The launch of a new business group at Accenture this week is a strong indication that the demand for Google Cloud from enterprise customers is growing, particularly outside of the IT department.
The aptly named Accenture Google Cloud Business Group, or AGBG, will bring together Google Cloud experts from both companies to work with enterprise customers in North America, Europe and Japan navigate cloud technology in support of their business objectives. The Google cloud group has 1,000 practitioners trained on Google Cloud technologies, with plans to double that number next year.
“The business group is a construct we use at Accenture to really invest in our most strategic partners and places where we want to do rapid expansion and growth in our businesses,” Brian McKillips, managing director, ecosystems and ventures, Accenture said. The company already has similar groups that support AWS and Oracle.
McKilliips said that the new Google cloud partnership builds on several years of work between Google and Accenture, where Accenture has provided support around Google cloud migrations and other services.
“We’ve been investing in Google Cloud and building our capabilities there for several years and I think ahead of the market, seeing where it was going,” he said. “We’ve established a Google Cloud COE which is where we’ve got very talented senior Google Cloud architects that have full-stack experience. We created a co-innovation engine with them to take that experience and turn it into business use case solutions for our clients.”
As CEOs are trying to figure out how to create new products and services that are driven by data and experience, Accenture has been helping them define what their digital transformation agenda is, and how to implement it at scale using cloud technology, McKillips said.
“What we’ve seen is that our clients are excited about working with Google Cloud on that transformation journey and it is a very natural thing given their growth and dominance in the marketing space, the data that they have available that they can provide insights, and just kind of the pure innovation capability along with the best-in-class technology around AI and ML,” he said.
The conversation has changed since even a few years ago there was a question around whether Google was able to meet enterprise needs with its cloud offering, McKillips said.
“I think two years ago there was a question as to if Google was going to be a player, everybody saw that they were late to the game, and if they were going to be in the mix at the Fortune 500, the Fortune 100, but that is a closed issue,” he said, pointing to the level of investment under Diane Greene in talent – both engineering and sales – as well as the growth of the partner organization.
“But the question now is how do they interact and start to onboard the enterprise buyer, and so a lot of the initial conversations with Google Cloud start outside of the IT department,” he said.
“I think the journey from the client is accelerating and this year is a major inflection point.”