Google and the Channel: True Love or One Night Stand?
In the week following the brouhaha over radical Postini price cuts that rattled the very foundation of many a VAR business model, plenty of rumors are circulating about Google and its plans for the channel.
Google just announced its channel program for search appliances last year via a deal with Ingram Micro. Sources say that the company deals in an ad hoc manner with other partners who do not go through Ingram Micro as the search giant has been quietly assembling a formal channel program.
And Google acquired a company with an existing channel program when it bought Postini for $625 million in July 2007. But then early this month Google reorganized the Postini product line, cutting prices by as much as 90 percent to as little as $3 per user per year. Previously, the products were offered via the channel for prices ranging from $30 per user per year to $100 per user per year.
Google said it would package the products with Google Apps, and channel partners have said that Google is preparing to do that and sell the whole package through the channel.
And indeed, a help wanted ad posted by the company last week seemed to indicate the company is getting ready to beef up its channel program.
But another source said the Postini price cuts are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the company's downgrading of VARs and that Google would be completely gutting its fledgling channel program soon, removing any deal registration, portal and discounts for VARs.
Responding officially, Google said that is nonsense.
"We remain committed to working with channel partners and resellers to make Google message security products the leading e-mail security solution for organizations of all sizes," a company spokesperson said.
Care to contribute to the discussion over what Google's intentions might be? Post your comment or tip to this blog.