"Google" and "enterprise" are two words that traditionally don't go together very well. "It doesn't intuitively make sense," Google Enterprise general manager Dave Girouard told several hundred audience members yesterday at the Interop conference.
Girouard, who is responsible for Google's enterprise business, including sales, marketing, product development and customer support, said the company guides itself by trying to solve "very big problems" that affect millions and millions of people wherever they may be.
"We feel if we can do that right the business will follow," he said.
Although the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has made its name, and billions, as an innovative search firm, it has made it known it doesn't plan to stay stagnant in that space.
"People always want to put a label on Google," Girouard said. "We are never really entirely comfortable with any label other than we are an information company."
And how that information is gathered and disseminated continues to evolve for the search giant. For starters, Google now runs one of the most popular blogging services, Blogger, and operates Picasa, an application to organise, edit and share photos, said Girouard.
Gmail is another non-search service in Google's game plan that is increasingly popular. And earlier this year the company launched Google Talk, its instant-messaging service, as well as the social-networking service, Orkut.
From an enterprise perspective, however, Google is leaning on its upgraded Google Search Appliance (GSA) to help customers strengthen and simplify search on their intranets and websites.
The world of desktop search has placed enterprise in a unique, and perhaps precarious position of not keeping pace with its counterparts, said Girouard.
"You can easily find all the information you want about the migration habits of peacocks, but finding a document or piece of information that resides within your own company has become more difficult," Girouard said.
"It is intrinsically strange why that ought to be, but it is clearly the case today," he added.
And with the release of GSA last year, the long-time search leader may be getting a little more comfortable with the enterprise label by giving more attention to the needs of enterprises.
"This program allows companies to upgrade both their internal and public-facing search solutions all in one quick step," Girouard said.
Google aims to put enterprise search into the servers of small and medium-sized businesses with the release of the $5,000 appliance. More than 2,000 businesses worldwide use Google's integrated hardware and software search solution, according to the company.
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