For the time being Chromebooks for Business, the $28 per user subscription plan, will be sold directly by Google. However, the sales opportunity will be extended in the next few quarters to its Google Apps partners that offer value added services, and all indications are, they can’t wait to get in on the action.
In fact, many partners are convinced that Google is working out the details for the reseller channel to participate as soon as possible as it solidifies the infrastructure to enable proper sales and support.
Glenn Weinstein, CTO of Google partner Appirio, told CRN Canada: “With Google Apps, we started as an implementation partner, and there was a period of time when customers could only buy their Google Apps licenses directly from Google. They then introduced the reseller program which allows us to be a more complete solution provider. We expect a similar evolution with Chromebooks, where Google initially provides the machines to customers directly, but relatively quickly expands the partner reseller programs to include Chromebooks as well.”
Surveys suggest that 20 percent of Google’s three million enterprise customers have deployed Google Apps, so it’s understandable why the more than 2,000 reseller partners are eager to participate in a potential bonanza.
Jim McNelis founder of Dito said to CNET: “I believe Chromebooks are a great fit for business travelers. They are small, lightweight, have a long battery life, and with 3G built in, there is almost always connectivity to the Internet, even when Wi-Fi is unavailable.”
Los Angeles-based Google Apps reseller ViWO Inc. sees tremendous sales potential in bundling Chromebooks and Google Apps with the possibility of additional services on top of it.
“Our customers are going to eat this up. This is the name of the game now,” said Crisantos Hajibrahim, ViWO’s head of business development to CRN Canada.