Google Grows App Partner Ecosystem

Today Google announced a few updates on its continuous path to strengthen its Google Apps for Work offerings. In efforts to help businesses identify cloud software that can boost their communication, collaboration, and productivity, Google will now be recommending apps from other providers in a program it calls, fittingly, "Recommended for Google Apps for Work."

The news came out today on the Official Google for Work Blog. "It can be difficult to assess which apps are secure, reliable, high-performing and well-integrated with the tools customers use most," wrote Rahul Sood, Google Apps for Work managing director. "And many businesses have neither the time nor the capability to do this assessment across all of the apps they might consider."

The program initially includes eight partner apps:

Google plans to grow this list as it continues to review various applications with the assistance of an independent third-party security firm to ensure a high level of reliability and security.

From No Jitter's perspective, the most notable among these are RingCentral and Switch, as these companies fall into one of our sweet spots: cloud-based communications.

Having spoken to Switch on numerous occasions, this seems like a good place to start. In an email conversation, Switch Communications CEO Craig Walker clarified how this news affects Switch's relationship with Google, noting that Switch has always been a good partner of Google. Switch's founders came from Google, and the company is partially funded by Google Ventures. That said, Walker expressed that being recognized as a recommended application is further proof that the relationship between the two companies is as strong as ever, and further, that Switch is rightfully viewed as an ideal communications solution for Google Apps customers.

"With thousands of apps written and launched for Google Apps over the years, this type of recognition and validation will definitely help us as we speak to Google Apps customers about deploying Switch at their organizations," Walker said.

RingCentral, too, has an integration relationship with Google, although the history is not as deep as it is with Switch. In January, the company announced an integration for RingCentral Office into Google for Works, to bring cloud communications capabilities into Gmail and Google Docs. Certainly RingCentral must consider Google's partner endorsement as validation of its integration strategy, which also includes the June acquisition of popular cloud app Glip. (Just yesterday, RingCentral announced it has completed the integration and now Glip team messaging and collaboration is in general availability for all RingCentral Office customers.)

On the heels of its "try us out for free " offer to organizations committed to enterprise agreements with other productivity apps providers, this recommended partnership program is further evidence that Google is getting more serious by the day about capturing enterprise business.

We'll be exploring Google Apps at Enterprise Connect 2016, coming March 7 to 10 in Orlando, Fla., and look forward to hearing insight on the company's strategy from keynote speaker Adam Swidler, a Google for Work technology evangelist. Register now using the code NJPOST and receive $200 off the current conference price, and join us in Orlando next spring!

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