Verizon Counters Google Apps Resellers in Small Business
More and more small managed services providers promote Google Apps to their end-customers. But big cloud competition is on the way. Specifically, Verizon has added Google Apps for Business to its cloud strategy as part of Verizon’s bid to engage more small and midsized customers. Under the deal, businesses that get their Internet, voice, and/or TV service from Verizon are eligible to receive three free Google Apps accounts, with the option to purchase more. Verizon will even throw in a domain name for a year. But what’s lacking in the Verizon/Google offering is a clear spot for the traditional cloud services channel.
As MSPmentor noted back in September 2010, when Verizon introduced on-demand cloud services, the big telecommunications and wireless company essentially emerged as a rival to small VARs and MSPs. Google Apps for Verizon seems to be keeping in that mold: the official Google Enterprise blog entry, guest-written by Verizon Vice President of Small Business Marketing Monte Beck, gives the impression that they see Gmail, Google Docs, and the rest of the suite as more of a value-add to Verizon’s cloud backup and security products then as a re-sellable service on its own.
That said, Verizon is offering customers Google Apps on its own for $3.99/user/month – potentially a very, very small pricebreak from the $50/user/year Google itself charges.
The bundled cloud solutions are only available in parts of 12 states (CA, CT, DE, FL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TX, and VA) and Washington, D.C.), according to Beck’s guest blog entry, so this isn’t a huge cloud services takeover on Verizon’s part.
But Talkin’ Cloud, as ever, has to ask: where’s the love for Google’s stable of MSPs and VARs?