Google Apps Partner Program: Setting the Record Straight
When Intermedia recently launched a competitive attack against Google Apps, I asked Google for some clarifications and perspectives on its cloud partner programs. Intermedia, which promotes hosted Exchange and hosted unified communications, claimed the Google Apps Authorized Reseller program has several limitations and restrictions in place. Google’s response: Intermedia’s channel claims about Google are off the mark.
According to a Google spokesman:
“The main and most important issue we’d like to comment on is the claim that Google controls pricing, which is absolutely false. As we make clear on our reseller website, and as you yourself have written about before, Google’s resellers own the pricing, billing and provisioning relationship with customers.”
“Jeff [Ragusa, SMB channel lead at Google] has pointed out previously, this arrangement is “not just a nice-to-have [capability]. Rather, it’s critical for [our resellers] to monetize their role with respect to the cloud.””
Google’s statements reinforce recent emails from Google Apps resellers to Talkin’ Cloud, wherein the resellers point out that they control cloud customer billing and customer pricing.
More than 1,000 resellers are now authorized to promote and sell Google Apps. And roughly 20 percent of Talkin’ Cloud 50 survey participants say they promote Google Apps to their customers.
Intermedia, meanwhile, is widely considered the largest independent provider of hosted Exchange. Intermedia was the first major third-party hosting provider to offer Exchange 2010. More recently, Intermedia has been pushing into the hosted unified communications and hosted desktop markets.