platform built for information and data consumption. From cloud-based databases to orchestration to microservices, GCP stresses that partnerships are essential to enable enterprise DevSecOps teams to realize their most from Google’s cloud portfolio.

An example of GCP’s partner investments is the growing engagement between GCP and Cognizant. Cognizant recently launched its Google Cloud Business Group, which in the first five months increased its pool of Google Cloud certification associates three-fold to 1,700. It supports around 15,000 associates in various Google engagements, including Google Cloud, marketing engagements, Google Map content, and product engineering. In addition, Cognizant is betting on its partnership with GCP as a change agent for its customers. In this partnership, the firm sees an opportunity to boost infrastructure, analytics, AI/MI, Kubernetes, and Anthos to support multi-cloud orchestration and cloud-native DevOps.

Partners will also benefit from increased vertical and industry solutions from GCP. For example, Cognizant is doubling down on GCP offerings for retail with its Analytics 360 marketing analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) for customer experience (CX). Similarly, for banking and financial services (BFS), the two firms promote intelligent asset management, healthcare with a shared investigator platform, and manufacturing, focusing on intelligent factories leveraging data and IoT workloads.

GCP doesn’t just focus on Cognizant; it is expanding its service provider partnerships to include Accenture, Atos, HCL, Infosys, Wipro, and others that have already launched GCP Group partnerships to deliver solid Google Cloud technologies to enterprises.

The Bottom Line: Google Cloud Platform is a formidable challenger; by improving its partnership ecosystems and leading with data and analytics solutions, enterprises finally have a clearer picture on how to incorporate its solution into their journey to Cloud Native.

GCP is aggressively seeking to win market share from AWS and Azure. However, with its GSI-centric partner development ecosystem, GCP may finally have the support it needs to entice enterprises to adopt the whole gambit of its offerings. As companies struggle to recruit, educate, and retain talent, Google’s focus on developing partner ecosystems for its cloud offerings a very welcome change in its go-to-market efforts.

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