April 25, 2012
google-driveGoogle Drive, the long-rumored cloud storage, file sharing and “hard drive in the cloud,” has finally debuted. It’s part of the growing Google Apps family. And yes, Google is directing potential Google Drive customers to Google Apps Resellers for purchase and deployment guidance.
I’ve reached out to Google to learn how the search giant is training and educating resellers on Google Drive. But in the meantime, Google Drive is pretty simple to explain. In many ways, Google Drive sounds like Applie iCloud, Box (formerly Box.net), DropBox, Microsoft SkyDrive and so many other cloud-oriented file sharing and storage services.
Using Google Drive:
Businesses can share files or folders with specific people — peer employees, customers, partners, etc.
Windows, Mac and Android users can access Google Drive from anywhere (assuming Internet access is in place). An Apple iOS app is under development as well.
Google Drive has a centralized management app that allows administrators to add or remove storage for individuals or teams of users. (I wish Google would more formally position the management app for channel partners as well.)
Encryption, data replication and a 99.9% SLA ensure your data is protected and available from multiple Google data centers, the company says.
Each Google Apps for Business user gets 5GB of Google Drive storage, with an additional 20GB of storage costing $4 per month. Per-user storage can grow to 16TB.
Side note: CNet analyzes who “owns” your files on Google Drive, comparing the service to the IP and copyright policies of DropBox and Microsoft Skydrive.
I’m curious to see if/how Google Drive integrates with the Google ChromeBook strategy, potentially giving channel partners and customers an easier way to manage content on the cloud-oriented notebooks.
What intrigues me most about Google Drive? A simple answer: Google actually took the time — in the official Google Drive announcement — to mention the value of Google Apps Resellers. At a time when so many software companies shift to cloud computing and forget their partners, Google always seems to mention its channel partners — a rather amazing trend considering Google Apps is a small piece of the Google Empire.
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