Google today announced a new reseller program that allows “qualified” individuals and businesses to resell Google Apps.

What I find interesting about this move, is that it’s one of the first steps Google has taken to move it’s marketing and business outside of the automated route it normally takes with applications like Google Adsense and Adwords.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, Google seems to be working it’s way to becoming a major player in net based operating systems.  Obviously, this can’t be successful without the support of business clients as well as personal accounts.  Since most real business is still handled face to face, this is a natural move.

How it works

The premise is pretty simple… Google will offer the services to qualified resellers at a 20% discount.  This means that the normal charge of $50.00 / account / year would be offered for $40 to resellers.  Then, the resellers simply keep the profits above and beyond the standard charge.

Essentially, Google bills you… then you bill the customer with a markup.

The business opportunity here is interesting, because it’s one of the first offerings for a cloud based application with a business level of service.

I do have to wonder though, if the $10 profit per year, per user would be enough to support a full time job, or if it would just be an add on to an existing business.  I guess we’ll have to see.

Brick and Mortar?

An interesting idea and one that we might see in the near future, are these services being offered in brick and mortar retailers like Best Buy.  It would be interesting to see a nice, clean box with a Google logo on it sitting right next to boxes for Lotus and Microsoft Office.  Or, maybe even a card similar to to the itunes cards you see at the checkout lines at your local Walmart or convenience stores offering yearly subscriptions, or monthly for that matter.