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Google brings enterprise search Down Under

Odds are if you've ever approached Google's Australia or New Zealand offices to buy one of the company's enterprise search appliance products, you'll receive a call about it soon. Although the products have been available internationally for some years, Google only started selling the products in Australia today.

Odds are if you've ever approached Google's Australia or New Zealand offices to buy one of the company's enterprise search appliance products, you'll receive a call about it soon.

Although the products have been available internationally for some years, Google only started selling the products in Australia today.

      Google Mini

The search giant has subsequently provided its new distributor ChannelWorx with a list of 200 potential customers who had previously been turned away.

"We received from Google a list across Australia and New Zealand of 200 people who'd been declined the opportunity to purchase a Google box," ChannelWorx sales and marketing director Paul Oxley told journalists at a media briefing today.

The products bring Google's famously simple search ethos to the vast array of information found on enterprise networks, allowing companies to search data stored on file servers in addition to in applications like Salesforce.com, Oracle, SAS and Cognos.

They come in two sizes, with the low-end Google Mini priced at AUD$4,965 and the more powerful Google Search Appliance at AUD$74,486.

Google has appointed distributor ChannelWorx to get the products to market. In addition, the search giant has partnered with consulting group BearingPoint to launch a search solutions practice for larger customers in the region.

ChannelWorx's Oxley said some of his company's partners such as Harris Technology had already started selling the Google products online.

"The level of interest has take us by shock ... the first boxes arrived in Australia yesterday, and we're shipping the first one today," he said.

"We expect there will be a volume-based market in the Mini," Oxley continued, noting the higher-end projects would be in BearingPoint's realm.

Kevin Gough, a product manager with Google, told journalists the company's enterprise division globally had around 4,000 active enterprise customers already, and saw greater than 100 percent sales growth in the area in 2005 compared with the previous year.

Despite Google having sold versions of its enterprise products in some international markets for at least four years, he said they had not previously been launched in Australia due to the need to find the right partners.

Gough said the products launched today were the most recent versions. "Australia really isn't lagged behind at all in terms of the latest features and functionality," he said.