Google Enterprise partner, Devnet, has launched what it claims is the first cloud computing-ready program for Australian businesses.
Devnet managing director, Craig Deveson, said the aim of its offering was to help commercial businesses migrate from on-premise software into a cloud computing environment. Its six-step Cloud Ready provisioning tools include analysing the customer's existing business model and reasons for moving into a software hosting-based environment, through to evaluating proof-of-concept, building a solution, deployment and management.
"Our program will take them through a six-step process and looks at money savings, when to move, what to integrate and managing it," Deveson said. "We picked Google as they are leaders in this area at the moment. Our plan is for them to be our premier partner and build expertise around that."
The company is also developing its own channel strategy to allow integrators to take Cloud Ready to their customers and has already starting trialling a whitelabel version of its program with select partners.
Deveson said suitable candidates included those with a consulting and systems integration heritage.
"There are too many opportunities for us to cover ourselves," he said. "The channel can play a role - the margins and revenue will be tighter, and the shape of the channel will change to reflect that. But there are revenue opportunities out there in cloud computing."
Devnet's program is targeted at organisations with more than 100 users.
Deveson said there were plans to launch an SMB version shortly.
Cloud computing is expected to become an increasingly dominant technology development platform in coming years. Over the next 12 months, Deveson claimed businesses would move from the conceptual phase and into implementing cloud-based offerings. But he admitted there were still unresolved issues around security, compliance and standards.
"The technology is sound, but the main issue is organisations are struggling to put strategies in place," he said. "Businesses are conservative - many IT people are just focused on keeping the lights on."
Deveson expected most customers would initially test the waters by moving mail-based services into the cloud, before more business-specific software suites such as CRM or ERP systems. Cloud computing was also being driven by consumers using more online-based applications.
"It'll be the end of the 'Microsoft tax'- users won't use applications in the same way and more is being bundled into the browser," he said.
Devnet has a web development and online consulting background and has been in operations for about eight years.
Google announced its first Enterprise Partner program in Australia in January to drive take-up of its cloud-based applications suite, Google Apps Premier Edition, in the corporate community.