Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Empire Strikes Back: Reselling Google Apps

Another vendor has entered the channel with promises and optimism, this time its the search king Google. Yesterday Google introduced their new Reseller Program focus solely on gApps Premier Edition (email, chat, word, spreadsheets, presentations, and security). Until now Google only cooked up the menu to resell Google enterprise search appliances, Apps and Maps to enterprise customers. Key word 'Enterprise' partner program.

And now Google is ready to grow their channel during this economy knowing Microsoft is consolidating with web-based Office Web Applications not ready until 2010.

Google and Microsoft solutions can actually coexist depending on each customer on a case-by-base basis since Google has a slightly different approach to their channel. Solution providers or VARs may even combine the two but ultimately Google App is more appropriate as a cloud-based solution at lower cost than say an on-premises solution from Microsoft. Microsoft is restructuring its channel while Google has just begun, the perfect storm's thunder and lighting.

I am not surprise that Google doesn't having a deal registration because they spend years building their brand and offer free tools directly to customers. So the customers are already trained and used to their brand while Microsoft spend trillions creating products to build a service around their brand.

VARs and solution providers should focus on the business drivers: Continue to foster your relationship with your customers, look for ways to add value to their business, strengthen your brand, and deliver flexible solution (SaaS) that you can build your business on for the long haul. That translates to high customer retention, brand recognition and recurring revenue with real margins!

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