NEWS ANALYSIS: For businesses looking to jump into cloud computing options, Google is offering a new partner program to make it easier. This new offering also looks to make Google more competitive with Microsoft and others.
To help business clients discover all of Google's
available cloud services, the search giant this week unveiled its new Google Cloud Platform Partner Program
to bring consultants and vendors together to help customers learn how the cloud
can help them.
And that, according to analysts, will be a good way
for companies from small to large to really explore all that the cloud might
have to offer them, without having to do the research, planning and configuring
on their own.
there's a huge horse race underway for many of the large cloud and enterprise
vendors who have been staking out their market shares in this huge cloud opportunity
for the enterprise," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Interarbor
Solutions. "We've seen lots of
movement in this direction from traditional enterprise vendors toward the cloud
and from traditional Web services portals and SaaS providers, too. So here we have Google recognizing that the
cloud is not just a self-service application over the Internet to get the job
done, but that customers do need to have good service and support."
The new Google
Cloud Platform Partner Program
, unveiled July 24, enables service and
technology partners to work with Google to provide services for and extend the
functionality of Googles Cloud Platform suite of products. The service
partners will provide consulting and implementation services for Google Cloud
Platform products, such as Google
, Google Compute Engine, BigQuery and Google Cloud Storage.
Google announced the program in a blog
that aims to show potential customers how they can take advantage of
the same huge infrastructure that powers the search company.
benefit of the partner program for businesses, said Gardner, is that it can
really help companies from small businesses all the way up to large
enterprises get expert help to learn how they can use the cloud to their
advantage. The cloud is complex and companies are well-advised to get help
before just jumping in, he said.
can have the best technology in the world but in order to effectively enter the
enterprise marketplace you always need to have a service and support channel
and a full-service life-cycle approach to doing business," said Gardner.
"This is also the established pattern of how these larger companies do
business they look for help when moving to new technologies. The way IT is
done in enterprises is through an ecosystem, where there are a variety of
partners each doing their part."
creation of the partner program also marks another big step for Google as it
seeks new revenue streams beyond advertising and search. It also puts Google on
the same footing as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, which have
long-established partner programs for their various services.
is just another indication that Google is moving from the consumer space and into
the enterprise," said Gardner.
the same time, said Dan Kusnetzky, principal analyst with The Kusnetzky Group, business
IT leaders need to do their due diligence when looking at cloud providers and
their partner programs to ensure that their stored corporate data is not used
without their knowledge.
copy, analyze and re-use data generically so it can pull up targeted ads based
on the content, said Kusnetzky. By analyzing the content stored in Google
applications, that's how the company can make product suggestions that are
aimed at users through its cloud-based services, he said.
else do they provide advertisements in your Gmail email account?" said
Kusnetzky. "They do it anonymously, but they still are analyzing your information.
I certainly can understand Googles desire to get its collective hands on
corporate data. It potentially could be a gold mine for their marketing
efforts. Im not sure, on the other hand, that subjecting my companys
proprietary data to Googles storage, analysis and re-use is in the companys
said he's not recommending that businesses avoid Google's cloud services
altogether, but that they know what they are buying.
business executive, I would be very careful to examine very closely the terms
and conditions Google places on the use of their products, Kusnetzky warned. If
Google is asserting the right to copy, analyze and re-use corporate information
as part of their marketing efforts, I would avoid the use of Googles tools and
use tools offered by others that do not have those types of conditions of use."