Partners that put off joining Google's new reseller certification programme could eventually lose credibility with end users, the search giant has warned.
Speaking to ChannelWeb, Peter Lorant, head of channel for Google Apps, EMEA, said the certifications will allow end users to make objective comparisons when choosing between partners.
He said: "We now have around 1,000 partners in EMEA, which is double the number we had last year. As those numbers have grown, it has become increasingly important for our partners to find a way of differentiating themselves in the market."
The first accreditation offered through the programme gives partners the chance to become a Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist, which will acknowledge their ability to migrate and configure Google Apps.
Lorant said the firm will roll out further certifications and will encourage as many partners as possible to acquire them.
"We are definitely committed to expanding the programme as the Google Apps marketplace and the channel matures," he explained.
"As time goes on, the expectation is that these accreditations will become increasingly significant as a kitemark of quality for end users, so it is important for partners to join up."
David McLeman, managing director of Google partner Ancoris, said four of his team have already acquired the qualification after taking part in the worldwide beta test of the programme.
He said: "This programme is a very important development and will make it easier for customers to choose between the 'one-man band' and those with a proven track record in carrying out Google Apps migrations and all the services around that."
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