Thousands of MSPs and VARs flock to traditional technology events each year -- from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) to the Cisco Partner Summit. I still find those events valuable. But I've also penciled in a new event on my calendar: The Google I/O conference. The reason: Google will start to describe how partners can become Google Wave Service Providers (GWSPs). Here are the details.

I have to concede: I'm having a difficult time keeping up with Google's various strategies -- from the Chrome OS initiative to various Google Apps efforts. I sense that Google is preparing to launch an enterprise-focused conference for CIOs, business leaders and partners. (Stay tuned; I'm still checking in with more sources.)

In the meantime, I'm keeping a close eye on the Google I/O conference, scheduled for May 19-20 in San Francisco.

Google Apps and Google Wave

Why? Two answers: Google Apps and Google Wave.

The conference will include multiple sessions that help enterprises and partners to better leverage Google Apps.

Google Wave, in stark contrast, is a collaboration and communications platform. So far, Google isn't doing much to promote Google Wave to channel partners. But I think that's set to change.

At the Google I/O conference, there's a Google Wave session, titled "Building Your Own Wave Provider." According to Google, the session will allow attendees to:
"Learn how to build your own wave service. Google is open sourcing the lion's share of the code that went into creating Google Wave to help bootstrap a network of federated providers. This talk will discuss the state of the reference implementation: the software architecture, how you can plug it into your own use cases -- and how you can contribute to the code and definition of the underlying specification."
Anybody else intrigued?

Reality Check

Outside of the paid search market, Google has had hit-and-miss success. Chrome (the browser) seems to be catching on. Chrome OS (the operating system) is a work in process. And Google Android (the smart phone operating system) seems like an emerging alternative to the iPhone.

On the applications front, more and more MSPs seem to be embracing Google Apps. I wonder if that trend will soon repeat itself with Google Wave.

I'll hunt for clues at the Google I/O conference.