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August 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 3
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Google Enterprise Search

By Rich Tehrani,
CEO, Technology Marketing Corp

One of the constants in the enterprise is a proliferation of systems and data, which is directly responsible for increase in storage needs. This last fall, in fact, IDC predicted a 62% CAGR for unstructured data. Moreover enterprise storage as a whole is predicted to increase tenfold between 2005 and 2011.

The research varies from firm to firm, but it is obvious that the data collected by organizations of all sizes has tremendous value and, creating a need for a means of tapping into this massive treasure trove of information.

One company looking to be your enterprise search vendor is, not surprisingly, Google. I spent some time last week meeting with Vijay Koduri, Solutions Marketing Manager at Google Enterprise, regarding the need for better enterprise search tools in corporations today.

Utilizing search appliances, Google puts its search technology to work for your business allowing you to find the crucial needle in the data haystack both quickly and efficiently. Koduri explains the biggest competitor to Google Enterprise search is no search and, moreover, less than 25% of companies employ enterprise search.

Another interesting nugget is that Gartner says 66% of enterprises have six or more separate data repositories, meaning employees need to search across each repository to get the answers they need. He added that some companies think they have enterprise search but instead what they have is search functions on a few of their disparate systems.

Vijay spent some time making the case for the technology his company sells through Google Search Appliances, bright yellow rack mount devices. He started by going back to the history of search. He explained Yahoo started to categorize websites but the job quickly became too big and a search engine was needed. Google became the de facto search engine, as no good alternatives existed.

He then went on to explain that now that Google exists he is able to use it to check the status of flights without having to go to individual sites and remember separate URLs. In a similar manner he says users no longer have to worry about which app holds the data but more importantly they can just use Google as a front end.

In fact, the company uses their own appliances internally. When tracking trouble tickets, you just enter a company name to see what tickets exist. He mentioned the tremendous productivity boost enterprise search can bring to an organization and, in fact, as you can imagine, the company is looking to deploy its technology in contact centers, as this is a natural place for technology that can speed customer interaction, boosting CRM levels and allowing more efficient agent utilization.

In fact, Vijay recently partook in a Google-sponsored TMC webinar where he discussed the virtues of enterprise search as it applies to contact centers.

Google is taking contact centers seriously and Vijay told me it is gaining traction with Google Apps in contact centers, as they are very lightweight tools. This makes sense. When you are outfitting a contact center with hundreds or thousands of computers, the inherent savings in purchasing computers with less horsepower, utilizing cloud-based apps that reduce license fees can really add up.

Most recently, the company rolled out the 6.0 version of its Search Appliance, which has a new architecture called (GSA), ndesigned to scale to billions of documents. In addition, the GB-9009 is a new appliance capable of searching 30 million documents; the GB-7007 can now reach 10 million documents. Other benefits of this new release are social search features allowing user-added results, more customizable security, and relevancy fine tuning.

From my perspective, I see no end in sight for the exponential growth of enterprise data and, if you look into the future, where all voice mails will be archived and meetings will be recorded via audio or video, there will be just that much more information that can be useful in corporations. As the proliferation continues, it seems obvious enterprise search will achieve penetration in the 75% plus ranging, meaning there is significant opportunity ahead for vendors in this space.

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