Taking a page from Salesforce.com, last night Google formally launched the anticipated Google Apps Marketplace at its “Campfire One” developer event. In short it allows companies and developers to gain access and sell into Google’s “2 million businesses and 25 million Google Apps users.” The marketplace launches with 50 partners including Intuit and competitor Zoho.
Google controls billing for paid apps and gets a 20 percent cut of the revenue. All of the apps will potentially integrate with existing Google tools and services. According to the Google Blog:
Once installed to a company’s domain, these third-party applications work like native Google applications. With administrator approval, they may interact with calendar, email, document and/or contact data to increase productivity. Administrators can manage the applications from the familiar Google Apps control panel, and employees can open them from within Google Apps. With OpenID integration, Google Apps users can access the other applications without signing in separately to each . . .
Google’s partner slide at launch:
Google has enjoyed some momentum in the enterprise with Apps but adoption has been tiny relative to Microsoft’s installed base of software users. This however would appear to be a “game changer,” to use the overly used phrase, by bringing all sorts of creativity and new functionality into Google Apps. It also instantly creates a broader ecosystem around the offering that will drive interest and adoption.
As with other apps marketplaces users can search by keyword and refine for functionality (e.g., “payroll”) as well as see user ratings for apps:
Because all this is in the cloud, expect varying degrees of mobile integration.
We were invited but I was unable to attend and so didn’t get to explore specific questions and issues, such as whether this would become more consumer-facing or a parallel consumer version would emerge at some point. However, there is much more discussion of particulars on Techmeme.