Google Chrome Management Console, backed by Synnex, could become a powerful tool for remotely managing Chromebooks. But is that a managed services opportunity?

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

January 8, 2014

2 Min Read
Will MSPs remotely manage Chromebooks Keep watching
Will MSPs remotely manage Chromebooks? Keep watching.

Google isn’t getting into the classic remote monitoring and management (RMM) software market. But the search giant and Synnex are partnering to promote the Chrome Management Console — for Chromebooks — to the IT channel. Here’s what the news potentially means to managed services providers (MSPs).

The Google Apps team has worked in and around the MSP market for about three or four years. The company surfaced at events like IT Nation from time to time, and also learned quite a bit about how MSPs in the SMB market engage and support customers. But Google has been a bit quiet with MSPs over the past year.

Still, Google has a big, growing channel following. Many of the world’s Top 100 Cloud Services Providers offer Google Apps. And increasingly, those CSPs offer Chromebooks to their customers. Now, Google seems to be making another big move in the IT channel — partnering with Synnex to promote Chrome Management Console capabilities to North America channel partners.

But here’s the twist: In the MSP market, most MSPs take control of the remote administration tools — either running the tools on-premises or tapping into the tools via the cloud. But in the Chrome Management Console world, I think most channel partners are simply setting up the console for customers, and then training customers how to use the console.

Bottom line for MSPs: I’m curious to see if or how many actually use Chrome Management Console — in a recurring revenue model — to remotely support customers’ Chromebooks.

And by the way: If you’re still dismissing the Chromebook wave that could be a big mistake. NPD, a market research firm, says more than 20 percent of notebook sales last year involved Chromebooks. I realize many of those sales likely involved school kids and school districts at the extreme low-end of the market. But it’s a trend nonetheless.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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