Following the best marketing practices of traditional IT firms, Google has launched a partner program to help third-party vendors use and sell Google cloud services.
The Google Cloud Platform Partner Program will provide "our partners with the tools, training and resources they need to successfully address your business' IT needs," wrote Eric Morse, who is Google's head of sales and business development for the Google Cloud Platform, in a blog entry announcing the program.
Google will offer resources around its cloud offerings such as the Google Compute Engine, Google App Engine, Google BigQuery, and Google Cloud Storage. Google did not detail what specific tools, training and resources it would offer, nor what the qualifications are for becoming a partner.
As with most IT partnerships, however, Google partners expect the company to provide sales leads and give assistance as the partners pursue their own possible leads. Google could also provide early access and engineering expertise for new technologies.
According to David Cope, chief marketing officer of Google technology partner CliQr, the partnership provides CliQr with "the exposure and working relationship with Google's sales and marketing teams." Backed by Google Ventures, CliQr supplies a platform for switching and running virtual workloads across multiple cloud providers. Google admitted CliQr to the partner program after Google managers reviewed CliQr's technology.
Google is certainly seeing interest in its technologies from other third-party integrators, ISVs (independent software vendors), resellers, consultants and vendors. One PaaS (platform-as-a-service) provider, Orangescape Technologies, migrated a snack company's computing platform from Lotus Notes to one based on Google App Engine. For an office of the United Kingdom's National Weather Service, PA Consulting helped build an online weather forecast application using Google App Engine and Google Maps.
For the program, Google divides its business partners into two categories: service partners and technology partners.
Service partners provide advice and implementation help in using Google cloud services. Companies such as Computer Sciences Corp., WiPro Technologies and LTech have already been officially anointed as official Google service partners.
Technology partners use Google cloud services to power their own offerings, or provide tools to help users better deploy Google services. Jaspersoft, Puppet Labs, Opscode and MapR Technologies are among those certified as partners.
In establishing a partnership program, Google follows in the footsteps of other well-established IT firms. IBM, for example, channels its midmarket sales and service through third-party integrators and single-domain-focused system vendors.