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The seven heaviest hitters in the Google Apps Marketplace
for IT management applications are uniting to form a new group called the Cloud
Alliance for Google Apps to pool resources to offer better marketing and
education campaigns to increase business awareness and help users identify the
best-of-breed applications for their needs and to speed up application

The initial membership within the alliance includes seven Google
partners: Cloud Sherpas, Expensify, Insightly, Okta, RunMyProcess, Smartsheet
and Spanning Align.

"Most don’t have time to research, evaluate and
integrate applications, they just want technology tools that work," David
Politis, chairman of Cloud Alliance and vice president for Cloud Sherpas.

"By creating an alliance of the top Google Apps
Marketplace vendors and products, we’re taking the pain out of application
selection and implementation, so Google Apps users can manage and grow their

As a part of the membership requirements for Cloud Alliance,
participating partners will create deep integrations between their own products
and those of the other members to create a seamless Google Apps ecosystem.

Additionally, each of the members has agreed to develop a
range of thought-leadership content that will be offered free of charge, such
as white papers and webinars. The group will start things off with a seven-part
webinar series. Each segment will be hosted by a different member of the alliance.
These will begin on November 16th with an introductory "Getting Acquainted
with Google Apps" webinar hosted by Cloud Sherpas.

According to recent estimates by Gartner, Google Apps for
Business is still well within the incubation stage at the technology
juggernaut. Gartner analyst Tom Austin said at the Gartner Symposium that
Google Apps revenue only makes up a 0.5 percent sliver of the total Google
revenue pie, explaining that the division is growing but that it’s still
unclear how fast and sustained that growth will continue to be.