We contacted Google for an official comment and received the following statement:
“The Google Solutions Marketplace makes it easy for our customers to connect with an ecosystem of products and professional services. We’re constantly working with our partners to deliver more solutions to businesses, but we have nothing to announce at this time.”
Make what you will of the statement, but I interpret that to mean that Google already has an existing marketplace for its google apps customers and it’s called Google Solutions Marketplace.Google Solutions Marketplace launched in April 2008 to little fanfare, but is akin to what Salesforce.com has done with its AppExchange for its hosted applications.
The marketplace allows software developers to post their ‘solutions’ in a catalog for Google’s enterprise customers to browse through. For example, listings on the site now show an offshore development service for customizing Google Apps and consulting services for small businesses.
The fact that Google already has an App store of sorts does not however mean that we won’t see Google take its marketplace a step further with a launch of sorts in March as reported. The current store is more of a directory rather than a store, each solutions link takes the user to an off-Google website as opposed to another area of Google Apps. Also, the news solutions listed aren’t what you would expect from what we have come to know as an ‘App Store’ as such, many of the solutions are services or apps that merely link to a Google Apps product as opposed to deep integration on Google Apps itself.
If WSJ’s report proves true, and in fairness it often is, we may see a slicker more integrated store with opportunities for smaller developers as well as larger businesses to build apps specifically for Google Apps. This should also include integrated billing and payment options, something the current Solutions Marketplace does not include.