Google Apps ISV partners Cloud Sherpas, Expensify, Insightly, Okta, RunMyProcess, Smartsheet and Spanning announced a strategic business and technology partnership, dubbed the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps. This alliance's self-appointed mission is to make it easier for Google Apps administrators to implement complimentary third-party cloud solutions.

Together, the members of the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps can offer IT administration, CRM, security and compliance, workflow and integration, expense management, identity management and project collaboration. And thanks to these integration and co-promotion efforts, customers who deploy one of these solutions are then pushed gently but firmly toward the others.

To be more specific, the participating vendors in the alliance are required to show "meaningful commitment," according to the press release. In addition to the deep integration requirements, "members must also develop and distribute free 'best practices' materials, including white papers and webinars.

Cloud Sherpas may be best known as a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, but its SherpaTools management suite definitely qualifies it for its seat as a founding member.

I'm more than intrigued -- the Secure Cloud Bundle, which also teamed up Google Apps ISVs, didn't go nearly as far as this long-term strategic alliance. And I wonder what the ripples in the developer community are going to look like.