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Premier reseller tier added to Google Apps program

In response to partner feedback, Google recently announced updates to its reseller channel program. The company has added a new premier reseller tier for high-performing partners in the areas of Google Apps, Google Earth, Google Enterprise and Google Maps, CRN reports.

The company's reseller program spans 70 countries and comprises 3,000 resellers. It has increased by 50 percent since November of last year, according to Channel Insider.

The reseller program was announced several months after the Google Apps certification program. According to CRN, the program was designed to differentiate cloud value-added resellers that sell, deploy and support the Google Apps cloud productivity application suite, as well as to recognize them for their expertise.

The program covers business and government Google Apps, but not Google Apps for education or free editions.

In a recent blog post, Jim Chow of Google Enterprise's global partner programs department explained that in order to move up from the authorized reseller tier, prospective premier resellers must meet criteria related to revenue, technical expertise and customer success.

"As our reseller partners continue to help customers succeed, we hope these new standards will help them strengthen their business by providing clear benchmarks for them to strive for and meet," wrote Chow. "Authorized resellers remain a core focus for our reseller program, and we will continue to invest in resources, tools and training to help (them) succeed."

Additionally, new categorizations will be introduced in order to help customers identify resellers who specialize in specific Google products. The partner stratification measures will allow authorized and premier resellers to indicate partner expertise across product sets.

Channel partners will also be able to achieve authorized or premier reseller status for the two categories of SMB or enterprise. SMB resellers cater to companies with 250 employees or less, and enterprise resellers focus on customers that have 250 or more employees.

Premier Google Apps partners are required to have 150 end-user accounts and 15 company accounts under management. They must also hold one Google Apps certification. Channel incentives include access to Google’s NDA roadmaps, invitations to write guest blog posts, and discounted fees for online and in-person training to earn further certifications from the company.