Google Searches for More Government Work

Is Google the next Halliburton? Google's looking for a few good Beltway insiders to sell the federal government more search engines.

New job postings by Google show that the search company plans to add more sales muscle to its Washington offices, suggesting that it has ambitions of doing even more business with the government than it currently does.

The firm is seeking a head of enterprise federal sales to establish and expand its present-day business with large federal customers, a federal sales engineer with a track record of selling to the U.S. government, and so on.

Google is already doing business with scores of federal agencies, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard and the Social Securities Administration.

"The federal sector has significant search and information needs," Matt Glotzbach, head of products for Google Enterprise, said in response to a question about the ads. "As we invest and grow that market, we are hiring top talent to build out the team."

Forrester Research recently reported that overall government IT spending will remain flat in 2006, presenting a very competitive situation for any government contractor.

While operating in a rather gloomy-sounding "do less with more era," government agencies are "frequently directing budget increases" at Web applications, Forrester wrote in its April findings.

/zimages/1/28571.gifIT firms are pressing the U.S. government for more funding. Read more here.

Commenting on the job ads, Angelo Embuldeniya wrote in a blog called Within Googles World that there are plenty of government agencies that might be interested in working with Google.

He also said he feels perhaps the rumors are true, and that Google and the U.S. Department of Defense are already doing business. A Department of Defense spokesperson did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about Googles conflict with the government over search terms.

Just what has Google got to sell to the government? Theres the lineup of its Mini search appliances, which range in price from $2,000 to more than $30,000, and which improve the search capabilities of computer networks found within corporations.

There are also tricked-out versions of Googles popular features, like Google Earth Enterprise, and the $400-per-user Google Earth Pro feature.

Google will be facing stiff competition from incumbents like BBN, a government contractor based in Cambridge, Mass., with search products to sell, and Fairfield, Conn., company TVEyes, which sells a video search engine that counts the Department of Defense as one of its biggest customers.

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