You’ve decided to make the move to Google Cloud—perhaps as part of a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy—for its open, secure platform and robust built-in services. But maybe you’re looking for a partner to be an extension of your IT team to help you fully realize those benefits, both during the move and post-migration.
The problem is, the Google Cloud partner ecosystem is vast. Almost every partner in the Google Cloud directory says the same thing. Yet, not every partner can handle complex workloads or multi-cloud integrations. So how do you find the right fit?
Google Cloud’s evolving partner ecosystem
From the get-go, Google has fostered and built a strong partner ecosystem to support customer business outcomes. At the start of 2022, Google announced it would reorganize its entire approach to partnering as customers move away from lift-and-shift cloud migrations and look instead to rethink or reinvent their business through digital transformation.
As a result, Google is combining its partner ecosystem and channel sales team into a single organization to create a “value network” for solving more complex cloud problems—particularly in areas that require skilled expertise such as Kubernetes, data analytics, artificial intelligence and other emerging tech.
What does that mean for you? Google Cloud is providing more resources to solution-specific partners with deep expertise in areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, application modernization and security. These partners will be able to help you with solutions that span hybrid environments and multiple clouds, as well as at the network edge.
Certification vs specialization
There’s a difference between Google Cloud certifications and specializations, although they’re both important. When choosing a partner, it’s important to understand both.
Certification: Partners with teams of certified individuals have Google-validated technical knowledge and advanced skills in specific areas. Look for Professional certifications, where those individuals have 3+ years of industry experience and 1+ years on Google Cloud.
Specialization: Partners who have achieved a Google Cloud Specialization in one of 15 solution areas—the highest technical designation a partner can earn—have an established Google Cloud services practice and proven technical capabilities vetted by Google and a third-party assessor. It’s also a demonstration of both technical and business competency as evidenced by an extensive audit and in-depth review of customer project success.
But it’s not just certifications and specializations that make a great partner.
Considerations when looking for a Google Cloud partner
Slick websites and marketing messages abound with big promises, but it’s important to go deeper, ask harder questions and consider more than just the cost of services. Here are some key considerations when looking for a Google Cloud partner:
Value over cost: What added value will the partner bring to the table? Do they understand your total environment? Can they help you manage and modernize your legacy systems, accomplish your growth goals and support new projects? Do they have a mature, proven approach, process and framework?
|Pythian’s FinOps Cost Management and Optimization provides tools, visibility and seasoned guidance to help organizations manage their cloud infrastructure spend—without sacrificing performance or efficiency|
Multi-cloud capabilities: Has the partner made serious investments in the Google ecosystem? Do they have hybrid and/or multi-cloud capabilities? Do they understand how to work with solutions outside of the Google Cloud ecosystem and/or with key ISVs?
Security at scale: Does the partner offer a robust data security framework that includes secure connectivity and access management? Do they have experience with regulatory compliance in your industry or sector?
Post-migration expertise: Once you’ve migrated your workloads to Google Cloud, can the partner help you post-migration to unlock the value of your data? Can they help you manage and optimize your data, from automation to analytics?
|Pythian’s InfraOps Essentials for Google Cloud provides a simplified, flexible set of core cloud monitoring, alerting and response services so your workloads are available and performant 24×7 once you’ve made the migration.|
Cultural alignment: A good partner will work with your team and empower them to become stakeholders. Does the partner want to connect with your team in a way that provides the most benefit to your business?
A track record of success: Does the partner have proven expertise, technology and automation as part of their service engagements to speed delivery and time-to-value? Do they have experience in workload design, deployment, migration and management across cloud, multi-cloud, on-premise and hybrid deployments?
|With 25 years of experience, Pythian has helped some of the largest companies in a variety of industries make the transition to the cloud. Read about some of our success stories here.|
Finding the right partner the first time
By taking the time to learn more about your prospective cloud partner’s worldview, experience, philosophy and capabilities, you can cut through the hype and find a partner that will become a trusted extension of your IT team.
Learn more in our eBook on how to find a Google Cloud partner.