Google has signed an agreement with Ingram Micro US to distribute the Google Search Appliance (GSA), and Google Mini appliance. The deal marks the search behemoth's first foray into US distribution, opening the door for the broad solution provider population to partner with Google.
Google announced the deal in an entry by Rodrigo Vaca, channel marketing manager at Google, in the company's official Google Enterprise Blog.
To date, most of the appliances have been sold directly to end users, but Google needs to recruit solution providers to better penetrate the small-business and midsize markets, Vaca said in an interview with CRN.
Thus far, Google has sold appliances to roughly 9,000 end user customers, Vaca said. Only a small handful of units have been sold through solution providers, he said.
"As big as Google has gotten as a company, we have been overwhelmed by customer demand," Vaca said. "It's still a hardware based product that needs that to be presented to customers in their own particular environment. The only way to scale to meet demand and keep up with growth is through [the channel]," Vaca said.
At Googlestore.com, the Google Mini starts at about $2,000 for 50,000 documents and the GSA starts at $30,000 for 500,000 documents.
Google declined to say how many solution providers it hopes to attract now, or to detail terms and conditions, but it expects to build a comprehensive channel offering, Vaca said.
"I can tell you we are not hoping to attract 10,000 [VARs] overnight. But we want to cover the different [vertical] markets, geographies," he said. "Ingram is the obvious choice with their size and capabilities. We can reach new customers in a more effective way now."
Ingram Micro talked with Google for about nine months before reaching a deal, said Keith Bradley, president of Ingram Micro North America.
Solution providers don't need a formal certification to sell the Google appliances and Ingram Micro has technical and sales support staff trained to support VARs on the products, Bradley said.
"It plays as a nice addition to our midrange server/storage initiative. If a VAR is going in with search engine capability, with an idea for consolidation, they can use this tool to open that door at the end user," Bradley said.
Bradley said Ingram Micro was attracted to the appliances for the name as much as the technology. "It's pretty cool and it has the Google name. Anything associated with Google is cool and the fact that they're embracing the channel is positive news," he said.
However John Walters, director commercial and solution division, at the local office of Ingram Micro said local resellers would have to wait for the product.
“At this stage we have no plans to distribute the Google Appliance in Australia,” he said.