Seven cloud independent software vendors (ISVs) have teamed up to promote implementation and integration within Google Apps, the search giant's cloud application suite.
The just-launched Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, which comprises seven ISVs, seeks to make it easier for Google Apps users to implement complementary app through a series of partnerships. Google partner, cloud provider Cloud Sherpas, is leading the charge along with inaugural alliance members Expensify, Insightly, Okta, RunMyProcess, Smartsheet and Spanning.
"Businesses are adopting Google Apps at an increasing rate," said David Politis, Cloud Sherpas vice president, adding that leveraging the Google Apps Marketplace for add-ons and complementary apps can be a "long and tiring process," and through partnerships the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps wants to alleviate some of the guesswork. "It's a confusing process and a time consuming process. As a group of vendors, we want to make that process easier"
The rationale, Politis said, was to bring these ISVs together and make it easier for Google Apps users to select from among the top tier of apps in the Google Apps Marketplace. The alliance ties together different types of apps in the Google Apps Marketplace. Cloud Sherpas' SherpaTools offers IT administration capabilities; Expensify eases expense reporting and accounting; Insightly provides cloud-based CRM and project management software; Okta offers on-demand identity and access management services; RunMyProcess makes a cloud development Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS); Smartsheet offers online project management and collaboration in spreadsheet formats; and Spanning offers cloud backup for Google Apps data.
Politis said Cloud Sherpas and other members were selected for the alliance based on Marketplace rankings, installs and reviews. He said out of the first seven Cloud Alliance for Google Apps members, four are the No. 1 app in their categories in the Google Apps market place.
Politis said the ISVs involved will also work toward integration between their applications and begin offering their wares in bundles with discounted pricing.
Politis added that he expects more ISVs to join the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps as the ecosystem grows.
And the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps' No. 1 mission is to educate customers, Politis said. The Alliance has already scheduled a set of "CloudSmart" webinars to educate Google Apps users.
"A lot of people don't know the things you can do with Google Apps as the hub and these apps as the spokes," he said.