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Migration success with Operational Health Reviews from Google Cloud’s Professional Service Organization

Introduction

The Google Cloud Professional Services Organization’s (PSO) mission is to help our customers get the most out of Google products. PSO is responsible for customer success by sharing our technical expertise in order to unlock business value from the cloud by providing cloud strategy and best practice advice, implementation guidance, and training using our proven methodology

In this blog post, we want to focus specifically on Operational Health Reviews and how PSO engages in a myriad of activities to ensure the overall success and health of a customer engagement while ensuring we are meeting customer expectations and objectives, managing risk, and ultimately delivering value during or after the Google Cloud migration. We will discuss the assets, methodology, and tools that we leverage to ensure this success.

What is an Operational Health Review and what purpose does it serve?

Operational Health Reviews (OHR) are regular reviews to proactively address the below topics: 

A customer’s support experience

Analysis of trends in key operational metrics

Analysis of trends in Google Cloud usage

Status reports for high-priority cloud projects

Discussion of upcoming events

Discussion of potential opportunities for training

Review of feature requests

The core aim of an OHR is to measure progress and advise customers on the overall health of the account and migration progress while providing recommendations as a team on what adjustments should be considered to ensure continued success. During the OHR, we will address any pain points as well as identify and remediate any negative trends in support interfaces and usage metrics. 

The intention of the activity is to also perform a blameless reflection for continuous improvement. This supports the effort to maintain common ground and obtain mutual optimism for the next phase of the customer’s journey on Google Cloud. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the activities that go into an OHR. 

Support experience

One of the Google Cloud’s Support Organization’s goals is to simplify and streamline our customer’s support experience with a scalable and flexible set of offerings built with the customer needs at the center. This includes supporting an ongoing partnership model, with a proactive and collaborative approach. Premium Support is our top-tier support model which is a paid support offering designed for enterprises that run mission critical workloads and require fast response times, platform stability, and increased operational efficiencies. As part of this offering, customers are provided with a Technical Account Manager (TAM) who is in charge of delivering frequent touchpoints, including OHRs. 

During the support experience section of an OHR, some of the following topics may be reviewed:

Case volume by priority

Case volume by product

Cases linked to Google Cloud incidents

Escalated cases or incidents

Case initial response time (IRT)

Case IRT SLO Met Rate

Case total resolution time (TRT) hours

The purpose of this activity is to better understand the efficiency of both the customer’s and Google’s cloud operations from a support trend perspective. The goal is to celebrate any positive trends, but also to identify potential negative trends and proactively determine a remediation strategy. 

Status reports for high-priority cloud projects

The purpose of this part of the OHR is to ensure the senior management stakeholders have continued visibility into the status of all their high-priority cloud initiatives with an easy-to-read, sometimes color-coded assessment on the status of each project. The assessment [Figure 1] may include, but is not limited to potential identified risks, key next steps, key stakeholders, and a mitigation plan for any high priority issues that may occur during their migration engagement. Additionally, the TAM may also cover any upcoming milestones or events, as well as any potential anticipated future blockers [Figure 2]. 

Review trends in Google Cloud usage

This part of the OHR is meant to provide the customer with a holistic view of their overall Google Cloud usage. The purpose is to provide understanding around what products are being used on Google Cloud and also where cost is generally being allocated for overall cost management and budget tracking purposes. This can help customers with their overall cost optimization efforts. Some of the metrics we may cover in this section are:

Current Google Cloud usage by service

Google Cloud growth trends

Google Cloud growth trends by service

Google Cloud growth trends by project

Review of used and available service credits

Feature request review and advocacy

TAMs will work with customers to help identify product needs and advocate for feature requests with Google Product Management and Engineering teams. While feature request advocacy is an ongoing activity, during the OHR, the TAM will review any high priority feature requests that have previously been submitted, providing updates on status including potential release dates. 

When a feature is coming up for the release, the TAM can help the customer prepare for implementation (providing early Preview access, coordinating a meeting with the Product Manager to review the feature, etc.) and then continue to provide support until the feature is successfully implemented in the customer environment. Similarly, if a high priority or technical blocking feature is not yet coming available, the TAM can help offer an alternative solution that can unblock the customer in the short term. 

The OHR is also a great time for the TAM to work with the customer to ensure they have early access to new and exciting features that are in Alpha or Beta, and that would be beneficial to the customer and their environment. 

Training strategy

Training is a primary component to ensuring the overall success in adopting Google Cloud. During the OHR, a review of training metrics will be provided. This may include tracking metrics to determine how the customer is tracking towards an initially agreed upon learning plan or coming up with additional upskilling strategies as necessary. Additionally, throughout an engagement, the customer’s TAM will provide opportunities for both free and paid Google Cloud training

Conclusion 

PSO is the voice of customer health, maintaining priority to proactively and strategically guide large enterprise customers to operate effectively and efficiently in the cloud, both during and after the migration process. The OHR is an efficient and effective way to maintain alignment, ensure expectations and objectives are being met, manage risk, and overall ensure the success of the customer.

Learn more about our methodology and get started with Google Cloud by completing a free discovery and assessment of your migration. Alternatively, if you’d like to engage directly with our PSO team on your migration, contact us!

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