Google turns to channel to sell enterprise apps

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Google turns to channel to sell enterprise apps

Simon Quicke

Google has taken the wraps off a channel programme designed to ramp-up the reach of its online Apps Premier business.

The online giant has dabbled in the channel before, appointing partners to handle its enterprise appliance hardware product, but this is the first time it has looked for resellers to promote its enterprise applications.

A range of resellers are being courted ranging from system integrators, VARs and web 2.0 boutiques.

"How many Microsoft resellers are there out there in the UK? An awful lot and this is a great way for resellers to differentiate," said Peter Lorant, head of Google Enterprise partners EMEA.

Resellers will get 20% margin for sales of 25 seats and above of the Apps package that costs £25 per user per year.

"Google Apps is in the Google cloud but the reseller has got control of the contractual relationship with the customer," he said.

He said that it had run a pilot scheme in the channel towards the back end of last year and it was ready to be rolled out.

"We haven't set specific targets on how many resellers we want signed up but it is about quality but with 3,000 businesses signing up for Apps each day we need an eco system that has the right balance," he said.

A certification programme is likely to be introduced later this year by the web specialist.

Google Apps for enterprise include the free features enjoyed by consumers, including mail, calendar and chat but have some additional business features, including video between corporate users behind the firewall, plus service is backed by SLAs.

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