Google has forged new partnerships with business software suppliers Oracle and Salesforce.com and others as it makes a big push into selling enterprise search features.
As previously reported, Google has also coupled with business intelligence software provider Cognos.
Essentially, the companies are now set to blend their features together through a new Google user interface, called a OneBox, thats now found at Google Base, Googles classifieds listings.
The first mashups will debut in the summer, according to some the firms involved.
"Were aiming to make enterprise search as comprehensive and useful as Web search," said Google Vice President Dave Girouard.
Google also unveiled a new version of its Mini corporate intranet search appliance. The latest wrinkle is its size (its the smallest Mini yet) and its cost, $2,000. The Minis are capable of making 25 queries per second, five times faster than others in the line-up.
Googles partnerships are with some big names in the enterprise software business, namely Oracle and Salesforce.com, plus small business software maker NetSuite Inc.,of San Mateo, Calif., and business intelligence provider SAS Institute, Inc. of Cary, N.C.
The new relationships with incumbent enterprise software specialists could help provide the connections to the established enterprise software players that Google needs to be taken more seriously.
"Googles enterprise search, to many people, seems to still feel like a here-today-gone-tomorrow offering," said Harry Collier, an Internet search expert and founder of search events company Infonortics, of Tetbury, England.
The partnerships highlight how Google, which is best known for its Internet search feature, also sells hardware and software aimed at businesses that want to use souped-up versions of Googles search features.
In this way, Google stands alone from its major rivals, Yahoo and Microsofts MSN Search engine, which tried and backed off enterprise versions of search.
Yet Google is giving it more than just a go. In a slumbering market for Internet search appliances, such as Googles lineup of Mini products, Googles 100 percent annual sales growth rate is unheard of.
At stake is the estimated $600 million annually that corporations spend to improve their computer networks search and collaboration capabilities. Enterprise search falls into the category of "workforce optimization." Analysts at Datamonitor predict $1 billion in sales of such services and gear by 2006.
Googles enterprise division has about 2,000 corporate clients, which ranks far behind that of Verity, the market leader owned by Autonomy, which has an estimated 15,000 corporate clients, and Fast Search & Transfer, another enterprise search leader.