Google embarks on major reseller strategy for Google Apps

15 Jan 2009

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Google has embarked on an ambitious reseller programme to help thousands of technology providers sell Google Apps to businesses around the world.

Under the programme, authorised resellers will be able to sell, customise and support Google Apps Premier Edition for customers of all sizes, creating new revenue opportunities for partners and easier access to Google’s cloud services for more businesses.

More than a million businesses and 10 million users worldwide currently use Google Apps, ranging from large global companies like Genentech and the Telegraph Media Group to employees in the Washington DC government to small businesses all over the world.

The Google Apps Premier Edition suite of communication and collaboration tools includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Talk, and Google Video for business.

“Google Apps has reached a level of maturity where it is useful and valuable for almost any business,” said Dave Girouard, president of Google’s enterprise division.

“This programme gives IT solution providers an easy way to introduce cloud computing to their service offerings, while helping more businesses make the transition to this new era of technology.”

Google will provide resellers with training, support, and tools for sales and marketing, as well as access to tools for integrating Google Apps into their customers’ business operations.

The resellers will be able to bill their customers directly, enabling them to retain a close relationship with customers. Resellers can also bundle additional services and support with Google Apps. Google Apps customers will benefit from the additional attention to their specific business and technical requirements.

Google has already rolled out the program successfully to more than 50 pilot partners worldwide.

“We believe strongly that all companies will adopt SaaS to one degree or another, and Google’s reseller program empowers us to be experts in the cloud," says Tony Safoian, president of IT firm SADA Systems Inc.

“Reselling Google Apps opens up new opportunities via new conversations we could not have had with prospective clients as little as two years ago. What Google Apps offers – if you take into consideration the pace of innovation, the collaboration tools, and the built-in disaster recovery – is not available anywhere else at any price; when you add that our clients can save 75pc of costs versus doing this all on-premise, it is often an easy sell,” Safoian said.

The reseller program will include a portal, with a rich set of business and technical information, and online discussion groups, sales training, technical training and customer marketing materials, reseller tools for setting up business customers, provisioning end users, management and reporting and integration APIs (REST-based) for directory synchronisation, migration, reporting and single sign-on.

“Google Apps is the key to growing our ‘Enabling Enterprise 2.0’ business," said Laurent Gasser, CEO of Paris-based technology solutions provider Revevol.

“Revevol founders were the first European professionals trained on Apps in November 2006, because we saw very early the huge potential of these tools. Today, the maturity of Google Apps after such a short period of time is amazing.

“For our large organisation clients, Apps is now a real option on all deals where CIOs and top management are looking to replace their legacy solutions while saving costs and enabling anytime, anywhere access to information,” Gasser said.

Google said potential resellers will be evaluated based on relevant experience and credit worthiness, and can learn more at www.google.com/apps/resellers.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com