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Google launches partner program for Cloud Platform

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It's official: Google's collection of cloud services is now known as the Google Cloud Platform, and to get everyone used to the idea, the search giant has kicked off a partner program for companies that can help customers use the cloudy offerings.

Google began rolling out the new branding in June, but the Google Cloud Platform is really just a new umbrella for the Chocolate Factory's established cloud services, including App Engine, BigQuery, and Cloud Storage, plus its new Compute Engine infrastructure service, which debuted at the Google I/O developer conference in June.

The Google Cloud Platform Partner Program, which the search giant announced on Tuesday, aims to connect customers with partners who can help them build their own applications using the services.

"This program provides our partners with the tools, training and resources they need to successfully address your business' IT needs," said Eric Morse, who heads up sales and business development for the Google Cloud Platform, in a blog post announcing the program.

The program is open to two kinds of companies: technology partners and service partners. As of Tuesday, Google had 21 technology partners and 28 service partners signed up.

Technology partners offer tools that integrate with Cloud Platform services, or that make it easier to build applications with them. Those tools take a variety of forms – for example, some partners offer software for analyzing BigQuery data stores, while others provide tools that help customers integrate their applications with Google Cloud Storage.

Service partners, on the other hand, provide consulting and implementation services. The current selection consists mostly of ad agencies and web development firms that specialize in building hosted applications using Google App Engine.

Rather than acting as an intermediary between companies and its partners, Google says that interested parties should use the links on the program's official website to connect with participants directly.

Expect to hear lots more about the Google Cloud Platform in the future, too, as the Chocolate Factory moves aggressively to position its services against competing offerings from Amazon, Microsoft, and others. ®

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