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Google's Gambit

2:10 PM -- It's easy to glance at Google's latest announcement and miss the point. (See Google One-Ups Intranet Search.) After all, what's the big deal about searching the corporate database? Don't vendors like Oracle already offer their own search interfaces?

Not exactly. If you have an intranet based on Oracle, Cognos, or SAS, you already know it's a full-time job to maintain the software. And it's more work to maintain your marriage to the integrator and/or consulting firm charged with making these high-end corporate products do what you need them to do.

That goes for creating a unified interface.

Consider the problem: Say an employee wants to search several corporate databases with a single query -- client name, accounting, human resources, corporate travel, to name just a few. You may be looking at millions of dollars in fees to get that query to yield a list of coherent answers on a desktop or laptop.

That can be a hard sell to higher-ups.

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