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Following the publication of my article “Google’s Incomplete Channel Program Still a Work in Progress” on Monday, the G-men sent me a note to clarify a point in the article—where to find information about Google’s channel program(s).

While Google is all about organizing and simplifying access to information on the Internet, it’s no different from many of the veteran vendors in the channel in that it can’t just have one partner program.

The article contained a link to its Google Apps channel program, which was the thrust of the story. However, Google’s primary channel program is on its enterprise products—Postini e-mail security services, enterprise-class search appliances and integration opportunities for its search products with enterprise applications.

“The GEP (Google Enterprise Partner) portal has lots of tools and information for channel partners—from announcements to product overview sections to marketing collateral, deployment training, info for developers and operational tips. It’s pretty robust and wanted to make sure to clarify that this is our partner resource page,” Google wrote to Channel Insider.

Google was also kind enough to pass along live contact information for Terry Calloway, the CEO of Data Technique, the Kansas-based solution provider that developed an adapter to connect Gmail but couldn’t reach anyone at Google to join the program.

The mistake is understandable. If you do a search for Google partner program—with Google or Bing—the top page listed is for Google Enterprise Partner. However, if you search for Google Apps partner program, the less robust Google Apps partner page tops the list.

The entire point of the article was to demonstrate Google’s intentions with its channel programs, the search company’s acknowledgment that its partnership programs were works in progress and, despite the unconventional development of the program, solution providers are succeeding with Google.

Nevertheless, the reaction to the article was swift and strong.

“My firm has been a Postini reseller since 2003 and we are trying to resell Google Apps. Google Apps is cute, but no customer is calling us for a better word processor or spreadsheet or a replacement for an Exchange server. Google is a terrible marketing firm and an even worse business partner,” one reader wrote.

Another solution provider said, “Google is just something to distract/irritate Microsoft or just a ‘spin’ that make some noise and hype in the press … they don’t have a clue how to act in this market and what’s even worst they are not ready to invest in it and use the experts in this area.”

Google says there are many solution providers who have joined the enterprise or apps program and are reaping tremendous successes in the market. One of those solution providers we spoke with is DLT Solutions, a government integrator who is leveraging Google’s geospatial technology. Google offered to connect us with more solution providers in the program. We’re pretty sure they’ll tell us they’re doing fine.

However, not all that glitters at the Googleplex is gold. One Microsoft solution provider we spoke with says he’s killing in sales of BPOS services and, of all things, Bing API integration with enterprise apps. The business is so brisk that Microsoft is supporting their sales efforts in Silicon Valley, going head to head in Google’s backyard as it were.

It seems as though this is yet another battle royal shaping up between Microsoft and Google, but the good folks at Zoho are planning on sitting on the sidelines. Zoho, an India-based company with U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley, say they’re benefiting from the competition between the two behemoths, since it allows them to enter discussions far above their scale.

During a visit with Channel Insider last week, Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu said his company’s sole goal is to provide users with an easy-to-use set of applications and an extensible platform that solution providers can integrate with all existing cloud-based and on-premises solutions. “Solution providers can integrate our applications with existing systems, and that may prove a bigger opportunity over the next few years than rip and replace,” he says.

Will Google succeed in its channel ambitions? Will Microsoft find an answer to the overall Google challenge? Are these two giants the only game in the cloud or can smaller challenges like Zoho succeed? And where do solution providers fit into this equation?