Hosting Provider ZNet Joins Google Apps Reseller Program
Even hosting providers are getting into the Google Apps game. For example, India’s ZNet has joined the Google Apps Authorized Reseller Program, offering its customers the Google Apps for Business cloud productivity suite at the slight discount of $48/user/year. But thanks to Google’s policy of self-hosting, I’m forced to ask “Why?”
The Google Apps offering, as Talkin’ Cloud readers no doubt know well by now, is a SaaS solution, completely contained within the browser window. It’s hosted with Google itself, in Google data centers. There’s plenty of opportunity for cloud service providers and cloud integrators of all sizes to leverage the offering and expand their own portfolios with Google Apps. Google has proven time and again with notable customer wins.
But ZNet is a full-service hosting provider, offering web hosting, reseller hosting, domain registration, hosted messaging, business applications, and so on. And while ZNet will be providing deployment, support, and training services for its customers, I have to wonder why they’d choose to go with an offering it couldn’t host itself, given that it already has the infrastructure.
But I suspect the answer comes from the company’s press release: ZNet says that it’s received “access to APIs for integrating Google Apps into their customers’ business operations.” In other words, ZNet is in a position to roll its customers custom solutions based on the Google suite.
The other half of the answer likely comes from the fact that when it comes to cloud productivity, the market doesn’t offer ZNet much choice — lots of customers are asking about Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 — so perhaps ignoring the marketing simply isn’t possible.
Still, it’s the first case of a hosting provider jumping to Google Apps I can think of since Verizon Business Services signed on in January of 2011, and I wonder if we’ll see more.