Google and Verizon each made announcements last week that are significant in their race to catch the company many consider to still be the market leader in the IaaS public cloud: Amazon Web Services.

Google announced a robust partner program this week, including three tiers of third-party vendors who provide technical and consulting services for the company's cloud product.

Verizon, meanwhile, further committed itself to embracing application development in its cloud with an extension of its previously announced partnerships with CloudBees and CloudFoundry. Through its venture arm, Verizon committed a monetary investment to PaaS provider CloudBees. The moves show how some of AWS's competitors hope to compete in this market, and highlight the different approaches IaaS vendors are taking.

Google's partnership news is particularly significant because so many enterprise customers use a consultant or a partner to execute a cloud strategy. Technology Business Research recently reported that almost three-quarters of cloud users of large businesses worked with a consultant to strategize or provide technical support in a cloud deployment. Google this week released a website listing more than 100 service and technical partners that are certified to provide services on Google's cloud. AWS already has a robust partner network, and Google is looking to build up the same.

Verizon Ventures, which is the investment arm of its parent company, this week made an announcement of an $11 million infusion of cash into CloudBees, which specializes in a platform for users to create Java apps in the cloud. The move further cements Verizon and CloudBees as partners, beyond the announcement from last month that CloudBees' PaaS would be available in Verizon's cloud. The move is particularly interesting because Verizon already had plans to offer the open source PaaS in its cloud from Cloud Foundry.

"PaaS is a great value for developers," says Executive Director of Verizon Ventures Daniel Keoppel. "They don't have to worry about maintaining a system, the underlying infrastructure or the health of the operations - they just code."\

By having CF and CloudBees in its IaaS portfolio, Verizon now has application development environments for a variety of different customers. "It's really up to the customer to decide what they need, and from Verizon's point of view, we want to be able to offer them options," he says.

The moves follow up on other partnerships Verizon has announced for its new IaaS cloud - which is still in beta at this point. Earlier this year the company announced partnerships with both SAP and Oracle to offer those companies' services through its cloud.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and He can be reached at [email protected] and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW. Read his Cloud Chronicles here.