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Webinar Recap: A New Collaboration with the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace

Your website has a job to do, and as a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) partner, Pantheon provides the best performance-enhancing, results-driven tools that allow users to accelerate website performance. Learn more about this partnership in the following post. 

Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Josh Koenig and Director of ISV/Marketplace and Partner at Google, Nirav Sheth, spoke about this new collaboration in a webinar on April 29, 2021. Nirav and Josh contrasted the partnership against the critical state of the web and talked about key factors within our current era of digital transformation. Check out highlights from the webinar below and in the recording here

Unique Functionality in the WebOps Space

"Let the robots do the work" was a definitive statement made by Josh Koenig when he spoke about the concept of using evolved automation as an essential core practice to help people reach tens of thousands of users and attract billions of unique visitors every month. Eliminating drudge work and automating tasks empowers teams to start fast with a complete full-stack solution and push-button operability. The end result: Quickly generated success factors, and this makes Pantheon unique in the vast WebOps space. 

Josh also noted that working at a high-velocity pace is essential in helping teams deliver specific outcomes and influence via the web. Pantheon does this by cultivating agility and supporting teams by improving productivity that drives results — in a way that's not currently being done in a unified sense within the industry. 

Webinar Takeaway #1: Businesses that leverage Pantheon and the Google Cloud Platform will be able to roll out web updates at the same pace that the rest of their company operates. 

Pantheon is Playing a Critical Role in Digital Transformation

Moving people up the stack is critical, and automation is the key to getting people into higher-value tasks. According to Josh, "You need to treat your website like a piece of software, not like a statically published brochure." He also noted that the adoption of open-source tools is a long-term commitment, more like a free box of puppies that requires expertise, dedication, and care. With Pantheon, businesses can say YES to open source software with confidence and access the complete infrastructure needed to manage their primary digital asset, the company website. 

Nirav Sheth shared a quote from Univision's Chief Executive Officer, Wade Davis, that says it all. "If I want to buy a car, I don't want to go buy four wheels and a steering wheel and an engine and doors and try and figure out how to put that together." In summary, customers are not looking for piecemeal offerings. They want a platform opportunity where they can quickly and easily take advantage of everything that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Pantheon have to offer to be productive and lead in their industries.

Webinar Takeaway #2: There are many well-established and proven best practices and tools that can help build high-performance websites. Pantheon assembles the best tools out there — no more wrangling with servers or plotting out the best workflow. Now teams can harness expansive capabilities right out of the box that's built on the GCP and utilize big data, artificial intelligence, digital demand generation, analytics, machine learning, and much more. 

Recovery From COVID will Serve as a Catalyst for Transformation

Customer buying patterns, travel patterns, customer needs, and hybrid work habits have all dramatically changed, and according to Nirav, these things are not going to just unwind. People-focused initiatives have become a priority for companies. A global survey done by McKinsey last year shows that digitizing the end-user experience has jumped to the top of the list, and the GCP/Pantheon partnership will help companies honor this commitment. Google Cloud's mission is to "accelerate every organization's ability to digitally transform and reimagine their business through data-powered innovation." When coupled with Google's broader commitment to open source, the partnership with Pantheon is truly an optimal match. 

Nirav also highlighted Google's 2021 outlook delivered by Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai. This year's vision and mission consists of four pillars: Building and providing the most helpful products and services, earning the trust of Google's users, and building sustainable value within Google and with partners. Pantheon is available through the Google Cloud Marketplace (GCM), and Google Cloud customers that procure Pantheon through the marketplace can use this purchase towards Google Cloud's commit spending program and Pantheon can also be purchased with GCM credits. 

Webinar Takeaway #3: Google is the only organization in the entire industry with nine services that contain over a billion active users. This matters because scale, uptime, delivery, and performance must be a daily practice and Google Cloud has the necessary capabilities to withstand obstacles. Google Cloud is the fastest growing cloud provider in the industry and is present in every major vertical because customers are embracing cloud technology at a faster pace. 

These Critical Audience Insights Came to the Forefront During Q&A 

The question and answer portion of the webinar brought what was on the audience's mind to the forefront of the conversation, and the following insights and user stories were shared by the audience and addressed by Josh Koenig of Pantheon and Nirav Shesh of Google.  

Question: What are examples of GCP adding value for Pantheon customers? 

Josh Koenig: One example of the incredible value we’ve been able to add via this partnership is Pantheon’s customer in the media space that works in local online news and is seeking to fill the reporting gap in local news coverage. They are doing so by leveraging citizen journalism and user-generated content. With the GCP partnership, Pantheon was able to use out-of-the-box AI tools for image processing and recognition — to give their editorial team the confidence in having users upload photos directly into their system. We also leveraged benefits from Google’s Safe Search feature to flag any objectionable or illegal images.

