Google Enterprise Search is serious business

Is Google Enterprise Search a joke or a godsend?

In a recent blog, Donna Bogatin wrote:

Why can’t Google make any serious money in Enterprise Search? ...

Google does not have a winning Enterprise Search case. ...

Google was not only the talk, but the joke, of the Enterprise town. ...

From keynote information expert insights to blustery IT consultant pitches, Google was a target of derision [at the Enterprise Search Summit]. ...

Speaking as a user of Google Enterprise Search, I don't really care if they make "serious money" at it or not. I just care about the fact that it's darned useful. Without an intranet search solution, it's next to impossible to find anything in a large organization. Information is storied in silos in every possible location and format. Ubiquitous full text search brings it all together and makes it accessible.

In my view, Google has executed well in the Enterprise Search area. IT managers appreciate the turn-key search-in-a-box ease of use and remote diagnostics that can be enabled if a problem crops up. Search pages are highly customizable - you can even add your own keyword types for data that is structured in some way (for example department names, open or closed status, etc.). They even have a developer's toolkit for teaching the search engine how to reach inside third party or proprietary data stores.

While Google may have its roots strongly in the consumer space, many of the lessons it's learned there such as search speed and scalability are applicable for the enterprise as well. I've tried other search solutions in the past, mostly hand cobbled together from open source software, but always ran into walls. As far as I'm concerned, Google Enterprise Search is a godsend.