Content, Channel partners, MSP

Google Cloud Platform Strengthens MSP Partnerships

Zoltan Szabadi
Zoltan Szabadi

When a company is ready to move workloads to a big public cloud service, they increasingly want partners -- particularly MSPs -- to provide safe passage to off-premises systems. Plus, they want the MSPs to provide ongoing monitoring, optimization and management -- filling in gaps that the CSP doesn't have time to address with its base services.

Amazon Web Services has a lengthy list of trusted MSPs. Microsoft Azure is coming on strong in that area. And now, Google is finally ramping up its MSP relationships. Zoltan Szabadi, Google Cloud's head of MSP Partners, is leading the charge.

Earlier this year Google announced a partnership with Rackspace to offer managed support for the Google Cloud Platform. Separately, Google has been working with iTopia to promote Windows-based desktop as a service to MSPs in the SMB sector.

Google Cloud Platform: Deeper MSP Partnerships

The efforts don't end there. A growing list of MSPs now back Google Cloud Platform, according to a December 11 blog from Szabadi. He says each MSP is:

  • highly knowledgeable about Google Cloud technologies and processes;
  • investing dedicated engineering resources to support GCP customers; and
  • participating in immersive Google training that includes role and team shadowing.

Key partners included in the announcement are:

  • Accenture
  • Cascadeo
  • Claranet
  • Cloudreach
  • DoiT International
  • Go Reply
  • Pythian
  • Rackspace
  • RightScale
  • SADA Systems
  • Sutherland
  • Taos

The partners are required to offer at a minimum, consulting, assessment, implementation, monitoring and optimization services. They are also required to have 24x7x365 support with enterprise-grade SLAs and L1, L2, and L3 tiered support models.

Each partner must also employ Google Cloud Platform certified support engineers. Google mentioned that more MSPs will be added as partners in the coming months. You can apply to be a managed services partner on the website dedicated to cloud partners or find an MSP partner with which to work.

Regaining MSP Momentum?

While promising, Google's MSP engagements also try to correct some missteps from the past. Many pundits forget Google had a promising SaaS partner program for MSPs and VARs that launched nearly a decade ago. It was miles ahead of the initial Microsoft Business Productivity Online Service (BPOS) and Office 365 efforts, which lacked partner-centric billing and profit management capabilities during their early days.

But somewhere around early 2015, the Google SaaS partner program stumbled badly and Microsoft Office 365 came on strong. Google lost its way for about 18 months or so, but by November 2015 Google hired VMware veteran Diane Greene to get the business back on track. The results have been promising. And now, MSP engagements seem to be strengthening.

Bailey Caldwell

True believers include RightScale, which has a growing relationship with Google. "The Google Cloud Platform has become a top cloud provider by offering deep functionality and simple, fair pricing. As the first reseller partner of Google Cloud Platform, RightScale is excited to join Google’s Managed Services ecosystem," said Bailey Caldwell, RightScale VP of Customer Success. "RightScale Managed Services helps organizations to successfully and cost-effectively deploy and manage applications on Google. Through the RightScale Cloud Management Platform and RightScale Optima for cost management, RightScale enables enterprises, other MSPs, and System Integrators to grow their cloud business."

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.