Latest Google may not challenge enterprise search

Latest Google may not challenge enterprise search

By Mark Chillingworth

Google the king of Internet search has released its latest enterprise search system, but the local market doesn't think Google has the answer.

"If they are targeting the SME market, it will be a small S. You can get to seven million documents fairly quickly with email. Their focus is too narrow."

The latest Google Search Appliance, dubbed the GB-5005, joins the existing GB-8008 as a Linux based product for businesses looking to install a search facility to their intranet. Improvements to the new Google include the ability to search secure content, a first for Google, an increase in capacity with Google now able to search seven million documents, up from three million. Administrators can now also create two layers of searchable information; a top layer which consists of all your important documents, this would be able to up-dated hourly, whilst the second layer would only receive updates on a daily basis. New clustered hardware consists of five clustered servers. They are offering the system on a 'try before you buy' basis.

"It strikes me as fairly narrow. The functionality they offer on the Net is fine as you can search everything using HTTP, but in an enterprise you need to be able to look for a greater variety and get inside systems like Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange," said Ian Davies, managing director of Odyssey Developments, a local search specialist. He doesn't believe Google have got something the business community really needs.

"Their data volume is so low. The real Google does billions of pages, seven million documents is a tiny amount," he said.

Commentators in the USA have stated that Google needs to break into the enterprise market in preparation for a change in consumer habits on the Internet. But Mr Davies does not see a real threat to his market share coming from Google.

"If they are targeting the SME market, it will be a small S. You can get to seven million documents fairly quickly with email. Their focus is too narrow," he said. Adding, "It is a half-hearted effort. Searching protected documents is late to market; they are a couple of steps behind the market."

Mr Davies doesn't agree with the American commentator's prediction that Google needs to move into the enterprise market. His reason is that Google has remained the top search engine for a very long time, yet when the Internet boom happened, every month witnessed a new search engine which was better than the last. Google has bucked this trend and remains as popular as ever, and their business model is much sounder than previous dot-coms.

"I am surprised when they are ahead in the Net by a long chalk, the number two, who ever that is, isn't worth talking about. I don't think Google is a fashion item, they will remain at the top unless they shoot themselves in the foot - by losing focus for example."

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