When Cloud Sherpas released its SherpaTools platform to beta last month, it became the latest product from a growing line of companies looking to not only resell Google Apps, but grease the wheels for companies trying to implement the cloud computing software. CloudSherpas, LTech, Appirio and other resellers of Google Apps messaging and collaboration applications find themselves tripling as systems integrators and applications developers. SherpaTools includes modules that make GAPE easier for administrators and end users. LTech offers Power Panel for Google Apps, which essentially does for Google Apps admins and end users what SherpaTools does.
When Cloud Sherpas
released its SherpaTools platform to beta last month, it became the latest
product from a growing line of companies looking to not only resell Google Apps
but grease the wheels for companies trying to implement the Web-based
Cloud Sherpas resells Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE), which Google offers for $50 per user per year
that need to migrate hundreds or thousands of employees from IBM
Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange to GAPE.
This means Cloud Sherpas, made up of former Lotus and Exchange experts who
saw Google as the future of cloud-based collaboration, must play the part of
reseller, systems integrator and application developer, Cloud Sherpas CEO
Mike Cohn told eWEEK.
"One half of our business is providing our customers expert advice on what
they need to do when they move to the cloud," Cohn said. "Second,
with all of the deep enterprise engagements we're involved in, we saw a lot of
opportunities to fill gaps with software. In the new world of the cloud, it's
pretty obvious to us there is no need for a distributor. The distributor,
systems integrator and reseller come together."
which is currently free, comprises software modules that make GAPE easier for
administrators and end users. The suite includes a Directory Manager, which
provides a simple interface for adding essential User Profile and Shared
Contacts information, and DirectoryBot, an automated Google Talk IM for end
Cohn said SherpaTools will eventually include a compliance and reporting
module as well as a data backup and restore tool.
Cloud Sherpas helped Lincoln Property migrate to Google Apps from Novell
GroupWise mail and contacts data for 950 users. The company also implemented
SherpaTools, to offer additional IT management functions for admins and new
features for employees.
Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler said the idea of the
be-all-you-can-be reseller is a very important topic.
"In a cloud world, ISVs, integrators and VARs, etc., have to do more
than install boxes and software," Schadler told eWEEK. "They have to
augment and extend. The entire channel has to up its game with applications and
do things that customers will pay for. If you look at the MSFT
Business Productivity Online Suite [BPOS], it's transferring wealth to
customers and to Microsoft and away from Exchange reseller."