Another example is that Pantheon provided a platform to Google’s Apigee service, which offers scalable on-demand APIs that are equipped with visibility and control. When these APIs are adopted by larger companies, making them available for use requires an external development portal for documentation and a help center. Apigee was able to spin up custom web portals and treat a website like a SaaS product.  

Question: Are there differences from a technical perspective between the Pantheon offering through Google Cloud Marketplace versus using Pantheon directly?

Josh Koenig: The short answer is no. The only difference is the way that you pay for Pantheon. By taking advantage of Pantheon through the GCM, customers can bundle their services and pay one time through Google's payment processing infrastructure. This is great for companies that have a more complex process when it comes to purchasing software because they only have to pay one invoice.  

Question: I'm interested in steering clients to a PAS solution that prioritizes reducing the carbon footprint to the greatest degree possible. Can you speak to what's being done in this area today and what the roadmap looks like? 

Nirav Sheth: Google has an unequivocal and unwavering commitment to a zero-carbon footprint. Google's Data Center's are already zero carbon in terms of net emissions because of the offsets we do. 

You can learn more about Google's carbon footprint and sustainability commitments here.

Josh Koenig: We care about this issue a lot, and it does come into play when we choose our infrastructure providers. Another critical thing to note is that the way Pantheon is built makes us fundamentally different because of our serverless CMS. How we deliver using modern containerization is far more efficient than running multiple virtual machines that cause excess capacity, which translates into CPU cycles and, therefore, more energy absorption. 

Pantheon squeezes quite a bit more performance out of Google Cloud's CPU core than an alternate approach would, and this makes a difference when you add up the things that contribute to carbon consumption, which is material. 

Here is a blog by Pantheon's Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, David Strauss, that talks about this topic in detail. 

Question: Could you comment on some of the advantages Pantheon has for WooCommerce Sites?

Josh Koenig: Pantheon has the best architecture for fast websites, which impacts conversion points and the overall effectiveness of your sales funnel. Even taking a tenth of a second off end-user experience lag, especially on mobile, can make a big difference, and Pantheon can get you there. We're also architected to scale. 

Having a payment gateway that removes interaction between your team and sensitive financial data and overall site security is also a key component to the success of any e-commerce team. One of our many value propositions from a technical standpoint is that we make the production instance of the website immutable, which means it cannot be functionally changed. This is the vector for all WooCommerce (and broader WordPress) security compromises, which is getting code to run where it shouldn't. It's simply not possible because of how Pantheon is architected, and this offers teams peace of mind. 

One of the most appetizing pieces Google brings to the WooCommerce table is that Google can make a mobile web experience feel like a native app, and from an identity management and payment perspective, this functionality is genuinely best in class.   

Question: As an agency owner that loves using Pantheon to set up my client's sites but have them pay directly to Pantheon, it doesn't seem that much has changed. I'm intrigued and excited about how I can create opportunities around tightly coupling Google services. Is there a potential new way that we should be thinking about leveraging Pantheon's Google Cloud partnership that I'm missing? 

Answer by Nirav Sheth: By having Pantheon procured through Google Cloud Marketplace, your customers can grab bag many other Google offerings such as analytics, ads, and our full suite of products. 

Question: What trends are you seeing in companies moving from on-premise to the cloud?

Nirav Sheth: Google's recent earnings announcement showed 46% growth year-over-year, and we've noticed that most customers are thinking about how to move into the cloud last year because of the need for remote capabilities and a whole host of other reasons. 

Customers recognized that if they are going to differentiate, survive and grow, it will require complete transformation. One thing that is unique about how we interact with businesses that are tackling this critical decision is we embrace where customers are on their journey and support them — whether on-premise or in a multi-cloud environment, without forcing them onto a specific path or direction.   

Josh Koenig: Pantheon often comes in after decisions to move into the cloud have already been made, but something that I see customers grapple with is how much change to bite off at any given point. Exploring new capabilities versus just changing to the cloud is our sweet spot, and Pantheon's migrations team has had success in helping companies move their websites into the cloud and increase performance. 

Don't Forget to Optimize

Pantheon customers can optimize their GCP and Pantheon spend. Not sure where to start? Visit Pantheon’s Google Cloud Partnership page or email us at gcp@pantheon.io to get connected with the right parties that can help your business unleash every opportunity available and unlock new features that will put your team on the path to accelerated transformation. 



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Topics Development, Growth & Scale, WebOps

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