Will Google Apps Deployment Tool Help Channel Partners?
No doubt, Google Apps is gaining acceptance in the cloud services marketplace. But TalkinCloud hears some uncertainty about its enterprise-readiness, especially from a few resellers and cloud service providers that actually manage the deployments and related integrations. Now, Google is seeking to ease roll-outs with a new Google Apps setup wizard aims.
According to the Google Enterprise Blog entry, the new setup wizard walks IT staff and Google Apps resellers through the deployment process, from Microsoft Exchange data migration to activating e-mail to configuring mobile devices to creating user accounts. It even has a Microsoft-style progress indicator to pick up where you left off if you have to stop partway through.
And for those same resellers, Google is promoting the new setup wizard’s support of for customized deployment plans. And in true Google fashion, they say they’re planning on iteratively adding new features to the wizard. They say that the tool for Google Apps newcomers and seasoned pros alike.
But the larger story is Google’s maturation as an enterprise-ready company. So far in 2011, Google has released:
- Gmail updates focused on productivity;
- a more professional-looking coat of paint for Google Docs;
- a channel-focused guide for educational institutions to migrate to Google Apps; and
- now there’s a setup wizard designed to potentially remove some deployment headaches.
All in all, it looks like Google is refining its offering and making it more attractive to verticals beyond the consumer. One key indicator of Google Apps’ momentum: Roughly 30 of the world’s top 100 managed services providers now promote Google Apps to their end-customers, according to the fourth-annual MSPmentor 100 report (the report debuts Feb. 16, 2011).