For those that read the press, listen to the hype and drink the Kool-Aid, the cloud race is already over, before it even began.
Because there’s two market leaders out in front, so far ahead that a duopoly is in place.
In truth, statistics don’t lie and the early dominance of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure should be acknowledged.
Yet a third horse is emerging from the chasing pack, galloping up the outside with style of attack. Backed by an expanding channel, Google Cloud is gaining ground.
“We made a decision about 10 years ago to focus purely on Google which has paid off well for us as a business,” OniGroup managing director Darragh Murphy said.
“It was a very different proposition over a decade ago and we initially focused on maps and search, but now we have evolved our offerings as the portfolio has expanded."
Established as a Premier Partner of choice for Google Geo, G Suite, search, cloud and analytics solutions, OniGroup operates as a 100 per cent provider of Google technologies, leveraging a solid track record spanning more than a decade.
“There’s a lot of solutions on offer through Google but we’ve made our key strategic bets,” OniGroup head of Google Cloud APAC Martin Tiekle added. “Much like the decision we made 10 years ago, today we’re taking the same approach through our specialised offerings.
“We have a laser focus on our investments and opportunities, alongside delivering innovative technical solutions that help our customers.”
Founded in 2006, the Sydney- based business works together with customers to identify, integrate and leverage cutting edge tools and technologies, designed to improve organisational efficiency, collaboration and knowledge management.
“It’s on a customer by customer basis, but our focus is very much around providing consultation and advisory services,” Tiekle explained.
“We provide guidance on best practice for customers to consider, whether that’s when implementing new technologies, the key challenges to watch out for and crucially, how to build returns to the business which is our biggest strength.
“Through leveraging our technical team, we’re also examining code all day long and coming back to the table with better ways of doing business. This approach helps us solve customer problems and deliver the outcomes they require.”
In starting out as a Google Maps focused partner, OniGroup was afforded an orientation exercise in disguise.
Through offering expertise via the web mapping service, the technology provider subsequently started scanning the globe for extra opportunities, leveraging a burgeoning cloud platform to enter new countries.
“We came across an opportunity to expand globally around four years ago,” Murphy recalled. “Google approached us to expand into Europe and to replicate what we do in Australia.
“This represented our first venture overseas and we set up an office in the UK, which is going from strength to strength. We’ve just recently hired two new staff members and it’s going strongly for us.
“Because we are 100 per cent aligned to Google, I believe that’s a huge differentiator compared to any other provider. We find partners offer a little bit of everything whereas we come into the customer with one story and that story is the Google Cloud Platform [GCP].”
Through the continued success of brand, coupled with growth as a Premier Google Cloud Partner, OniGroup has morphed into a global entity, with a presence also across the Asia Pacific region.
“The approach is the same as we work off a globalised formula,” Tiekle added. “Of course, there are different idiosyncrasies between doing business in the UK compared to New Zealand, or perhaps Australia compared to Singapore.
“But the services we provide and how we position ourselves within the market remains the same globally.”
Despite market demand and a tech giant endorsing the move, Tiekle said OniGroup adopted a concerted approach to expanding globally, undertaking a SWOT analysis to assess strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats.
“We assessed the global market to see which industry played to our strengths specifically,” Tiekle explained. “We leveraged Google enormously along the way and examined which market we would most likely see success.
“For example, Asia Pacific is a large market to enter. It’s different because rather than monopolies in every country, you have big players that work across 7/8 nations. From a Google standpoint, we wouldn’t be where we are today without their partnership.
“It’s a two-way street and we feed off each other from both a partner and Google perspective. But crucially, the customer receives a single perspective which is a very powerful offering to provide.”
In some ways, OniGroup was a little ahead of its time, going global before the idea became fashionable across the channel.
Yet today, the idea of partners leveraging vendor cloud platforms to reach new countries - and crucially, new customers - across the world is commonplace, as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer golden tickets to global markets.
“We’ve definitely been in complete alliance with Google every step of the way,” Murphy explained.