Google Now Offers Chromebooks Through Google Apps Resellers
The headline really says it all: TalkinCloud has learned — and Google has confirmed — Google has introduced a pilot program that enables select resellers to offer the Google Chromebook cloud-based laptops to their customers.
Google has been promising some kind of channel play around Chromebooks since before they were officially launched earlier in 2011. TalkinCloud has consistently tracked the product’s progress through the enterprise space, but always through the lens that no, Google still hadn’t followed through. But now, thanks to a CRN report, we know Google has launched that program underneath our noses.
I reached out to a Google spokesperson directly for a statement on the newfound Chromebook channel availability:
“The channel is tremendously important to us. We’ve been very deliberate about how we extend our reach since Chromebooks represent a new way of thinking about computing. Over the past several months we have been selling the product direct from Google and our next step is to involve some of our existing Apps resellers to open up the channel.”
According to that CRN article, the only two confirmed Google Apps partners chosen to add Google Chromebooks to their arsenals are SADA Systems and Cumulous Global — though now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m hoping more will reach out to us when they read this blog post.
Much like the direct sales model, partners will be able to offer Chromebooks to customers under one- or three-year terms, with a monthly fee covering the costs of all repairs or replacements. Just as speculated, the partner play largely revolves around a twist on the usual hardware-as-a-service formula — since everything on a Chromebook is by definition in the cloud, just logging into your Google account from a new device gives you all your stuff just as it was.
Moreover, it seems partners will have access to administration consoles, enabling Google Apps Authorized Resellers to offer managed services around Chromebooks, too. And by stacking it with VDI and third-party SaaS solutions, there’s plenty of potential for partners to create something really unique using the low-profile, low-footprint Chromebook as a platform.
A lot of this is still secondhand. But now that Google’s officially confirming the rollout of Chromebooks to the channel, I’m expecting updates and solution announcements to start trickling down the pipeline. Stay tuned to TalkinCloud for more.