Cloud Sherpas Slams Microsoft & Acquires Beloit to Spread Google Apps Love
Cloud Sherpas (news, site) continues its mission to spread Google Apps adoption today with the acquisition of Beloit Solutions Group. Hot on the heels of attaining Omnetic, the move also aims to strengthen Google presence in what is largely considered Microsoft territory as the giants continue to throw below-the-belt punches at one another. 

Strength in Numbers 

Numerically speaking, Cloud Sherpas has singlehandedly migrated over 800,000 users to Google Apps over the past three years, while Beloit has accumulated tens of thousands of Google Apps users both in the Midwest and nationally.

Along with Omnetic's help, Cloud Sherpas has now successfully migrated over one million business "seats" to the Google Apps cloud platform. 

"This is a great move for Cloud Sherpas that fits perfectly into our strategy to grow the business organically and through acquisition," said Jon Hallett, CEO for Cloud Sherpas. "Beloit gives us top sales and IT management talent, more Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists, fantastic customers, and thousands of additional managed Google Apps seats."

Hallett continued on to praise Beloit's founders, highlighting large accounts which will be "key" for targeting Microsoft enterprise customers in the Midwest.

"Beloit clients in the Midwest and nationally will benefit from the support of a larger and deeper organization, with even more experience helping companies of all sizes use and succeed with Google Apps. We're very proud to have served so many terrific companies. But the time is right to align with a firm that we believe will be the major Google Apps reseller and solution provider for many years to come," added Mike Thiessen, Beloit co-founder.

Learning Opportunities

Here's a quick breakdown of how the program works, in case you aren't familiar:

A Partner, a Friend

Cloud Sherpas has gone the extra mile as a Google Apps reseller. The startup, which is reportedly one of the most installed applications in the Google Apps Marketplace, recently took a swing at some negative publicity, for example.

Microsoft released a white paper calling out some of the hidden costs of Google Apps. Cloud Sherpas fired back by claiming that while all IT solutions have costs beyond licensing, the specifics of the white paper were highly exaggerated. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Support and IT training. While Google does charge extra for a high level of support, Google Apps users don't need as much support as Microsoft users."Nearly all of our customers report a reduction in help desk support in the months following deployment," claimed Cloud Sherpas. 
  • Email security. Google Apps provides the Postini engine for spam and malware filtering for free. It runs US$ 33 per user per year if companies need 10-year retention of all e-mails.
  • Single sign-on. Cloud Sherpas says MyOneLogin (US $33 per user per year) isn't just for Google Apps -- it allows single sign-on across multiple hosted apps from different vendors, including, QuickBooks Online, and so on. Meanwhile, Microsoft's single sign-on solution in Office 365 bridges the online service with the local version of Active Directory which most Microsoft customers already have.

Cloud Sherpas also reminds potential customers that it provides a lot of these services — like escalated support and management tools — at no additional charge. And so it seems that while Google Apps continues to woo business folk, the reseller will continue to be an invaluable asset to the company in more ways than one.