Awhile ago there was a lengthy discussion about Jott and it’s move to start charging for its service. The economy is tough and more and more pressure is coming on start-ups to rapidly move to a monetised model.
It’s not however just the little players who are ramping up their dollar search – a few weeks ago Google announced a new reseller and accreditation program for Google apps. This isn’t a case of Google sharing the love for altruistic reasons, as Phil points out in his post;
…Google publicly acknowledges something that’s been privately evident for some time: most all its significant enterprise wins for Google Apps wouldn’t have happened without partners to champion and manage the implementation…
The move means that resellers, formerly limited to running implementation projects for customers, can now provide a point to point service, purchasing the service from Google, running the implementation and finally bundling the costs into one bill for their customers.
To see how it works have a look at the following video;
The move is a tacit admission by Google that channel partners are important (a fact discussed by Paul here). Despite much hyperbole around the notion that a move to web applications would forever subvert the traditional channel partner role, the truth is somewhat different. Sure traditional channels are much less important than previously – a fact discussed by Mike from FreshBooks, the fact that software sold off-the-shelf is gone – but channels themselves are still needed. Vendors need partners that have domain knowledge and presence within distinct verticals to give themselves a entree to potential customers.
Update – Vinnie Mirchandani has some more on channel partners here
At the same time (well slightly afterwards to hide the fact) as Google announced their new programme, they also made a change to the standard edition of Google Apps – giving the free version a maximum of 50 users before organizations need to upgrade to the Premier Edition.
Two interesting developments that once again show that at the end of the day, it really is all about earning a buck.