Google partners have cheered the arrival of a lending scheme which sees Google for Work (GfW), in conjunction with Barclays, give partners loans.
The pilot scheme claims to allow eligible GfW partners low-interest financing, "enabling them to finance strategic growth initiatives, hire additional staff, and invest in future expansion", a company statement said.
James Doggart, chief executive of Google partner Cloud Technology Solutions, said the move will give his business the chance to expand.
"We are pleased Google has invested in their tier-one Premier partners," he said. "It was a realisation from Google that partners were waiting to push the button on a number of things, and if they offered some help, those buttons could be pressed.
"We weren't actually seeking investment, but we had a number of campaigns we wanted to kick off that this has made possible. For us, we started to see the market move and we wanted to invest in sales and marketing, and this has allowed us to do that."
Doggart would not say how much his firm has borrowed using the scheme, but said it was enough to allow the firm to "accelerate growth, but without risking too much".
He also indicated the financing represents a part of Google's wider strategy to become more engaged with its partner base.
"What they tried to do was really start to work more closely with the Premier partners, of which we are one, and this followed on from that," he said. "It is not vastly different to what they were doing before, but it's part of this initiative of what they call Partner 2.0, so it is different from last year.
"There is a realisation within Google of the importance of partners and what they are doing for them and their customers. There are statistics out there about how happy customers tend to have happy partners and that leads to higher customer adoption and retention. I think Google are aware of that and are going down that path."
He also said the scheme shows the development of Google as a business IT vendor.
"I think [this is] indicative of Google growing and wanting its reach to go further, and [it] maturing as a vendor."
David McLeman, chief executive at Google partner Ancoris, said the move represents a positive step from the vendor.
"Google are definitely recognising the importance of partners to the development of their business," he said. "Since the introduction of the new partner programme, they are putting more focus behind a smaller set of experienced partners and this is another example of that. They are looking at every aspect of partner engagement and are using a variety of ways to support us."
He added that the move shows how Google is becoming more channel-orientated.
"Over the past two to three years, Google has moved to a much more partner-centric model, and this programme is just another example of how they have responded to feedback from their partner advisory boards," he said. "For most businesses, access to funding is one of those constraints on your ability to grow. So where it is relevant to partners, it will be very important to them."
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