Google Apps SMB Channel Pioneer Exits CompanyGoogle Apps SMB Channel Pioneer Exits Company
Google Apps channel and cloud pioneer Jeff Ragusa exits the search engine giant. Here's what Ragusa did right during his time building one of the world's most successful SMB cloud partner programs.
February 22, 2014
Jeff Ragusa, a Google Apps channel partner program pioneer, has left the search engine and cloud services giant. Ragusa confirmed his exit in an email to a range of industry peers. While the Google Apps partner program continues to hum along, it sounds like Ragusa is looking to kick back and relax a bit before pursuing his next opportunity.
In an email to industry peers, Ragusa on Feb. 21, 2014, wrote:
“Just a heads up that last month I decided to leave Google after nearly 8 years. 7 of those years were spent creating and building the Apps channel, and it was a tremendous experience wearing so many different hats to get that off the ground and in some ways redefine the channel industry’s core role.
Its been more challenging and more personally rewarding than I could have imagined. Thank you folks for all your support and feedback along the way.
At the moment I’m taking an indefinite amount of time off to pursue a bunch of other interests that have taken a back seat over the years. (which is as awesome as it sounds)
Keep in touch, take care!
SMB Cloud Channel Pioneer
Ragusa certainly made his mark in the IT channel. Many VARs and MSPs were initially skeptical of Google’s channel plans. But Ragusa connected with SMB channel partners across North America, attending events like IT Nation (hosted by ConnectWise) to help VARs and MSPs move Exchange Server and other on-premises workloads to Google Apps. He also helped channel partners to wrap consulting services around cloud deployments.
Gradually, Google’s channel partner program gained credibility. The offering allowed channel partners to manage end-customer billing — a key feature that took Microsoft Office 365 Open several years to match. Moreover, born-in-the-cloud partners like Cloud Sherpas emerged to promote Google Apps to their customers. Numerous Google Apps partners are now ranked among the world’s Top 100 Cloud Services Providers, according to Talkin’ Cloud.
Even after Ragusa stepped away from the partner program around a year ago, Google continued to make enhancements. Back in January 2014 or so, Google Apps gained a more flexible payment plan for partners and end-customers.
Memo from The VAR Guy to Ragusa: Thanks for the briefings, and keep our resident blogger posted as you plan your next move…
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