Google Cloud on Tuesday unveiled a series of steps it's taking to strengthen its partner program, such as simplifying requirements, creating new partner incentives, and introducing new partner specializations -- along with a new collection of partners recognized in those areas.
"Google Cloud partners are essential to our commitment to help enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter and stay secure," Bertrand Yansouni, VP of Google's Global Partner Sales and Strategic Alliances, wrote in a blog post. "An open platform encompassing diverse partners maximizes the possible surface of innovation for customers, letting them move more quickly."
To help customers in need of specific support services as they transition to the cloud, Google is recognizing partners with technical proficiency and demonstrated customer success in a handful of categories. The new specializations are in app development, data analytics, machine learning and infrastructure. The below partners are recognized in these areas:
Additionally, Google Cloud is rolling out new Authorized Training Partner programs to help partners develop their recognized skills. Google's recent acquisition of Qwiklabs will enable Authorized Training Partners to offer hands-on labs and comprehensive courses.
Google is also bolstering the incentives offered to partners. The company will offer low-interest loans for Premier Partners that want to grow their business. To support sales, they're now allowing co-funding to be used for early-stage strategy workshops, proof-of-concept development or to support customer deployments. Lastly, Google is expanding its rebates program to include all Premier G Suite and Premier GCP Reselling Partners.
To help partners advance through the program more easily, training and revenue goals now encompass G Suite, GCP, Maps, Devices and Education. Previously, requirements were based on a single product. Google is also making sales training and product development credits span all products.
Building out its partner ecosystem should help Google Cloud compete against Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services -- the real heavyweight in infrastructure services. Google on Tuesday also highlighted new and expanded partnerships with companies including Intel, Veritas, Egnyte and Check Point.