Migration or new implementation initiatives in the cloud can prove to be a daunting task, even for the biggest of enterprises. There are a lot of unknowns on top of many of the same old problems experienced with on-premise data center projects. In a knee-jerk reaction to all this, Google has recently introduced a partnership program with integration and service-oriented consultants for their Google Cloud Platform line of products. If you aren't all that familiar with the Google Cloud Platform as of yet, you might want to read my posts on the Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google BigQuery, and/or the Google Prediction API, prior to continuing.
The Google Cloud Platform partner program provides partners with the tools, training, and resources needed to successfully address application development and system administration concerns. In return, service and technology partners extend the functionality of Google Cloud Platform products to client needs.
There are two basic types of Google Cloud Platform partners. Service partners, who generally provide consulting and implementation services, and technology partners, who provide actual bundled applications that either help users to migrate to the Google Cloud Platform, or in some way integrate with it. On the service partner end, one can employ the knowledge necessary to develop applications or initiate a migration and/or implementation plan. Perhaps more diversely, in terms of engaging with a technology partner, one can find robust management tools, import data from a wide range of cloud and on-premise data sources, and take advantage of archiving, backup and recovery, and primary storage solutions, just to name a few uses.
Although the Google Cloud Platform program, not to mention the Google Cloud Platform itself, is still in its infancy, organizations might find that the employment of partners/vendors can help leverage all that the Platform's products can offer. Furthermore, considering that the Google Cloud Storage and Google App Engine products have existed for some time (Cloud Storage has been around since the winter, and the App Engine for years now) many technology partners have already gotten a jump start on rounding out their services. Additionally, Google's entry into the big data market, BigQuery, has garnered a lot of attention, as partners look to provide reporting and visualization applications-a service Google has come very late into the game with.
Disappointingly, the service partners that are listed under Google Cloud Platforms Partner page are all a bit vague as to what they exactly offer. For the most part, they all identify what the Google Cloud Platform is under their websites and press releases, but aside for the App Engine and their touted experience with other Google services like Google Apps, all fail to mention how clients might directly benefit from the employment of their services, or even provide cases for its proposed use. Obviously, organizations are going to be reluctant to hire any partner without a clear cut demonstration of how they'd approach deliverables, regardless of the service provided — something Google needs to be wary of as Google Cloud Platform adoption rates increase.
Below, you can find a table of partners that I find of interest, based upon the given partner's reputation and/or the particular resource/service they provide.
Google Cloud Platform Product(s)
|StorSimple||Cloud Storage||Technology||Provides VMware appliance for storage, archival, data protection and disaster recovery solutions|
|MapR Technologies||Compute Engine||Technology||MapR provisions their Hadoop distribution, or big data analytics platform, on the Compute Engine|
|Puppet Labs||Compute Engine||Technology||Runs their Puppet Enterprise infrastructure automation software on the GCE; inclu des automation of tasks like configuration, release and patch management|
|OrangeScape||App Engine||Technology||Develop business applications on OrangeScape's integrated development environment platform, and deploy them to the GAE|
|QlikTech||BigQuery||Technology||Use the BigQuery integrated QlikView Business Discovery Platform to build dashboards and explore data in memory|
|Appirio||App Engine; *||Service||Has long standing history with Google Apps and Google Apps Marketplace, and looking toward further leveraging GAE, amongst other Cloud Platform products, to fill the gap|
|Cloud Sherpas||App Engine; *||Service||Was Google Enterprise Partner of the Year in 2011-predominately for their mobile and social apps|
|Sheepdog||App Engine; *||Service||Solely invested in providing Google Apps, and now, Google Cloud Platform services|
*Most likely make use of other Google Cloud Platform products-with a focus on application development or application support services.
Ian is a manager of business intelligence/analytics for a small cap NYSE traded energy company. He also freelance writes about business and technology, as well as consults SMBs upon Internet marketing strategy.