Consumerization of enterprise technology is the way to both employee happiness and better decision making, was the Google Enterprise message conveyed this morning at the “Enterprise Search Summit” underway in New York City, courtesy of Kevin Gough, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Google Enterprise.
Enterprise IT is “falling behind," Gough asserted. It is not the hard working enterprise IT professionals (the executives that hold the keys to IT budgets) that are at fault, however, Gough assured. No, it is the “IT industry” that is behind the times and both software and hardware need to “catch up with what is going on in the consumer market,” fast.
In a presentation headlined “Search as a Decision Making Tool,” Gough made the Google case for why its Enterprise Search products “bridge the gap” between consumer technology and business technology.
Gough graphed a “hockey stick strange phenomenon,” to illustrate his thesis that while user technology satisfaction in the consumer space is on the rise, user technology satisfaction in the enterprise has not kept pace.
Gough warned that business technology is losing the “innovation race,” to the likes of consumer favorites YouTube, MySpace, Tivo, and AOL Instant Messenger…
Not to worry, however, search can “help bring business technology back,” Google Enterpise Search that is.
“Experience the joy of offering your team the products they already know and love!,” is the familiar Google Enterprise refrain:
Users are spoiled by the experience and ease of use they get while searching information on Google.com. They wonder why they have to spend so much time looking around in different places for the enterprise information they need to do their jobs. After all, they can find all the information “out there” through a single box, the Google search interface.
Gough believes enterprises ought to give their users the “interface they are familiar with and using on a daily basis”; Search in business can have the same impact as search on the Web, if Google is invited into the enterprise.
Google’s success on the Web has created new user expectations within the enterprise as well, Gough asserted, which is driving a move towards the consumerization of the enterprise.
Google Enterprise Search advantages, according to Gough: Easy User Interface, Speedy Results, Massive Storage and, for “better decision making,” Google OneBox for Enterprise.
A new feature of the Google Search Appliance and Google Mini, Google OneBox for Enterprise delivers relevant, real-time information from enterprise sources, such as CRM, ERP and business intelligence systems, based on a user's search query. Google OneBox for Enterprise can provide users with secure access to everything from simple phone book listings to graphs of inventory levels and sales trends. Current OneBox partners include Cisco, Cognos, Employease, Netsuite, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS - and the list keeps growing. Google OneBox for Enterprise will help your users:
Make informed decisions faster - Easily and access real-time information from enterprise systems using a single search box.
See the big picture - View all sides of an issue with relevant information from multiple systems presented in a unified user interface.
Focus on what's important - See only OneBox results that are relevant to their search query.
View only the appropriate information - Securely access only the content that they are allowed to see, respecting all access control capabilities of the respective enterprise systems.
Access even more data sources - We're launching with a great set of OneBox partners. Better still, we've made it easy to build your own OneBox module to reach your specific data sources.
Gough proudly noted Google CEO Eric Schmidt privileged Google Enterprise at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week, touting it will be “Search, Ads and Apps” for Google from here on in.
In the Q & A, I asked Gough how Google Enterprise specifically intends to accelerate its growth within Google, given that, to date, Google Enterprise has not had a “material” impact on Google, according to Google’s SEC flings.
Google Enterprise has been around for five years, has “more than” 7000 customers and a cross functional team of about 300, Gough said. Nevertheless, Google Enterprise sales still account for less than 1% of Google’s revenues.
I asked Gough how Google will be able to significantly grow Google Enterprise revenues, given the core products have 1) low price points and 2) no services income stream.
Gough expressed confidence in Google Enterprise’s ability to continue to execute on its mission of further enhancing its business offerings for “robust, scalable and secure search across virtually all the information in a company.” Business friendly implementations are also a focus, such as SLAs and 99.9% uptime guarantees, Gough noted.
Gough also believes the low price point of Google Enterprise offerings make them a “natural extension” for Google’s existing small business AdWords customers. Google continues to rely on word of mouth buzz, as well.
On the Google Apps front, I asked Gough if on June 1, 2007, Google Apps Premier will be “for fee.”
Gough told me, “We will be announcing a Google Apps for fee plan very soon.”