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Google channel changes coming

Google’s moving more and more into the enterprise, and with that shift, some changes in its channel program are coming.

I’ve been trying for a few weeks now to set up an interview with Google about its channel strategy. Today I spoke briefly with Andrew Kovacs, a communications manager at Google, and he told me, “We’re currently in the process of sort of re-examining our channel program.”

He then took the rest of our conversation off the record as he explained to me when Google will be able to talk about its channel program again. I can’t disclose that, but I can say it will be sooner rather than later.

Google’s Web site lists several dozen channel partners in the enterprise search market, about a dozen Google Apps partners and three Google Enterprise geospatial partners who do integration work with Google Earth. But as the Mountain View crew expands into the enterprise with Google Docs offline, the Google Apps Engine and a possible enterprise email appliance, it may need to rely more on channel partners to reach new customers.

Of course, company execs could also decide to rely on their strength in online services and go direct. Either method will have big consequences for the channel, so we’ll just have to wait to hear what Google has to say, when it’s ready to be said.

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