Googles Channel Scheme Irks VARs

Opinion: Not surprisingly, VARs aren't tripping over themselves to join Google's nascent channel program.

Sometimes even editors need confirmation. Every once in a while I have an initial harsh opinion, or a positive one, on a vendors channel strategy and I always try to run my thoughts by a handful of trusted VARs to keep myself in check.

Such was the case when I first heard about Googles grand channel plan. My first reaction was a bit of confusion and then when I started thinking it through, it didnt make much sense for most of the VARs that I know. I spoke with some of them about this and I was convinced my first gut feeling was on the money. But how much on the money I didnt know until my e-mail box got flooded with messages from the channel community.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read Elliot Markowitz Sept. 29 commentary on Googles channel intentions.

Now, my experience has always been that if someone disagrees with you, they get angry and write a letter about it. That is the publishing business. Nine out of 10 letters on any given op-ed page on any given day will be someone disagreeing with something. For someone to write a supportive letter takes a bit more assertiveness. That has been my experience. That is why I was a bit taken aback by the amount of e-mail I got relating to my Google channel column, all in agreement with my assessment, with the exception of one misguided soul. Below Ive chronicled what some in the channel are saying about Googles program, including the one that disagreed with my thoughts.

Said one New York VAR: "You are not a lone voice and you wrote a great article. Google is growing very rapidly. They dont want to miss any opportunities but they did not think this one out very well or they think VARs cant see what is really on their one-sided agenda. With a $10,000 price tag, based on their initial offering, I dont think they will have many takers."

Here is one from another solution provider. "I just read your column on Google. My emphatic head nodding and gesticulating began at about the fifth paragraph, and continued to the end. I [originally] saw Google as an ideal partner. The creation of a channel network riding the Google wave seemed the perfect match of market forces to kick off another growth phase. There was a severe jolt when that $10,000 program fee jumped off the page at me! Like you, my experience tells me this is a sucker play for people to pay to have Google siphon off their client base to a direct model. I believe I will decline this invitation! Thanks for standing against the tide, and raising the questions here."

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