Google will be looking to grow corporate use of its online-based applications in Australia following the launch of its first reseller program.
The search giant launched its first reseller program to drive use of its cloud-based applications in the business sector. The program allows authorised partners to sell, customise and support Google Apps Premier Edition for customers of all sizes. Channel incentives include a partner portal and online discussion group, sales and technical training, customer marketing materials, reseller tools and integration APIs (REST-based) for directory synchronisation, migration, reporting, and single sign-on. Resellers will directly bill customers and can provide additional services and support around Google’s applications. In a statement, Google Australia head of enterprise, Richard Suhr, said Australian businesses were increasingly embracing cloud computing, and added growing local partnerships will help the company better serve companies of all sizes.
The program has been rolled out to 50 pilot partners worldwide including local player, SMS. Its industry director of emerging business, Paul Cooper, said having Google on-board would allow it to offer something different to corporate customers.
“Sales of Google solutions to date have been to small business, but larger customers are starting to show more interest,” he said. “It’s not an immediate answer for large enterprises, but we expect in the long term that it will appeal to the ASX top 300 without necessarily finding a home in the ASX top 50.”
SMS had not yet signed any customers. “It’s a long term commitment for us though, and we’re expecting to start seeing traction with signups in the back end of this year,” Cooper said.
SMS also works with vendor partners such as Microsoft and Oracle. Cooper didn’t expect Google’s solutions to take much business from the other vendors.
“In SMBs and SMEs that might be the case, but corporate customers want a multi-faceted approach,” he said.
ASG CTO, Steve Tull, said the WA-based services provider will keep an eye on Google’s development.
“If customers request it we’ll certainly look into it,” he said. But Tull claimed the absence of a local hosting centre might be an inhibitor for larger customers.
“Clients like to be able to ‘touch and feel’ their data,” he said. “Google Apps should be popular at the smaller end, and in areas such as education, but having the hosted data offshore might make larger customers cautious.”