When it comes to Google Apps, venture capital firms seem to be falling in love with companies that work in and around Google's cloud software suite. Two prime examples: Cloud Sherpas continues to attract a brigher spotlight in the cloud services brokerage (CSB) market, and BetterCloud is turning heads in the cloud management market.

As Talkin' Cloud has reported:

Why should channel partners care? For starters, it's becoming clear that top channel partners need some custom software expertise in their portfolio. That expertise and know-how typically leads to higher company valuations, and an easier time navigating capital opportunities.

Also, the Google Apps Marketplace (where channel partners can find third-party tools that work with the cloud platform) seems to be maturing and expanding rapidly. BetterCloud is proof positive of that.

Now here's the irony: I think the Google Apps channel is expanding and thriving in many areas, but I don't hear as frequently from Google about its channel strategy. 

Neither Google nor its partners can rest on their laurels. After a somewhat turnulent start, Microsoft's Office 365 cloud partner program seems to have turned the corner, which should generate plenty of continued competition for months to come.

Still, I rarely see venture capital money flow into the Office 365 partner market. Right now, VCs seem to be opening their wallets wider for the Google partner ecosystem.