UPDATE: Google Launches Enterprise Partner Program - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

02:47 PM
Connect Directly

UPDATE: Google Launches Enterprise Partner Program

Google today introduces Google Enterprise Professional, a partner program for developers, consultants, and independent software vendors interested in extending Google's enterprise search capabilities and in delivering complementary technology and services to Google enterprise customers.

In its campaign "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," Google Inc. is searching for allies.

The search company said it plans today to introduce Google Enterprise Professional, a partner program for developers, consultants, and independent software vendors interested in extending Google's enterprise search capabilities and in delivering complementary technology and services to Google enterprise customers.

There are some 2,000 such customers at the moment, according to Dave Girouard, general manager of Google's enterprise business. That's up more than 100% since last year. "The business is doing really well," he says. "It's, in fact, accelerating. It continues to be very profitable."

By Girouard's count, his unit contributes several million dollars a quarter to Google's coffers, hardly enough to eclipse the company's staggering ad-sales revenue, but respectable nonetheless.

Enterprise search competitors have long suggested that Google's popular search technology isn't up to the complexities of returning relevant results from the variety of data found in company IT systems. Its famed PageRank algorithm is effective because it leverages links created by the Internet community as votes to evaluate relevance on the Web. Since there's no analogous structure inside enterprise systems, competitors argue that Google can't match search technology specifically tuned for use inside the firewall.

That's not a point Google will concede, though Girouard acknowledges that enterprise search is still largely an unsolved problem. "We're definitely seeing situations where customers are having great success and once they have Google Search in their company, employees are asking for more," he says. "They want to get more content in there, more legacy data. And that gets into areas where we don't have expertise, so a lot of this [is] about partners that can help drive the Google search deeper into these companies, into data silos and locations and environments where they have more expertise than we do."

It may be tempting to spin Google's outreach initiative as an admission of weakness inside the firewall -- Google's success of late has competitors hurling epithets and chairs, and they'd no doubt welcome some setbacks. But IDC analyst Sue Feldman interprets the move as a sign of maturity. "When software companies arrive, they very often develop a partner program," she explains, pointing to other companies with similar programs including IBM, Microsoft, and Verity.

It's also a move that follows the money, specifically federal dollars: Google by its own account has been doing well in Washington, but has been constrained in how it can serve customers that deal with classified information. Its engineers lack the security clearance to enter many intelligence and defense facilities. That's where partners with federal connections, like Herndon, Va.-based LMN Solutions, come into play.

More broadly, government agencies are likely to be receptive to Google's search hardware because of its low cost, ease of use, and ease of installation. Various E-government mandates also require federal agencies to make their documents accessible online, and Google's boxes make that possible without budgetary contortions or epic integration battles.

But once Google gets in the door, that's just the beginning. "We don't pre-announce things," Girouard says, "but we certainly believe that once you have a bright, shiny Google box in your data center, or, for that matter, a Google search application on your desktop inside a big company, getting the next application on the desktop or the next box in the data center is a lot easier."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
9 Steps Toward Ethical AI
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/15/2019
How to Assess Digital Transformation Efforts
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  5/14/2019
Is AutoML the Answer to the Data Science Skills Shortage?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/10/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll