631-472-5500 info@ftei.com

Originally posted on crn.com by Joseph Tsidulko on August 25, 2015

Murali Sitaram, Google’s director of global strategic partnerships, told CRN the concerns raised by some partners for this story aren’t at all illustrative of the larger trends across the Google for Work ecosystem.

“It’s not about a smaller set [of partners] at all,” Sitaram told CRN, noting that Google for Work’s channel ranks have swelled to 13,000 partners, 95 percent of whom sell Google Apps.

Regional solution providers interviewed by CRN, however, said their experiences suggest Google is not interested in growing its business with them.

[highlight type=”one”]Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 232 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said he tried to develop a strategic relationship to bring Google into its Fortune 500 global accounts but hit a brick wall after reaching out to a top enterprise business development executive who failed to follow through.[/highlight]

[highlight type=”one”]”Based on my experience, Google does not get the channel, and I love Google as a company,” said Venero. “Look at what they have accomplished, it is an amazing feat in terms of their technology assets and offerings. But they missed out on a golden opportunity to scale into the enterprise through the channel with companies like Future Tech. They definitely don’t have the right people at the helm of their channel.”[/highlight]

[highlight type=”one”]Venero said he made a concerted effort to develop an enterprise engagement strategy with Google but came up empty-handed. “We handed them an opportunity to gain access to our top corporate accounts in the global enterprise, and it fell on deaf ears.”[/highlight]

Such partner malaise couldn’t come at a worse time for Google, which is feeling the heat from a no-holds-barred Microsoft campaign to dominate the desktop and tablet cloud productivity suite market. Microsoft, in fact, claims to have won back from Google 1,252 business customers in the last year and a half and is moving swiftly to bring Google Apps solution providers into the Microsoft channel fold.

“Microsoft is aggressively approaching us,” said the Premier partner on the West Coast. “They see us [and say,] ‘You were a Premier Google Apps partner. You get it. You understand the cloud. You’ve got a business model that works.’ ”

New research from the Bitglass, a cloud access broker based in the Silicon Valley that has tracked SaaS adoption rates for the past couple of years, proclaims a complete inversion of the competitive landscape, in Microsoft’s favor.

The Bitglass 2015 Cloud Adoption Report, which will be made public this week, will show that Microsoft has jumped ahead of Google in adoption rates, a Bitglass representative told CRN. Over the past 15 months, Office 365 has far outpaced Google Apps with rapid adoption “that shows no sign of a slowdown.”

That’s a stark turnaround from 2014, when Google dominated the cloud productivity market with 16.3 percent adoption of Google Apps, compared with Microsoft Office 365’s 7.7 percent share, according to Bitglass.

Of enterprises surveyed by Bitglass, 29 percent plan to deploy Office 365 sometime in the future, compared with 13 percent for Apps.