Introduction

There are more than 10,000 Google Cloud Partners implementing G Suite around the world. If you narrow your focus to North America, there are still hundreds to choose from. That’s a lot of Google resellers, so at first it may feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack..

Whether you’re deciding if you want to tackle a Google Cloud migration internally versus using a Google Partner, or if you’re vetting partners and want to know how to identify which one is best suited for your project (whether it’s a migration or a custom product you’d like to be built on Google Cloud Platform)… we wrote this for you.

This guide will help you narrow down your list of vendors TODAY, and provide you with the knowledge and confidence to move forward with a Google Cloud Partner - or take the project internal.

The Google Brand

First, let’s address Google’s recent branding changes. G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work and before that Google Apps for Your Domain) is the set of tools that includes: Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Drive, Spreadsheets, etc…

Google Apps was rebranded to Google Cloud. So a Google for Work Partner is now referred to as a Google Cloud Partner. Here’s a chart to clear it up:

 
 

About the Google Cloud Partner Program

What is a Google Cloud Partner

At the most basic level, a technology reseller, also known as a value-added reseller (VAR), is a company that partners with a manufacturer and then takes their products and "adds value" to the original equipment by including software applications or additional services. The Google Cloud team is focused on developing their products, so they rely on a network of resellers called Google Cloud Partners to act as their services arm - certified experts who help companies transition to the cloud.

After a successful pilot involving 50 partners worldwide, Google launched its partner program in 2007. Since then, the Google ecosystem has continued to expand, and now - with more than 10,000 partners - the Google Cloud Partner Program is an essential cog in the wheel of Google’s business processes.

The Two Tiers of Google Cloud Partners

Partners belong to one of two tiers: Google Cloud Partners or Google Cloud Premier Partners. Both groups are vetted by Google, but the Premier tier is reserved for Partners that have demonstrated higher levels of competency and performance with G Suite customers, and are required to maintain a higher level of credentialed staff. When searching for a partner, moving from the lower to the upper tier narrows your selection of North American partners from hundreds to around a dozen. Premier Partners will have this icon on their site (usually on their About page):

 

Why Work With a Google Cloud Partner?

 

If you’re reading this guide it’s more than likely that your company lacks the time, staff and/or expertise to migrate to the cloud or to scale your product. So naturally you might be wondering, Why should my company work with a Google Cloud Partner rather than directly with Google? This is an important question to ask, and there’s a very good answer. In Google’s own words, “Partners provide essential services that allow customers to take maximum advantage of G Suite, ease the initial setup, migration, customization, and ongoing user experience.”

It’s not uncommon that a company will approach Google about cloud services, only to be referred to the Google partner network. Google refers companies directly to its partner network because of the exponentially rich offering of tools and resources that the network has to offer. With each partner in the Google network you have access to their network—layers of experts who develop tools and manage projects that make employees more efficient. These third-party cloud partners are certified by Google and trusted to provide products and services that improve the everyday lives of administrators, making the work environment run more smoothly and productively for end-users, in a secure environment.