Meet CBD Solutions, the new Google Cloud-only Australian partner

Meet CBD Solutions, the new Google Cloud-only Australian partner

Former CenturyLink channel executive builds Google Cloud practice

Mark Sargent (CBD Solutions)

Mark Sargent (CBD Solutions)

Credit: ARN

Former CenturyLink cloud channel sales manager Mark Sargent has launched a new Google Cloud partner named CBD Solutions.

CBD Solutions, which stands for Cloud Big Data Solutions, was established in February 2019 to help small to medium enterprises to be successful with their cloud and big data strategy.

Currently employing two data engineers, based in Sydney, and three solution architects, based in Vietnam, the start-up will initially have two practices: traditional infrastructure and services and big data analytics "with a little bit of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning".

The decision to have the solution architects based in Vietnam was a financial one, which allows the business to have an aggressive price point while also offering professionals with the same credentials.

After carefully analysing the market, Sargent realised the need a mid-market focused Google Cloud partner.

"I think Google technology is world class, you've got a very secure, agile platform from the traditional infrastructure services area but also great solutions on top of that – big data, analytics and AI," Sargent told ARN.

"With GCP’s [Google Cloud Platform] managed serverless solutions, clients can obtain the same level of insights that had, until recently, only been affordable by the big companies."

With AWS and Microsoft Azure's market dominance, it is likely that most Australian partners would already have a partnership with either one - or both - of these big players, which could've posed an obstacle for Google Cloud as it would take a while to build up relationships with those and get them to change their mindset, according to Sargent.

"Traditional partners are also hard because they are used to traditional solutions and services and while some of them do a good job of changing their business models some of them are struggling with that," he said.

And that is where Sargent saw the opportunity of building a GCP partner in Australia. The next step was hiring the initial workforce.

Sargent decided that if he was building a Google Cloud only partner every technical person in the business would be certified by the technology giant or seek certification as soon as entering the business.

"If we are going to be a Google only partner it makes sense to be certified with Google," Sargent said.

Under its big data unit, CBD Solutions will offer data analytics, data lake, processing and warehousing. With cloud computing it will focus on infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

CBD Solutions will also offer digital strategy consultancy and provide insights as managed service, so businesses that have moved their infrastructure and data to the cloud will be able to get data insights.

This will be done by the managed services team and be offered based on the type of subscription selected by the customer.

"Having data and being able to get to that is one thing but understanding the data and how to make it work for your business is a whole new ball game," added Sargent.

CBD Solutions is open for business now and will kick off its go to market in the second half of calendar 2019 backed by Google's partner program and enterprise-level support for customers.

"We have to prove ourselves from big data analytics perspective, from infrastructure we already have people who are capable and have experience in that area," Sargent told ARN. "As GCP are partner lead, we hope to work with them collaboratively on some joint opportunities as they grow their market in A/NZ."

Looking ahead, Sargent plans to expand the team and will hire one person to focus on the big data practice to oversee the existing data engineers and take that practice to market.

He will also look into hiring another executive to be a "hybrid" solutions architect and tech consultant, who will be in Australia and overseeing the remote team and also be the face for clients. Later CBD Solutions will also get a BDM and marketing person, a work that is currently being performed by Sargent.

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