Channel, Channel

Google Apps Partner Offers Free Chromebooks

First, Alphabet made a free Google Apps for Work offer to Microsoft Office 365 customers. Now, Google Apps partner Onix Networking Corp. is sweetening the offer with free Chromebooks and other perks to qualified customers.

The offer goes something like this: Customers that choose Onix as their Google for Work deployment partner will also receive the following benefits -- at no charge:

  • Three Chromebook Laptops
  • One End-User Training Class During Deployment
  • One Business Transformation Workshop
  • Quarterly Google Apps Training for New Hires
  • Google Apps Admin Support.

Strong Google Apps Cloud Partner

Onix has strong credibility within Google's IT channel. The company has been a Google partner since 2001, and was named by Google as their "North American Deployment Partner of the Year - Apps Enterprise" in 2012 and their "Global Partner of the Year - Enterprise Search" in both 2012 and 2013. The Google Search for Work team named Onix as their "Operations and Deployment Partner of the Year - Americas" in 2014, Onix indicated.

Still, it's difficult to say how many Office 365 customers will actually abandon their Microsoft license agreements to embrace Google Apps for Work. During an interview with ChannelE2E last week, Gavriella Schuster, general manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, said the company remains focused on partners and customers and wasn't distracted by Google's free offer.

Alphabet -- Google's parent -- declined to discuss exact cloud revenues during an earnings call with Wall Street last week. But anecdotal evidence sounded impressive. Year-over-year growth was driven by Google for Work, including cloud, as well as continued strong growth in Play, according to CFO Ruth Porat. Moreover, 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in schools every day, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Strong Cloud Competition

Still, cloud competition is intense. Amazon Web Services now generates about $2 billion in sales per quarter, and Microsoft says its commercial cloud revenues have an annualized revenue run rate of $8.2 billion.

As the cloud competition intensifies, some companies are backing away from their home grown public cloud platforms and preferring instead to partner up. Just last week, Hewlett-Packard Co. confirmed plans to turn off its Helion public cloud by January 2016.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.