SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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Cloud Software Leaders Rally Around Google Apps

Cloud Sherpas, Expensify, Insightly, Okta, RunMyProcess, Smartsheet and Spanning Align to Simplify Application Selection, Implementation for Google Apps Users

ATLANTA, Georgia — November 1, 2011 — Seven independent software vendors, whose products are among the most heavily installed applications in the Google Apps Marketplace, today announced a series of business and technology partnerships that are designed to make it easier for Google Apps users to select and implement complementary business applications.

The partnership network — a first among Google Apps Marketplace vendors — will henceforth be known as the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps.  The founding members, each vetted according to their reputations within Google, Marketplace rankings, product reviews and more, are Cloud Sherpas (with its SherpaTools application), Expensify, Insightly, Okta, RunMyProcess, SmartSheet and Spanning.  More information about the Cloud Alliance can be found at www.cloudallianceforgoogleapps.com.

Cloud Alliance members are capitalizing on Google Apps’ considerable momentum in the enterprise. The platform is used today by over four million companies worldwide, and Gartner recently recognized Gmail, a centerpiece Google Apps application, as being enterprise ready.

Still, it is a challenge for Google Apps users to determine which add-on applications are the best.  Cloud Alliance solves this problem by uniting the top Marketplace applications for IT administration, CRM, security and compliance, workflow and integration, expense management, identity management, and project collaboration.  Users can now more easily identify the best-of-breed applications, easing their selection burden and speeding application deployment.

Cloud Alliance membership requires a meaningful commitment from every participant.  For example, vendors must agree to develop deep integrations between their products.  Cloud Alliance members must also develop and distribute free “best practices” materials, including white papers and webinars.

Already, Cloud Alliance members have lined up the following “CloudSmart” webinar series:

  • November 16 — “Get Acquainted with Google Apps” from Cloud Sherpas

  • December 7 — “Single Sign-On & AD Integration for Google Apps” from Okta

  • January 11 — “Back Up Your Data” from Spanning

  • January 25 — “Create Expense Reports That Don’t Suck!” from Expensify

  • February 15 — “Project Collaboration Your Team Will Actually Use” from Smartsheet

  • February 29 — “Manage Your Customer Databases” from Insightly

  • March 14 — “Save Money and Time Adding Workflow to Google Apps” from RunMyProcess

“Cloud Alliance is a huge win for businesses using Google Apps,” said David Politis, chairman of Cloud Alliance and vice president for Cloud Sherpas, a leading Google Apps cloud services provider.  “Most don’t have time to research, evaluate and integrate applications, they just want technology tools that work.  By creating an alliance of the top Google Apps Marketplace vendors and products, we’re taking the pain out of application selection and implementation, so Google Apps users can manage and grow their businesses.”

Cloud Alliance Members

SherpaTools

SherpaTools for Google Apps (www.sherpatools.com) enhances the functionality and ease-of-use of Google Apps for both administrators and end-users.  As the #1 ranked IT admin tool in the Google Apps Marketplace, SherpaTools has been installed on over 25,000 domains in over 114 countries representing over 3.5 million end-users. The company behind SherpaTools, Cloud Sherpas (www.cloudsherpas.com), is a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and Google Enterprise partner.  The company has migrated over one million users across all major industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses.

Expensify

Expensify does “expense reports that don’t suck.”  If you’re sick of painful expense reports, Expensify makes it easy to import credit card transactions, submit reports, print PDFs, and reimburse your expenses up to $10,000 online!  A slew of mobile apps helps everyone capture receipt images and manage expenses on-the-go.  Seamless QuickBooks integration, with support for other accounting packages, keeps finance departments and independent accountants on top of company spending.  For more information, check out https://www.expensify.com.

Insightly

Insightly provides cloud based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Project Management software for small business. Insightly is the most widely deployed CRM application on the Google Apps Platform with more than 30,000 customers located in over 100 countries worldwide. Insightly provides fast, easy and uncomplicated web based software for managing customers, sales opportunities, tasks and projects with tight integration to Google Apps. Insightly was founded in 2010 and is based in Perth, Western Australia. For more information about Insightly please visit http://insightlyapp.com or follow @insightlyapp on Twitter.

Okta

Okta is the market leading on-demand identity and access management service that enables enterprises to accelerate the secure adoption of their web-based applications, both in the cloud and behind the firewall. With a catalog of 1000+ applications and deep integration with Active Directory, Okta provides IT centralized user provisioning, access management, and reporting.  Every end user gets a personalized, single sign-on home page for all of their applications, and business leaders get the insight they need to maximize ROI and track compliance. The Okta team has built, deployed, and supported market leading, on-demand and enterprise software solutions from companies including Salesforce.com, SuccessFactors, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, Sun and HP. Okta is backed by premiere angel and venture investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures, and FLOODGATE. For more information, visit us at www.okta.com or follow us on www.okta.com/blog.

RunMyProcess

Created in 2007, RunMyProcess develops, commercializes and operates an innovative platform as a service (PaaS) specialized in business application development in the cloud. The RunMyProcess platform makes use of business process management (BPM) concepts to provide a unique mix of structured workflow, integration and agility helping customers meet evolving business needs. By Leveraging an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop design and more than 1,000 available connectors for SaaS and other applications, as well as full integration with Google Apps, RunMyProcess customers can rapidly build and deploy highly customized business applications. Accessible on the Web through a browser and entirely based on a pay-per-use model, the RunMyProcess platform is less expensive and more flexible than on-premise solutions ensuring a quicker return on investment. RunMyProcess is already used by Enterprise customers around the world. For more information, visit www.runmyprocess.com.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet, a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company, offers businesses an intuitive online project management and collaboration tool. The ease of use of the familiar spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing and work automation features, have made it a popular and highly functional business productivity app for teams. Smartsheet is used by thousands of organizations worldwide for managing all types of work including projects and tasks, operations, sales pipelines, events, marketing campaigns and more. Today, Smartsheet is a top-ranked app in the Google Application Marketplace and is integrated with leading web services such as Google Apps, Salesforce and VMWare’s Zimbra email. Located in Bellevue WA, the privately held company is backed by Madrona Venture Group, a leading venture capital firm. Visit http://www.smartsheet.com for more details.

Spanning

Founded in 2010, Spanning helps companies manage and protect their information in the cloud. Spanning Backup, the company’s flagship product, is the top-rated backup solution for Google Apps users and administrators. With support for Google Apps email, docs, calendars, and contacts, unlimited storage, 99.9% uptime SLA, and valuable usability features, Spanning Backup provides business-class, cloud-to-cloud backup for companies of all sizes. The company is backed by Foundry Group, and is based in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.spanning.com.

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More Stories By Cloud Sherpas

Cloud Sherpas [www.cloudsherpas.com] is a leading Google Apps Reseller, systems integrator and application developer. Our Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists have migrated tens of thousands of users from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps and Google App Engine. We help organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. SherpaTools for Google Apps [www.sherpatools.com] is a free app from Cloud Sherpas that enhances the functionality and ease-of-use of Google Apps for both administrators and end-users.

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