Google is getting serious about cloud computing. On Wednesday the search giant launched the Google Apps Reseller Program, which will give developers familiar with Software as a Service a way to put their applications in front of users.
Google Apps has had some success, with more than 3,000 businesses signing up daily and more than one million companies using it. Now the company wants to build on that momentum by allowing developers to bundle services with Google Apps.
“Given this strong demand, we believe there’s a great opportunity to do even more by helping IT solution providers grow their business opportunities around cloud computing,” said Paul Slakey, Google’s director of enterprise channels, in a blog post. “As we got our sea legs, we started slowly with a core group of partners who’ve been key trusted advisers in customer deployments, such as at Genentech and Hamilton Beach. We’re now expanding this ecosystem to help more IT professionals build cloud-computing expertise.”
The reseller program will offer:
• Links to important information regarding business and technology with online chat sessions.
• Training in technology and sales and will provide materials to aid in marketing techniques to customers
• Tools for the reseller to establish business cliental
• Tools for managing and reports
• Incorporation of REST-based API for organization purposes and for easy access
For the Developer
What’s in it for the developer? Google said a slew of things, including managing billing and customer relationships, receiving a recurring discount on licensing fees, and being trained in sales, marketing and technical skills.
Developers will also be given access to reseller tools for setting up business customers, provisioning end users, and management and reporting of apps.
Once a developer is accepted, he or she will able to buy Google Apps Premier Edition for 20 percent off the $50-per-year price, offer it to customers, and turn a profit.
Already 50 pilot developers have been on board for the past few months helping Google iron out any glitches. So far, developers have received the program well, according to Google spokesperson Andrew Kovacs.
“The program was just launched today, so most of the feedback has been from our pilot partners and they have been really enthusiastic and we have been working with them for some months to design the program,” Kovacs said. “The reason they are excited is because this allows them to add cloud computing to their offering.”
Resellers in the program will be evaluated based on their relevant experience and creditworthiness, according to the company. The end of March is the goal for authorized resellers to begin selling apps.
Other companies such as SADA Systems have already been authorized. The company announced Wednesday that it has become one of Google’s first authorized resellers.
As part of its agreement, SADA received training and deployment services from Google and access to APIs for integrating Google Apps into customers’ businesses.
“The Google Apps Reseller Program will help us enhance the value of Google Apps for our small-medium business and enterprise clients,” said Tony Safoian, president and chief executive of SADA. “Google Apps Premier Edition offers a broad set of powerful APIs that enable us to really push the envelope in creating dynamic, mission-critical client solutions that cover everything from provisioning to data migration to integration with our clients’ other applications.”