How Google Chrome is building a trans-Tasman channel

How Google Chrome is building a trans-Tasman channel

Tech giant takes indirect route to market through localised program

Credit: Dreamstime

Google Chrome is executing a three-stage strategy to drive market growth through the channel across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), centred around recruiting, enabling and engaging partners.

Triggered by a shift in customer spending, the tech giant is taking an indirect route to market through a localised partner program, backed up by the added capabilities of distribution in the form of Synnex.

“We have been building internally what the Google Chrome Partner Program should look like in A/NZ,” said Katherine Binks, channel manager of JAPAC at Google Chrome. “Now we’re focused on the recruitment - getting out there and telling folks about it.”

Forming part of the Google Cloud division, Binks is charged with facilitating partner profitability across key market segments for Google Chrome, such as education, enterprise and government agencies.

Furthermore, key responsibilities also include the development of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) locally, alongside building out a local ecosystem of partners spanning value-added resellers, system integrators and industry specialists.

Speaking on the eve of Google Cloud Summit in Sydney, Binks said the tech giant is increasing investment in the channel in response to increased end-user investment across software-as-a-service (SaaS), digital transformation and online testing.

“With the proliferation of SaaS, customers are taking the opportunity to rethink their end-points to the cloud,” Binks explained.

“Chrome Enterprise, that’s the Chromebook and management licence, is secure by design, cloud managed with granular and fully flexible controls. We think we have the perfect offering for a cloud-ready device.”

Meanwhile, Binks said digital transformation is opening up new opportunities for partners to “put tech where it has never been before”, in reference to sectors such as retail, manufacturing and logistics on both sides of the Tasman.

“We’re also seeing growth in online testing,” Binks added. “As schools transition from paper assessments to digital assessments, they are looking for an easy to administer and secure solution for locking down devices for the duration of the test.

Katherine Binks (Google) addressing the channel during Synnex Alliance 2018Credit: Christine Wong
Katherine Binks (Google) addressing the channel during Synnex Alliance 2018

“We believe that Chromebooks are the best testing platform in the market today, and we are expecting huge growth in adoption in this area.”

Enterprise play

Central to future growth will be building an enterprise-focused pipeline through the channel, billed as a lucrative route to market for partners.

As explained by Binks, and according to third-party research, 57 per cent of enterprise customers have migrated from a traditional IT infrastructure to the cloud, with 26 per cent more expected by 2020.

“For many vendors, this is just a simple pivot, but for resellers they are having to drastically rethink their models to service the cloud customer,” Binks said. “Many vendors command change, but what resellers need is a true partnership with a vendor to make this change together.

“At Google, we work hand in hand with our partners to ensure they are ready for the cloud world through deep enablement and engagement. With customers also demanding end-to-end delivery we see a role for the vendor to help foster partner collaboration.”

To facilitate such growth, Google is positioning itself as a collaborator within the ecosystem, bringing together specialist capabilities through partners, distributors and OEMs.

“The aim is to provide a complete solution to the customer,” Binks added. “Looking ahead, we have lots of exciting new devices coming to market.

“Over the next few months our OEMs will be announcing their new Chrome products, many of which have been designed to service the enterprise customer. These include detachables, tablet, touch and non-touch devices.”

In addition, Binks said the vendor is also placing a “big focus” on educating the end-user in the months ahead, to ensure the “Chrome family is everywhere” in the local market.

“Our successful partners look towards the future and embrace new technology,” Binks added. “They embrace fully what it means to be a Google partner and leverage all we have to offer.”

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