Welcome to the February edition of “What We’re Reading,” where we break down top public cloud and channel stories that could impact our global partner base. Let us know what trends you’re keeping your eye on or drop your thoughts into the comment section below.
While G Suite continues to serve as a worthy alternative to Office 365, Google does not have a concrete answer for Microsoft’s Teams platform. Changes have come to Google Hangouts, sure, but it still comes short of providing a true alternative to what is a red-hot collaboration platform opportunity.
According to a report initially published by The Information, Google is preparing to introduce a new mobile application that integrates different Google products such as Gmail and Drive into a single interface. Verge author Nick Statt observes this could be a play to gain more market share among enterprise customers who are eyeing other platforms in this space like Slack or Teams.
Our take: a good next step for the G Suite team, which has been fairly quiet over the last year (aside from some motions in distribution channels and partner program updates). In order for this to really take off at the enterprise level, however, we see the development of a desktop or browser-based application as a crucial step to compete with the likes of Teams. This could also bring changes to how customers migrate information to or away from G Suite.
More Google news, this time around top-tier support to address the needs of its largest enterprise customers. Benefits here include “consistency to the support plans for GCP and G Suite” and to help fill the support gap outside of the Technical Account Management (TAM) program. CRN has more on this story here.
With the UK breaking away from the EU at the end of January, the focus is now on ratifying a new trade agreement with the EU. Another decision facing many in this region deals with data sovereignty. Should this negotiation window end without a new trade agreement, UK organizations may need to relocate some or all of their business data: a ripe opportunity for UK partners to provide cloud migration services for their customers.
BitTitan Sales Director James Clifford outlines this scenario in greater depth for Dataconomy here.
Less likely to affect the majority of partners but a big story nonetheless is the latest update in the JEDI contract saga. While Microsoft had previously secured the $10bn project from the Department of Defense, a federal judge has ordered work to be paused on this project until a decision can be reached in the lawsuit filed by Amazon.
This is an important battle in the broader cloud war as Azure and Amazon Web Services grapple for more share of this market. Stay tuned for more updates on this story in the coming weeks.