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4/21/2006
06:08 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Google's Got Its Business-Casual Khakis On

It's never been completely clear how seriously Google takes its enterprise IT business. Its latest search appliance leaves little doubt.

It's never been completely clear how seriously Google takes its enterprise IT business. Its latest search appliance leaves little doubt.Of course, the smart people working on it directly take it weekly-paycheck seriously. And their execs say all the right, supportive things. But when Google's last Desktop Search came out, the business version had the feel of an afterthought. It had a lot of the functions businesses would want--especially controls to turn off data sharing--but Google didn't offer the business version until after a huge scare went up about the risks of using the consumer version at work. Think that kind of black cloud helped any business IT pros advocating for its widespread use?

This week's announcement around its appliance feels different, from the heavyweight partners to the hard sell on the broad value it could bring businesses. This shows just how serious Google is about getting itself in front of people's eyeballs at work.

Google says it makes about 1% of its revenue on its enterprise business. That would be about $22 million in its most recent quarter, putting it on pace to easily be a $100 million business this year, even if it doesn't keep to the 100% growth rate it says it had last year. That's pocket change for a $2.25 billion-a-quarter company. But it's got me convinced Google is very serious about enterprise IT.

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