Google Inc. last week made a bid to increase its adoption as an enterprise search standard by instituting a new licensing scheme that will give enterprises more search at a lower cost.
The new licensing chiefly affects the Google Mini appliance, effectively doubling the Google Minis document capacity while nearly halving the price. The Google Mini now will be able to search up to 100,000 company documents, up from 50,000 under the previous licensing, at a cost of $2,995, down from $4,995. This price includes one year of support. The cost for the second year of support will drop from $2,500 to $995.
The Google Search Appliance capacity jumps to 500,000 documents, up from 150,000, with the license price dropping from $32,000 to $30,000, including two years of support.
The licensing change "couldnt have come at a better time," said John Neubauer, legal administrator at Blitman & King LLP, a law firm in Syracuse, N.Y. In a little more than a month of using the Google Mini, Neubauer found that the appliance exceeded his expectations of how easily it could search documents, including documents in users private network directories and hard-copy documents scanned as PDFs.
"Now that Ive been doing this and Ive got the thing crawling, Im already at the edge of my license—45,000 documents," Neubauer said. "Theyre expanding that out, and Im pretty excited about that."
The licensing change means that not only will the firm not have to upgrade to the Google Search Appliance, but it also will pay a lower price for the Google Mini.
The appliance has also saved the firm from having to deploy a full-scale document management system, which Neubauer said would require a user buy-in to use the product properly and save documents in specific folders that are often hard to get.
"Here, weve bypassed the whole buy-in process," he said. "Using the same interface [as Google.com], you do a basic search, and you can pluck out documents in a heartbeat. Its really pretty amazing," he said. Google, in Mountain View, Calif., will change customers over to the new licensing scheme automatically, but refunds will not be issued to customers who paid the previous licensing fee, company officials said.
Company officials also said that a Google enterprise desktop search product is "in the works" and that an announcement will be made "in the not-too-distant future."