Blogger: Guy Creese
Today Google announced that it was allowing resellers to sell Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE). Google is going to sell it to them at a 20% discount ($40/year per user), and then when they sell it to organizations at a markup they can keep the profit.
Here's some media coverage of the announcement:
- Information Week: "Google Woos Allies With Apps Reseller Program"
- PC World: "Google Launches Reseller Program for Apps Premier"
- eWeek.com: "Google Fires Up SAAS Reseller Program for GAPE"
This is a good move on Google's part, in that it increases the sales feet on the street and blunts the issue of arrogant Google salespeople (a complaint I hear time and time again from enterprises who have purchased the Google Search Appliance or are talking with Google about buying Google Apps).
However, in my opinion this does not mean that Google's sales to enterprises will turn around any time soon. (Google is doing very well selling to SMB's, but not to large enterprises). This move is like a car manufacturer announcing they have an expanded network of dealers. Umm, OK, but does anyone want to buy the cars? And at the moment the answer is no.
Large enterprises assume that:
- A document sharing system can be used with a highly secure records management system that will execute hold orders
- A document sharing system can read the Office 2007 file formats (now out for two years)
- A system supporting large numbers of users will have administration that is role-based, where users can be assigned a role and thereby inherit the necessary security settings
- An e-mail system uses e-mail distribution lists that can be embedded within other distribution lists
- Mission-critical systems have telephone support lines with knowledgeable humans at the other end 24/7
- Mission-critical systems have been generally released, and are not in beta status
Google does not yet offer any of these capabilities for GAPE, despite being told by enterprises for almost two years that they need them (GAPE was announced in February 2007). Instead, Google has put its development prowess behind "ooh, aah" features such as video sharing, rather than the bread and butter capabilities that enterprises require.
In short, Google's announcement is a step in the right direction, but it's one step in a 1,000 mile journey.