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Issue of June 2006 

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Google eyeing enterprise apps

While Dave Girouard, GM, Enterprise, Google may easily be able to convince your average Internet user about Google’s capacities as a search engine, it still remains to be seen whether enterprises and large corporations will buy into the company's plan of becoming the primary search interface for all enterprise applications.

They plan to provide an updated version of their search appliance with a feature called ‘OneBox Enterprise’ to corporations. Google aims at working with various business application vendors like Cognos, IBM, Information Builders Inc (IBI), Oracle, and SAS Institute to create tables and software which could hold corporate data. The objective behind this effort is to solve information access problems in the enterprise, working in much the same way as most search engines do on the Internet.

With Google entering the enterprise segment, organisations may be able to use their already existing applications such as CRM, BI and others optimally by making information stored in them searchable through one common OneBox appliance. Data from outside the organisation such as deals with other companies can also be found through the search appliance.

As per Google, the one reason for an organisation to choose this search appliance over simple BI is that BI tools need to be directed to the data. Whereas Onebox will be able to project the data right to the user, thus cutting down on the process and the cost of training users for utilising the appliance.

There is however the issue of branding which might play as a downside. The bigger application providers in the enterprise section may not want to lose their brand names and therefore market presence by relinquishing their own interfaces to Google.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is planning to develop a ‘Duet’ search appliance in collaboration with SAP to search data from individual enterprise systems.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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