Why one Aussie partner went all-in on Google Cloud

Why one Aussie partner went all-in on Google Cloud

From Sydney to the streets of the UK and Asia Pacific, OniGroup is reaping the rewards of striking a global Google Cloud alliance

Team OniGroup – Martin Tiekle and Darragh Murphy

Team OniGroup – Martin Tiekle and Darragh Murphy

“We have leveraged their expertise and their brand and we understand and recognise the importance they provide to our business.”

Second wave

Specific to customer buying habits, GCP is increasingly being chosen as a strategic alternative to AWS by customers whose businesses compete with Amazon, and that are more open-source-centric or DevOps-centric, and thus are less well-aligned to Microsoft Azure.

The move comes as the tech giant positions itself as an ‘open’ provider — according to Gartner research — through an increased emphasis on portability, alongside involvement in many open-source ecosystems, including that of Kubernetes, its open-source container cluster management software.

“It’s a very different story that partners and Google are coming to customers with today,” Murphy said. “It’s about providing a multi- cloud environment through a hybrid approach, whereas other vendors are simply saying, choose us only.

“We say take the best of Google and leverage that to a full extent because they have a range of different platforms and strong capabilities in other areas. Especially across data, analytics and machine learning, Google is streets ahead.”

And Murphy’s assessment of the market is playing out in the numbers.

Locally speaking, Australian organisations are strongly moving in the direction of hybrid cloud, with a range of businesses currently utilising one or two small applications or workloads.

But despite 67 per cent of all companies embracing cloud in the form of either public or private across the country, only 13 per cent have an "optimised" cloud strategy in place.

According to local findings from research analyst firm IDC, Australia is continuing to adopt cloud solutions with “no bias” towards either public or private cloud, with many moving in the direction of a hybrid cloud future.

“Whether it be at the high end of town or low end start-ups, hybrid cloud is very much the play,” Tiekle said.

“Cloud is a big investment to make as a business and it doesn’t make sense to go all in on one particular platform. Why not instead take the best of both worlds and create something innovative?

“Google has done a fantastic job of branding themselves as being advocates of multi-cloud — here are our strengths, this is where we will play and this is why you should back us.”

With a customer base predominantly housed across the enterprise, Tiekle acknowledged the changing dynamics of the industry, as fledging businesses divert attention from traditional players.

“The enterprise is changing fast,” he observed. “It’s different with start- ups from around the world because some start-ups in Indonesia are only five years old but are worth more than Australian businesses that have been around for more than 100 years.

Team OniGroup – Martin Tiekle and Darragh Murphy
Team OniGroup – Martin Tiekle and Darragh Murphy

“So yes, enterprise is our play but we’re now getting two forms of business.”

Maturing market

Through developing a multi-cloud marketplace, Google is also accelerating efforts to bring more channel partners into play, particularly independent software vendors (ISVs) innovating on the platform.

As a result, the GCP division has been making aggressive efforts to build an ecosystem of management tools through actively recruiting partners.

While prospective partner interest is high, it will take time for such partners to build out capabilities.

“It’s a different story from our perspective because we’ve been there for the long haul,” Murphy added. “We’ve gone through the different stages of how Google’s partner program has evolved over time and we’ve evolved and grown with the business.

“But you can definitely see during the past 12-18 months that they are taking a massive leap ahead.

“We’ve always leveraged a strong Google partnership during the past 10 years and we work very closely together but they have made an astronomical investment recently which has been great for the channel.”

Today, a Google Cloud partner is specialised, collaborative, a developer of applications and a builder of code. But crucially, on occasions, cut from a different cloth.

“There’s a massive focus on partners, more so than before,” Tiekle acknowledged. “Google has invested billions of dollars into infrastructure, technology and the channel and we’re seeing that play out.

“Lots of large vendors say they are increasing investment but as an industry, we rarely see it play out. But in my experience, Google is putting in the effort and the dollars to help partners succeed, which is evident through improvements to training, enablement and services.”

Looking ahead, Murphy said plans are in place to leverage the GCP platform further, with OniGroup remaining on track for a year of strong revenue growth.

“We’re also looking to build out our capabilities across key areas and expand further to provide expertise across the different regions we operate in,” Murphy added.

“We need to focus on this carefully because we have a high standard of delivery and consultancy that we provide. We can’t let that level drop because as soon as it drops, everything falls by the wayside. While we have strong ambitions, we’re growing responsibly.”

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