Cloud Sherpas Takes Google Apps West with Omnetic Buy

Sherpa Tools June 2 acquired smaller rival Omnetic to gain a West Coast office and team to bolster their Google Apps resale efforts.

Google Apps reseller Cloud Sherpas is expanding to the West Coast, thanks to an acquisition of smaller rival Omnetic.

Terms of the deal, announced June 2, were not made public.

Cloud Sherpas is the largest reseller of the Google Apps cloud computing collaboration suite in the United States. The Atlanta-based company has migrated more than 800,000 users from legacy collaboration systems such as Microsoft Office and IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to Google's suite of Web-based word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps.

Google currently sells Google Apps for Business to companies for $50 per user, per year. The company, whose cash is made mostly in search advertising, also relies on a fleet of authorized resellers, such as Cloud Sherpas, Appirio, LTech and Omnetic, to help penetrate the broad and deep enterprise market.

To date, Cloud Sherpas has been reselling Google Apps from its Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Austin, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia offices. However, the company lacked a West Coast presence to help add to its recurring revenue streams culled from managed Apps seats in nearly 300 customers.

Cloud Sherpas CEO Jon Hallett told eWEEK his team looked around for the "dominant provide" and whose brand had the strongest reputation in the market.

Omnetic, which has moved 100,000 users from legacy systems to Google Apps, came out on top. The company's 10 employees will become Cloud Sherpas employees, remaining in their San Francisco office.

This includes Omnetic founder and CEO Chris McGarry, who led's deployment of Google Apps and helped integrate and Google Apps.

Hallett said the buy will help his company fortify relationships with regional clients and prospects, and put Cloud Sherpas much closer to the Google Apps partner team in Mountain View, Calif.

The acquirer will also gain some 30 customers, including National Geographic, Dr. Martens, Mazda Raceway and the Schumacher Group.

Cloud Sherpas isn't just about reselling another company's software. The company expanded its purview from Apps reseller to IT management provider with SherpaTools, an IT administration tool.

SherpaTools, which includes software modules that make Google Apps for Business easier for administrators to provision to users, has been installed for more than three million users worldwide.