Web search engine powerhouse Google Inc. is more aggressively pursuing efforts to bring its consumer Internet technologies to the enterprise, including hiring for the first time a general manager for its enterprise business.
After introducing its Google Search Appliance two years ago, the company has more than 500 customers using the hardware-software-support solution, according to Dave Girouard, the new general manager of Google Enterprise.
But with Google branching off into new technology directions, including Weblogs, news and online shopping portals, personalized search and its new Gmail Webmail service, Girouard, who joined the company in early March, has been entrusted with speeding adoption in the enterprise of technologies that have been developed and tested with the consumer market in mind.
"My goal is to move the technology we develop for our Web site to the enterprise and get it in front of people at their desktops," Girouard said in Mountain View, Calif.
"Its too early to say what well be bringing to the appliance, but we definitely have some things under consideration," added Girouard, who came to Google from rich-media software developer Virage Inc. The company, where he was senior vice president of marketing and business development, was acquired by knowledge-management software developer Autonomy Corp. last year.
Girouard said Googles enterprise business is growing in revenue and in customers. "Its becoming an important part of our business."
Google Enterprise customers use the search appliance for public Web sites and for private intranets, often offering an integrated search experience with Googles Web search engine, Girouard said. The search appliances interface is similar to the Web sites.
"It has a lot of familiarity from the end-user perspective," Girouard said. "From the administrators perspective, its fast and easy to deploy and monitor."
The search appliance was built with technology developed at Googles Web site, a model that the company plans to continue as it expands its enterprise business, Girouard said. Some technologies have trickled back the other way, such as support for searching different file formats on Google.com, a feature originally developed for the enterprise product.
"The general modus operandi of our company is that most of the development is done in Google.com, and we take advantage of that, so that it can immediately become part of our product," Girouard said.