By David Salyers
Today Google announced its new Cloud Platform Partner Program, which aims to help partners like us design, develop and manage cloud-based solutions on the Google’s Cloud Platform. As a company that’s worked in the Google ecosystem for the last six years, it’s great to not only see the advancements in the platform itself, but also how Google supports their enterprise partners.
When we first started building solutions for customers (and ourselves) on the Google Apps platform many years back, it was mainly limited to gadgets that extended Google Apps in various ways. Then when Google App Engine was introduced, we were one of the first companies to build a highly scalable, enterprise application and have built many since.
As a technology-enabled services firm, we build custom applications on Google Apps and the Google Cloud Platform and implement Google Apps within large enterprises. In the last six years, we’ve moved more than 1 million users to Google’s services. Through these projects, we saw a great opportunity to create reusable assets that speed implementations and extend Google Apps in new and creative ways which led to two stand-alone assets that companies can buy even without using our services. For example, our Cloud Sync solution lets users sync Google contacts and calendars with Salesforce.com, and our CloudFactor solution, which brings contextual information from cloud apps like Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and Twitter directly into Gmail.
Since we’ve made these products available on the Google Apps Marketplace, they’ve been used by tens of thousands of users across hundreds of companies. This attests not only to the power of the Google Cloud Platform, but also the value of Google’s channel programs. We couldn’t have this level of visibility without their help.
Appirio has always been big believers in Google’s Enterprise solutions, and their Cloud Platform keeps getting better. For example, at the recent I/O conference Google introduced a few key things that should prove very valuable to us and our customers. These include:
- The EU location for App Engine
- The Google Compute Engine for fast, scalable virtual machines running on Google’s infrastructure
- The App Scripts updates, especially the new standalone editor for creating, editing and publishing scripts; the ability to create and store scripts in Google Drive; and the ability to distribute scripts as web apps in the Chrome Web Store.
- The next version of the Drive SDK
Google’s Cloud Platform products enable customers to implement:
- Cloud app solutions, such as mobile apps, social apps, business process apps, and websites, using Google App Engine and Google Cloud SQL.
- Cloud storage solutions, such as high-end backup and recovery, active archiving, global file sharing/collaboration, and primary SAN/NAS, using Google Cloud Storage.
- Large-scale computing solutions, such as batch processing, data processing and high performance computing using Google Compute Engine.
Big data solutions, such as interactive tools, trend detection and BI dashboards, using Google BigQuery and Google Prediction API.
When you combine these technologies with the power of a crowdsourcing community like CloudSpokes, the possibilities are practically endless. In the last several months, we have run dozens of Google-related development challenges for the 40,000 developers in CloudSpokes, which have resulted in many creative and useful solutions. For example:
- An Opportunity Close Predictor that uses the Google Prediction API to predict when sales opportunities will close
- A Google App Engine FTP Service that makes it easy to move files in and out of Google Big Table
- A Mass Gmail Attachment Downloader that allows users to download all the attachments from multiple e-mail messages at one time
- A Gmail Migration Help Desk app that allows agents to monitor the status of users’ migration from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps and Gmail.
- An Android Admin App for Salesforce.com that allows administrators to easily perform common functions even when they are away from their desks
- A Swap Google Doc Ownership application that re-assigns ownership of all Google Doc documents and folders owned by a user
- An Evernote to Google Docs integration that makes it easy to export notes from your Evernote account to Google Docs
- A Google Calendar Free/Busy lookup app that allows Salesforce.com users to find good meeting times based on people’s Google Calendars.
Combining the cloud with the crowd proves out just how transformative these two paradigms can be – especially when companies as innovative as Google are involved.