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November 5, 2009
As Google continues to build the Google Apps Reseller partner program, the search giant is considering another bold SaaS (software as a service) move. Specifically, Google has started brainstorming about a possible partner program for independent software vendors (ISVs), The VAR Guy has learned. Here’s the scoop.
First, some background: As The VAR Guy has reported, Google is striving to integrate its Google Apps and Google Postini partner programs. Those efforts are ongoing, confirmed Jeff Ragusa, channel manager for Google Apps.
But here’s where things get really interesting: Although nothing is official, Google is kicking around idea of a potential ISV partner program for Google Apps, Ragusa says.
If such a program launches, The VAR Guy can imagine Google competing head-on against Windows Azure, Microsoft’s Windows-based cloud for ISVs.
Already, Google Apps is competing with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and other Microsoft SaaS applications. When Microsoft cut BPOS and SaaS prices earlier this week to roughly $10 per user per month, it was widely seen as a reaction to Google Apps (which cost $50 per user per year).
So, where is Google going next? Among the priorities: Google plans to increasingly integrate with managed services tools and dashboards that MSPs and VARs use to maintain their businesses, according to Ragusa, who is attending ConnectWise Partner Summit in Orlando, Fla. More than 900 VARs and MSPs are at the event.
Ragusa also points to Google Apps APIs as an area where MSPs and VARs can begin to add value to SaaS applications for their customers.
But ultimately: Will Google launch an ISV partner program? Ragusa says it’s too soon to say. But again, he confirms Google is considering such a strategy internally.
If The VAR Guy was a betting man, he’d put money on Google launching an ISV program. To our resident blogger, such a move seems inevitable.
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