According to Google Inc., resellers will play an important role as the online giant attempts to push its way from the consumer market into enterprise accounts and fights against the dominance of Microsoft Windows and Office.
Google is using several tactics to generate reseller interest, including partner discounts, lower prices, easier licensing and application support. Many solutions providers and IT experts believe that Google Apps and the Chrome and Android operating systems will receive more widespread acceptance among businesses, but they doubt that Microsoft's dominance will wane anytime soon.
This guide teaches solutions providers how to use Google Apps, Chrome and Android in their service offerings and offers advice to those who are thinking about becoming Google resellers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
When it comes to business opportunities, you're probably wondering how Google Apps stacks up against Microsoft Office. Despite Microsoft's dominance, Google's reseller program offers discounts, training and marketing tools that could make Google Apps a better option than Office for some solutions providers.
Google Apps vs. Microsoft hosted application services battle heats up
Microsoft's hosted Business Productivity Online Suite (BOPS) hasn't made a big splash in the market, but Microsoft is using the suite as a weapon against competition from Google. In response, Google took its hosted Google Apps service out of beta and announced its Chrome operating system. Even though BPOS hasn't taken off, sources say Google still has a ways to go before it can match Microsoft's experience and quality.
Considering Google Apps as a service offering
Figuring out how Google Apps fits into your service offerings can be confusing, especially if you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Three main factors drive the adoption of Google Apps and provide numerous benefits. Knowing about these advantages and being prepared to discuss them with your clients can win you new business opportunities and enhance your service offerings.
Outlook sync aside, partners still wary of Google Apps for business
VARs have mixed reactions to the idea of selling Google Apps into business accounts. Some VARs have dismissed it because they don't see how they can profit, but others say Google Apps can provide commission in perpetuity. And one VAR complains that even if you want to be a part of the Google Enterprise Partner Program, the company is unresponsive to inquiries for more information.
Oracle-Google deal ties CRM to Google Apps
The collaboration between Oracle and Google is meant to make it easier to exchange data between Oracle and Google's desktop applications. Both companies have much to gain from the joint venture. Oracle now has an answer to competitive offerings from Salesforce.com, and Google has the opportunity to win credibility among enterprise accounts.
Google seeks partners for Google Apps Reseller Program
The Google Apps Reseller Program is designed to attract new partners and promote Google Apps against Microsoft Office. Participants in the Google reseller program receive as much as 20% in discounts, training and marketing tools for selling Google Apps Premier Edition. One partner said the biggest advantage that Google Apps has over Microsoft Office is its real-time collaboration capability.
VARs say the Google Chrome and Android operating systems have a great shot at success in the netbooks department, but taking on Microsoft Windows on PCs is a different story. Google is touting Chrome and Android as more affordable OS options that have fewer licensing hurdles to overcome. Some VARs say that all Google needs to foster widespread adoption is backing by a major enterprise vendor, such as Oracle, Hewlett-Packard or IBM.
Google Chrome OS gains credibility thanks to VMware
VMware's plan to virtualize Google's Chrome OS once it is released has generated a good deal of excitement among VARs. They say VMware's support will help drive Google Chrome adoption in enterprise accounts and give them more options to offer clients, other than just Microsoft Windows. But VARs' opinions are mixed as to whether Google has what it takes to displace Microsoft.
Google Chrome likely a niche player in Windows enterprise
Google has said that its Chrome OS will be a free, open source project focused on Web applications, which may overlap with Android OS in some areas. Experts agree that Chrome won't be able to surpass Windows' market share anytime soon, but they say Chrome has a shot at being a leader in the netbooks arena. One IT pro warned that Chrome's specificity for Web-based applications could be its main roadblock to widespread adoption.
Google Android OS on netbooks: An intriguing proposition
If HP, Dell and other hardware OEMs preload Google Android OS on netbooks, then Google will gain instant credibility in that market, according to VARs. Android is currently an OS primarily for mobile phones, but Google has much larger intentions. Some VARs say Android already has the advantage over Microsoft in pricing and licensing.
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