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Google Sinks Hooks Deeper Into the Enterprise

The consumer search market is firmly in its grasp, so Google is digging deeper into the enterprise, with its recent announcement of the Google Search Appliance. The key feature is Google OneBox, which applies Google's top-of-the-search results approach to enterprise application data.

The upside for enterprises is easier access to information that resides in various business applications. For instance, typing in a PO number using an Oracle Financials OneBox module might pull up a synopsis of a purchase order right from the search appliance, without requiring the user to log onto separate systems.

The upside for Google is the potential to dominate enterprise search the same way it owns the consumer market. But Google can't do it alone. Indeed, Google's recent adoption of a partnership model--with more than 60 partners signed on to its Google Enterprise Professional Program--is critical to helping it further penetrate the enterprise. Employees (an on-demand HR management system vendor), Cognos, Netsuite7, Oracle, SAS and have OneBox modules (in some cases, multiple modules) available. Also getting into the game is BearingPoint, which has built some plug-ins for SAP and Peoplesoft, and two small consultancies building OneBox modules for Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange.

"In the corporate world, search engines are primarily focused on document systems and Web pages, but a lot of the important information resides in the business applications that run the company," says Dave Girouard, Google vice president and general manager, enterprise. "We want to broaden people's perspective on what search can mean, and make it the interface to all the information inside the company."