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Google Cloud Unveils Partner Incentives, ‘Net Promoter’ Scores

Channel chief Carolee Gearhart previews partner news from the Google Cloud Next ’21 conference, which runs virtually today through Thursday.

Google Cloud is introducing new incentives and rebates for partners — along with “net promoter” scores that assess their work with customers — to help improve partners’ profitability and go-to-market postures with the No. 3 cloud provider.

Nearly a dozen new Google Cloud Specializations and Expertise designations also will be launched over the next year to help partners further differentiate their skills, according to Google Cloud channel chief Carolee Gearhart, vice president of worldwide channel sales and global SMB sales.

Google Cloud has been tweaking its Partner Advantage program, making changes that have made it “a ton simpler” for partners to work with the cloud provider, Gearhart told CRN ahead of the Google Cloud Next ’21 conference that runs virtually today through Thursday. They include “dramatically” streamlining its partner payments process through the Google payments center.

“That means that partners are getting payments faster than ever before and at a higher volume than ever before,” Gearhart said.

Google Cloud has enhanced the user experience for Partner Marketing Studio, its co-marketing automation platform in which partners can customize and launch campaigns without turnkey content.

“We have doubled the number of campaign kits that are ready out of the box for partners since 2019, and we‘ve gotten more lead flow coming from there to our partners than ever before,” Gearhart said.

Google Cloud also has been improving partner learning opportunities, helping partners tailor their paths by role, solutions and verticals.

“We‘ve got a new launch pad that will go GA in January that’s really about how we leverage that same content that we equip our own teams with across sales, pre-sales, implementation and support that will allow them to know where they are on that path and deliver against that,” Gearhart said. “It is supported by our Partner Success Services. This is a way that we can backstep our partners to tap into our expertise when they’re landing some of their firsts with customers.”

New Partner Incentives And Rebates

Google Cloud has rolled out new incentives and rebates to help partners become more profitable. The incentives are visible in the “my incentives” portion of the Partner Advantage portal.

For Google Workspace partners, changes include a simplified deal registration process and new deal registration and SMB growth rebates. Google Cloud also has expanded its Workspace specialization rebates to all partners and added a local market accelerator rebate for Workspace.

“On the GCP (Google Cloud Platform) side, we added a new mid-market accelerator, a consumption growth rebate, and we‘ve increased the standard discount for premier — the highest level of partnership,” Gearhart said.

Google Cloud also has increased its Partner Services Funds by 10x to help partners accelerate customer adoption and the time in which customers realize returns on their investments in moving to Google Cloud.

“We’ll continue to expand that in 2022 with simpler or pre-approved packages and more investment there,” Gearhart said.

New Partner Net Promoter Scores

Google Cloud has introduced new net promoter scores for partners to assess where partners stand with customers.

“(For) every single one of those projects where we are investing in those services funds for…customers, we are delivering to that customer a score sheet to provide a net promoter score for those partners,” Gearhart said. “This is a way for the partners to really demonstrate the way they‘re showing up for customers. It’s a way for us to ensure and look at what the value is that they’re delivering to customers and what our customers’ experiences are together.”

There will be no punitive measures for partners that score lower than expected, according to Gearhart.

“We do use that to go back and have a conversation with the partners to demonstrate where they‘re at, show them where they’re fitting in, tell them what we’re hearing from their customers directly and work with them on a plan, if there’s a need to do that,” she said. “In general, the scores have been really stellar. But in some cases, they do highlight areas where a partner needs some more work, and we’re able to then really hone in on that and address that.”

New Google Cloud Specializations And Expertises

Google Cloud will be adding to its 14 Specializations — the highest technical designations a partner can earn — and its more than 100 Expertise designations that demonstrate proficiency and customer success in specific industries or with specific workloads and products.

“The number of partners who have been holding at least one expertise has more than doubled year over year,” Gearhart said.

In the next 12 months, Google Cloud plans to launch three new Specializations for data center transformation; Contact Center AI, which is designed to improve organizations’ customer experience and operational efficiency; and Anthos, Google Cloud’s application management platform that provides a consistent development and operations experience for cloud and on-premises environments.
Google Cloud will add a “Build With Google” expertise, and Expertises for edge intelligence, AI infrastructure, architecture framework, zero trust architectures and content delivery. It also will introduce an Expertise for Apigee, its platform for developing and managing APIs; and Looker, its enterprise platform for business intelligence, data applications and embedded analytics.

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