Google stormed into the channel two years ago amid much fanfare and bravado. The search engine giant made all the right noises about taking the fight to Microsoft with its Google Apps proposition, but how much progress has it made?
At the recent CRN Partner Connect event in Coventry, Peter Lorant (pictured), EMEA head of channel for Google Apps, addressed attendees to discuss what his firm has learned since 2009. He also advised resellers on how best to make money from the cloud. We round up the key points of an entertaining address.
On the state of the cloud market
Cloud is now a bit off a buzzword but, a year ago, I think I was the only the vendor that was talking about cloud. 43 per cent of CIOs want to transition to a cloud-dominated infrastructure. Half of global 1,000 companies want to use cloud for their top revenue generators. But we have been down this road before. Remember ASP (active server pages)? Sun was a very early adopter. Cost at that point was the main motivator.
When we look at the market share that cloud providers have, we are still in the early adopter stage. Cloud is becoming muddied. I was at a trade show and AMD was portraying itself as a cloud provider. Salesforce.com is a tremendously successful poster boy for cloud but it is actually quite clunky. With Google Apps there are more than 120 features launched every year.
On Google's channel so far
We have learned a lot. Of the tens of thousands of organisations that signed up, only a small percentage (became partners) an even smaller percentage are still active, and an even fewer percentage are profitable.
On competing vendors
Google is not at all afraid about Microsoft, HP, IBM – we are paranoid about two people in a garage that are going to build a better mousetrap. Every time there's a shift, there are new names that come to the fore.
On what resellers should do
* Form a dedicated cloud team
If you do not have one, it is not going to work. If you're selling full-fat on-premise and cheaper cloud, the compensation packages will determine how well you deliver* Sharpen your solution selling skills
Why are you better than your competitor in selling the same product? [There is a] very different type of skill needed
* Move quickly and lightly
If you're out there trying to give £33 per user per year, [you cannot] then do a customer self-engagement that cost £300,000 and takes six months. The traditional very high day rates and long consultancy cycles are gone
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business