- Perform a centrally managed bulk migration of users
- Selectively migrate email, calendar or contacts (or any combination thereof)
- Migrate in phases for very large migrations
Sounds great huh? Self service, a degree of automation and easing the on-ramp for adoption. But I wonder…
You see Google, the company that always prided itself on a direct to consumer channel strategy, has in recent months embarked on a strong reseller program – understanding that, at least when selling into larger enterprise, there is simply no avoiding customers preference for a local VAR, and near unanimous need for a services offering on top of the software itself.
Resellers have been a little nervous, at least in part due to doubts about Google’s commitment to them as a channel – after all when you’re used to great revenue from implementing an on-premise solution, the more paltry sums involved in a cloud product look decidedly shabby. It struck me that already nervous resellers would be even more nervous with this move by Google, a move that – at least to a certain extent – would see Google eat their own reseller’s lunch.
I put this to Scott McMullan, Google Apps lead within the Googleplex for his take on this. Unsurprisingly he dismissed my contention directly, saying that:
This gives both customers and VARs a reliable (and free) tool to move bits from one system to another. Our VARs want this — they sell services around the use of this tool.
What better way to test my contention than to ask the resellers themselves. I spoke to Stuart Maxwell from Amanzi, a small IT shop, as well as Dave Livesey from Wave Adept (who specialize almost exclusively in Google apps implementations). I asked them:
Their replies were interesting:
Now a cynic would say that this is a case of self-interest with these particular VARs keen to publicly be seen to support Google – but knowing these two particular businesses personally, that’s almost definitely not the case. Looks like this is much more a case of Google providing a useful tool that its VARs can put to good use…