Impact on the enterprise does not require an extensive search

Google has been quite vocal in its desire to compete with Microsoft for the hearts, minds—and desktops—of knowledge workers. To that end, it now offers Google Apps and Google Desktop, two sets of applications that some industry analysts have labeled Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook clones.

07/01/2007


Google has been quite vocal in its desire to compete with Microsoft for the hearts, minds—and desktops—of knowledge workers. To that end, it now offers Google Apps and Google Desktop, two sets of applications that some industry analysts have labeled Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook clones.

While these products don't seem to be inspiring mass defections from the Microsoft camp, Google is making inroads to the enterprise space with another set of applications built around its vaunted search capabilities.

These solutions, sold under the banner of Google Enterprise, are split into two branches. For small companies, there's Google Mini, which supports from 50,000 to 300,000 documents. For midsize to large companies, there's Google Search Appliance, which enables securely searching up to 30 million documents across enterprise systems.

The power behind both solutions stems from Google OneBox for Enterprise, a feature developed in partnership with leading enterprise application vendors. Introduced last year, Google OneBox allows secure access to—and the ability to search—information contained in a host of enterprise systems.

Application vendors partnering with Google to make specific data accessible and searchable through Google OneBox include:

  • Cognos for business intelligence data and performance metrics;

  • Employease for on-demand human resources (HR) information;

  • NetSuite for customer, product, financials, and business dashboards;

  • Oracle for access to HR, ERP, CRM, and supply chain management applications;

  • Salesforce.com for leads, opportunity status, contact, and account information; and

  • SAS for enterprise business intelligence.

Dave Girouard, VP and general manager, Google Enterprise, says Google OneBox is helping workers make informed decisions faster by offering a quicker path to relevant information.

“With Google OneBox for Enterprise, businesses can unlock virtually all their information simply and securely using the familiar Google interface,” he says. “With the help and cooperation of many of the world's leading enterprise application vendors, search is breaking down the silos of information inside businesses.”

Some say the proliferation of Google enterprise products is a more or less random collection of capabilities loosely related to search. Others see it as part of a master plan to dominate the enterprise. Certainly, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says his company has never competed against a company that is so much like itself.





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