Simon Aldous

Doug Woodburn
clock • 6 min read
Simon Aldous

Name: Simon Aldous

Role: Director, partners & channels, Google Cloud UK&I

Spirit animal: Dolphin

Walk-on song: Highway to Hell

How would you summarise Google Cloud's channel philosophy?

Google Cloud is a partner-first company and we view our partner ecosystem as our differentiator. It is our goal to attach partners to 100 per cent of customer engagements. Partners are turning to and investing in Google Cloud because of our deep commitment to put partners first.

We recognise we aren't and won't be experts in every area of every industry - this is where the value of our partner ecosystem lies. We champion our partners' expertise and knowledge and work with them to bring together the best of the best across industries to provide our customers with solutions that address their unique needs.

It is our goal to attach partners to 100 per cent of customer engagements

Tell us about Google Cloud's partner programme in 100 words or fewer…

The Google Cloud Partner Advantage is a programme built with and for partners. It was designed for simplicity, innovation, collaboration, and growth. Our goal is to maximise our partners' success across business models, customer requirements, success metrics, and strategic priorities.

Are you looking either to expand or reduce that? If so, what partner profile does this apply to?

We plan to more than double our spend in support of our partner ecosystem over the next few years, including rolling out increased co-innovation resources for partners, more incentives and co-marketing funds, and a larger commitment to training and enablement—all with a goal of continuing our joint momentum in the UK market.

We are actively engaged in building out an ecosystem that has the capacity, competency and capability to allow us, with our partners, to provide the highest level of solution, service and support to our mutual customers. The need for highly skilled partners to accelerate digital transformation for customers has never been greater, and our ecosystem of services partners continues to gain tremendous opportunities to deliver high-value implementation and professional services, industry solutions, and digital transformation expertise.

We plan to more than double our spend in support of our partner ecosystem over the next few years, including rolling out increased co-innovation resources for partners, more incentives and co-marketing funds, and a larger commitment to training and enablement—all with a goal of continuing our joint momentum in the UK market.

Have you made any major changes to your partner programme recently, or are you about to?

We recognise that we need to continue to evolve our Partner Program and ensure that it supports our partners, provides incentives, rewards performance and remains relevant in terms of the market requirements. This means that we will continually make changes and listen to the feedback from our partners in order to continue winning business together. For example, we have more than doubled the campaigns available in the Partner Marketing Studio over the past couple of years, and this year we've rolled out the capability for reseller partners to transact on Google Cloud Marketplace.

Describe your perfect partner?

Innovative, collaborative, aligned and passionate.

In which areas would you most like to see your partners invest over the next 12 months?

We're passionate about differentiating our partners from their competitors and we see a tremendous opportunity to help our partners deliver valuable services to customers. To do so, we're significantly expanding incentives to reward partners who deliver exceptional customer experiences and critical implementation services. We are also committed to helping our partners develop strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) agendas and offer industry-specific expertise and solutions.

As part of our commitment to our partners this year, we are increasing our investment with system integrators in deploying programmes for industry-specific partner solutions, as well as creating more pre-integrated industry ISV and Google Cloud AI solutions together.

We are also dedicating resources to creating new monetisation models for our ISV partners using Google Distributed Cloud to deliver products across hybrid environments, multiple clouds and at the network edge. As such, I'm looking forward to seeing them invest in industry-specific 5G and edge solutions, in particular.

We are also committed to helping our partners develop strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) agendas and offer industry-specific expertise and solutions

How do you see vendor channel programmes and channel engagement models evolving over the next few years?

The detachment of the influence chain from the transaction chain is an important consequence of the move to cloud. As such, we need to ensure that we view each separately and provide the necessary levels of enablement, incentives, rewards and support for partners across these two critical areas of customer engagement and experience.

What are your priorities for the next 12 months?

My key focus is to continue helping our partners to better understand our vertical GTM strategy and support and enable them to build out the skills and capabilities that are needed to be successful across each of those sectors.

Do you feel Google Cloud is doing enough to cater for non-resale partners, including those that sell technology as a managed service, ISVs or agents?

We believe that we are building an attractive proposition in this area. The stats speak for themselves as the number of technology and ISV partners in the Google Cloud ecosystem has increased by over 35 per cent since 2020 and we have seen 3x growth in ISV and Google Cloud co-sell business.

Name one trait you prize highly in partners, and one you deplore?

I highly rate innovation and the desire to never stand still. My biggest frustration is where there is an expectation that we should retain the status quo despite operating in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment.

How do you feel Google Cloud's margin proposition stacks up against your peers?

Customers spend through channel partners has more than doubled over the past couple of years. This shows excitement and investment in the Google Cloud proposition and we think this is down to our commitment to include our partners in 100 per cent of customer engagements.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of your channel performance or strategy overnight, what would it be?

Companies are coming to Google Cloud to reinvent entire aspects of their businesses digitally. Our robust community of resellers and channel partners have a huge opportunity to move beyond pure reselling and to develop valuable services that enable long-term, strategic engagements with these customers. We're working closely with our ecosystem to help them do so.

What's the most challenging aspect of being a channel leader?

I was once one of the faces of Center Parcs for a print- based marketing campaign

I love the relentless nature of the role as you are always striving for the next big thing for your business and the partner ecosystem that supports you. Ultimately, for me, the most challenging aspect is trying to effectively orchestrate both your own organisation and your partner community to effectively achieve your mutual goals. Pragmatism, patience, flexibility but focus are critical in equal measures. 

Tell us something about yourself most people won't know

I was once one of the faces of Center Parcs for a print- based marketing campaign.

What is your spirit animal?

Definitely a dolphin as it represents playfulness and wisdom. They are also powerful communicators and unifiers.

What would be your walk-on song, and why?

I am a bit of a rock kid at heart so it's got to be AC/DC's Highway to Hell. There is something pretty special about the first eight bars featuring that guitar riff, especially if you are a Marvel Iron Man fan, and so to walk out to that cranked up to full volume would be pretty special.

 

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