Not content to offer just applications and search appliances to businesses, Google has launched its Solutions Marketplace, a listing site for third-party add-on products to Google Apps.
The marketplace allows software developers to post their applications in a catalog for business customers to browse. For example, listings on the site now show an offshore development service for customizing Google Apps and consulting services for small businesses.
The move is a bid to find more customers for Google Apps by encouraging third-party product development and sales, much the way that Microsoft has built an ecosystem of third-party add-ons around Office.
It also parallels what Salesforce.com has done with its AppExchange for its hosted applications.
on Monday that will let Salesforce resell Google Apps.
On the Solutions Marketplace, Google won't be hosting other companies' applications, as Salesforce does with AppExchange. But companies can create their own listings, and customers can review them.
According to TechCrunch, the Marketplace replaces a simpler Enterprise Solutions Gallery.
On the Official Google Enterprise blog, Scott McMullan, the Google Apps partner lead for Google Enterprise, said that it intends to expand the catalog.
"The Marketplace's initial focus is connecting customers of our communications and collaboration products like Google Apps and Enterprise search with 3rd parties that sell complementary products and services. But that's just a start. We expect to grow to fit the needs of an expanding set of Google customers and developers," he wrote.