Google Takes Search Appliances to the Streets

Thursday Jun 28th 2007 by Dan Muse
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The search engine giant today announced an agreement with Ingram Micro to distribute the Google Mini and Google Search Appliance.

If the fact that Google sells search appliances to index and search your internal documents is news to you, that may soon change. You can expect to see a lot more of the Google Mini and Google Search Appliance as they make their way to store shelves and shopping sites.

Google today announced that it is partnering with Ingram Micro to distribute the Google Mini and Google Search Appliance. The search appliances are designed to let you implement Google search technology behind your company's firewall.

You can, for example, find and retrieve information stored on an intranet, Web server, file server, content management system and other locations. The appliances support more than 220 different file formats and more than 100 languages.

The goal of agreement with Ingram Micro is to help Google reach small businesses as well as government agencies and schools, according to Rodrigo Vaca, channel marketing manager of the Google Enterprise. "We've been working on the deal for about a year," he said.

Until now, most Google Mini customers have bought the appliance directly through Google's Web site and most Search Appliance customers came via the company's direct sales force. Vaca said Google currently has about 9,000 search customers, but that's just scratching the surface.

"Don't get me wrong. We're super excited about our milestone of 9,000 customers." Vaca said. "But there's so much potential. We've seen the amount of revenue and number of customers increasing."

Ingram Micro, according to Vaca, brings experience in logistics, channel strategies, support and ways to reach small businesses. The distribution arrangement is not exclusive, Vaca said. "We had some deals in place already. This will complement those," he said. "But we don't anticipate signing a similar deal."

"This emerging relationship between Google and Ingram Micro marks the beginning of greater opportunities and benefits, especially for small and mid-sized business owners," said Kevin Murai, chief operating officer, Ingram Micro in a written statement released today.

The Google Mini and Search Appliance are preloaded with Google's search software. After you index your servers, employees and/or customers can, for example, search for company documents or product information.

The Mini is aimed at small businesses and prices start at $1,995 for the capability to index 50,000 documents. The Search Appliance starts at $30,000 for the capability to search 500,000 documents. Vaca said he doesn't anticipate pricing changes, but resellers can set whatever price they choose.

According to Google, Ingram Micro has assigned a licensing desk to manage all orders for both physical products and licenses, and is working with Google to train the Ingram Micro Technical Support Department on the capabilities of the products.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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