Google has struck a partnership with PwC in which the global provider of consulting services will recommend to its customers the Apps suite, Android devices and the Google cloud computing platform.
The deal comes at a time when Google is embroiled in tough fights in the enterprise markets for cloud email and collaboration suites, cloud computing services and mobile against rivals like Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and Apple.
Although Google has been a provider of enterprise products for about a decade, it still struggles against charges from competitors, especially from Microsoft, that it's primarily a consumer-focused company, and as such a risky bet for CIOs.
Deals like the PwC one announced on Tuesday help Google boost its enterprise vendor credentials, as it battles rivals with more experience and longer track records selling to businesses, like Microsoft and IBM.
For PwC, a closer relationship with Google puts it in a better position to cater to the needs of customers seeking to shift from IT infrastructures anchored on premises and in desktop PCs to cloud computing and mobility. The deal is bidirectional, so Google will also be referring customers to PwC.
In addition to pushing Google products to its customers, PwC will also eat some of the dog food, rolling out Apps for email, productivity and collaboration to 45,000 of its employees in the U.S. and Australia, and building new security monitoring services for its customers on top of the Google Cloud Platform infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service products.
The deal isn't exclusive, so both companies remain free to partner with each other's competitors, according to a Google spokeswoman, who also said that the companies aren't disclosing financial terms of the deal.
PwC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, so it's not known what email system it's ripping out in favor of Google Apps for 40,000 employees in the US. and 5000 in Australia.
PwC has a network of firms that provide assurance, tax and advisory services in 157 countries with a collective staff of almost 200,000 professionals.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.
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