Cloud Sherpas Named Google Partner Of The Year, Looks To 2012

Google has named cloud solution provider Cloud Sherpas its first enterprise partner of the year for 2011, a sign that Google is strongly embracing the channel and finding value in its partners.

Cloud Sherpas received the distinction earlier this month at Google's annual enterprise sales kickoff event. Cloud Sherpas was evaluated based on its track record for working with and developing customers, its investment in its Google practice and its efforts in on boarding new customers to Google's enterprise plays.

Michael Cohn, founder and senior vice president of marketing for Atlanta-based Cloud Sherpas, called the recognition from Google an honor and said that it shows that Google is serious about the channel.

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"We've really seen them devote resources to the channel for two years," Cohn said. "Google has taken the word 'partnership' and made it actually mean something."

Leveraging Google's enterprise offering has pushed Cloud Sherpas' revenue growth to 300 percent year-over-year three years in a row. And Cohn said the company expects more triple-digit revenue growth going forward.

"We're on a tear right now," Cohn said.

Since Cloud Sherpas launched in 2008, the company has moved more than 1 million works onto the Google platform, Cohn said. Other key milestones include adding regional offices in New York, Chicago and Austin; acquiring four cloud providers globally to expand its presence and client-base; and nabbing marquee large customers like Wyoming Medical Center and others.

"The Partner of the Year award from Google is important because it validates the role of the channel in helping businesses succeed in the cloud," said Douglas Shepard, Cloud Sherpas CEO in a statement. "We hear repeatedly from clients that they need the services of Google experts to fully leverage the platform, collaborate more effectively and grow their businesses. We are proud to be recognized as the Google Enterprise 2011 Partner of the Year, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Google and Google Apps users in 2012."

Cloud Sherpas taking the partner of the year honor comes on the heels of Google revealing that it will funnel more, larger deals through its channel. Google said it plans to have more mid-market deals comet through the channel and that it will better compensate its direct sales force for bringing a partner into a deal. The channel changes at Google follows the search giant launching the Google Cloud Transformation Program which gives select partners, Cloud Sherpas among them, the ability to offer Google cloud services to customers.

Looking ahead, Cohn said Cloud Sherpas will continue to grow as the industry looks to affordable cloud platforms. That will give Google's platform an edge and a leg up on its closest cloud competitors, like Microsoft.

"Microsoft is also validating what Google is doing. They spend more time talking about Google then their own products," he said.

Other market factors, including the consumerization of IT, the bring your own device (BYOD) craze and surrounding mobility push, which includes Google Chromebooks and Google partners getting the opportunity to sell them, Cohn said.

"We see the market demand for Google Apps still growing," Cohn said.