Google Cloud encourages merchants to collaborate with partners

  • Partners say Google Cloud sets itself apart by encouraging merchants to work with partners.
  • Google Cloud sellers are compensated equally when they sell a first-party or partner product.
  • Partners say Google Cloud has become more involved in customer deals in general.

Google Cloud’s master plan to acquire Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure depends not least on its investment in good relationships with the top partners who sell software running on its platform.

Those partners, in turn, told Insider that they liked working with Google Cloud because it requires a sales approach that its rivals can’t or won’t: When Google Cloud’s salespeople sell a partner’s products to a customer, they get the same level of commission as they would. if they sold the tech titan’s.

“That way, the sales force is properly incentivized to sell the best for the customer, rather than selling all the native Google Cloud stuff,” David Allen, the global lead cloud architect at the $2.25 billion database startup Neo4j, which partners with Google Cloud, told Insider.

The partners said it was in stark contrast to most other tech companies, where vendors get a higher commission for selling their homegrown employer’s technology. A Google Cloud spokesperson confirmed that “the company compensates its sellers equally, whether they are selling a first-party Google Cloud product or a partner solution running on Google Cloud.”

Expanding the partner program is a key priority for Google Cloud under CEO Thomas Kurian, who took over in January 2019 from his predecessor, Diane Greene. Google Cloud has said it hopes partners are involved in 100% of its deals and has recently cut the revenue it gets from software listed on its cloud software market, CNBC’s Jordan Novet recently reported.

Partners said Google Cloud’s incentive structure made that initiative a win for both parties, rewarding the vendors for bringing partners in on big deals.

“Google sellers have a lot of incentives to help customers quickly adopt the cloud,” Miles Ward, chief technology officer at Google Cloud partner SADA Systems, told Insider. “They made it so that all things listed in the market count towards their goals.”

More broadly, partners said Google Cloud under Kurian had reversed its reputation for being uncommunicative, with leaders more willing to make time for peers. Senior Google Cloud executives, including Kurian, are increasingly willing to participate directly in a top partner’s conversations with customers, they said.

That’s a significant change, partners said: Just five years ago, SADA Systems CEO Tony Safoian told Insider, Google Cloud sellers were never involved in deals. Botcopy CEO Dustin Dye said it at one point took a year to hear from Google Cloud about a case study it submitted about its work with a client.

“The Google Cloud marketplace has grown significantly in recent months,” Dye told Insider. “It’s exciting to be a part of that growth. With growth comes change, support and new infrastructure.”

At the same time, Dye said that as Google’s affiliate program gets busier, it helps the relationship land big deals — reflecting concerns expressed by some Amazon Web Services partners, Insider recently reported.

“The partnership grows stronger the more revenue a partner generates for GCP and the better and easier it is to communicate with Google offices,” said Dye. “In recent years we have brought significantly larger customers to GCP. As a result, collaboration and communication with other departments has become a lot better.”

Google Cloud partners said this sales-boosting structure sets it apart from other platforms such as AWS or Microsoft Azure. In statements to Insider, Amazon and Microsoft each said they had programs in place to ensure that their sellers were compensated for co-selling partners’ software, although neither said how that compensation compares to the commission earned by the partners. selling products made in-house by their respective platforms.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “For AWS partners who provide software solutions that run on or integrate with AWS, the AWS ISV Accelerate Program provides participating partners with co-sell support and benefits to connect with AWS field vendors worldwide. ” It has “incentive programs for eligible field service positions to encourage them to partner with ISVs that list and transact through AWS Marketplace,” the spokesperson added.

A Microsoft spokesperson said Google Cloud’s reduced market commissions matched the rates charged for the Microsoft Azure equivalent.

“Microsoft’s seller commissions also reflect our support for partners and are designed so that sellers work with partners to get the best results for customers. Every deal counts towards a seller’s goals as the customer uses the product,” the spokesperson said.

Google Cloud is also trying to expand its ecosystem in other ways. This week, it announced a program to educate about 40 million people with relevant cloud skills — what some of Google’s partners said was a huge gap in the market.

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