Google's enterprise discovery plan

By linking into leading on-demand vendors, Google's appliance becomes an agent of integrated search across internal applications and external services.
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

Several emails plopped in my inbox today from on-demand vendors who have introduced OneBox for Enterprise modules for the new Google Search Appliance.

This raises an interesting point about Google's strategy here. Some might see the purpose of the appliance as merely a means of bringing its search technology inside the enterprise. But by linking into leading on-demand vendors such as Employease, NetSuite and Salesforce.com, the appliance becomes an agent of integrated search across enterprise applications irrespective of whether they're an internal application or an external service. Emphasizing this capability plays to Google's strengths as a leader in on-demand services and will increase its appeal among enterprises that are already buying into the on-demand model for certain applications.

I see ZDNet's resident Google expert Garett Rogers is speculating on the prospects for similar appliances connecting to Gmail and Google Calendar. I look at it another way, and wonder when Google will be releasing modules that link the search appliance into its online applications. The beginnings of an integrated offering may well be of interest to these early adopters of on-demand, who presumably are already Google's hottest prospects as enterprise customers for its nascent applications suite.

But perhaps this isn't yet a deliberate strategy, otherwise Google would have taken the opportunity to rebrand its device. Search is such a Web 1.0 word. Whereas 'discovery' is one of The four application pillars of enterprise 3.0 identified by Dresdner Kleinwort's CIO JP Rangaswami. When the Google Discovery Appliance launches, then we'll really know that Google is getting serious about capturing the enterprise market. 

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