Google (NSDQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) compete vigorously in areas like search, mobile devices, and SaaS applications, but when it comes to the channel, there's no comparing the two companies. This week, as Google celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Google Apps Authorized Reseller Program, the notion of Google becoming as synonymous with the channel as Microsoft is doesn't seem as far-fetched as it used to.
That's not to suggest that Google hasn't encountered difficulties along the way. Solution providers tend to regard vendor newcomers to the channel with the cold, appraising eye of a father sizing up his teenage daughter's first boyfriend. So when Google launched its program last February, many VARs that have built businesses around face-to-face interactions were skeptical. And in some early cases, their suspicions were confirmed.
Some VARs that tried to engage with Google were irked by being unable to reach a human company representative, and didn't appreciate being steered instead to Google's Web-based support. Daniel Duffy, CEO of Valley Network Solutions, a solution provider in Fresno, Calif., says that based on what he's seen from Google thus far, the company isn't quite ready to build meaningful channel relationships.
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