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Google Bangs Application Drum

LAS VEGAS -- Google revealed more of its plans to crack the application market at Interop today, touting its new OneBox search appliance as way to change how firms access critical information.

During a keynote this morning, Dave Girouard, director of Google's enterprise division, explained that most firms have not tackled the key question of how their employees access data. "In the corporate market, in the enterprise, we are not delivering enough value to end users," he explained.

Simplicity, according to the exec, is currently lacking. "Employees are consumers, when they turn up for work in the morning, they don't suddenly turn into computer scientists that thrive on complexity," he says, adding that technology is generally designed with the business, rather than the end user, in mind.

The OneBox -- surprise, surprise -- is Google's attempt to tackle this problem. The device is essentially a rackable hardware unit capable of searching specific business applications, such as sales force automation, customer resource management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP). (See Google One-Ups Intranet Search and Google Intros OneBox.)

To illustrate this point, Girouard told Byte and Switch that the search giant currently has between 50 and 60 of the devices deployed behind Google, enabling users to search for the likes of FedEx packages and weather reports. "It has gone from being a search tool to what I would call an uber-command line interface to the world," explains the exec.

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