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Google Takes Enterprise Search Appliances to the Channel

Consumer search giant Google is entering a partnership with Ingram Micro Inc. to distribute the Google Search Appliance and the Google Mini, according to a Google blog entry on Wednesday.

"We're embarking on a partnership with Ingram Micro," wrote Rodrigo Vaca, Channel Marketing Manager for Google Enterprise in a posting Wednesday morning on the Google Enterprise blog. "One of the largest global distributors of technology products in the world, Ingram has extensive reseller relationships in Europe, Asia and Latin America that will help us deliver the power of search behind the firewall to businesses of all sizes, more efficiently and at a larger scale than we could on our own."

Vaca cited Ingram Micro's network of 165,000 worldwide network of retailers and resellers and its presence in SMB, government and education channels as key reasons for Google to choose Ingram as its distributor.

In a statement released later in the day, Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager for Google Enterprise, said, "This relationship with Ingram Micro marks an important milestone in the evolution of Google's enterprise search business, giving customers around the world better access to our products and support."

The Google Search Appliance is an integrated hardware and software device that crawls and indexes an enterprise's content for data in 220 file formats and 109 languages for quick retrieval via search. The devices are aimed at medium and large enterprises and start at $30,000. The Google Mini, designed for smaller organizations, starts at $1,995.

Ingram president and COO Kevin Murai called the announcement an important event for the channel. "This emerging relationship between Google and Ingram Micro marks the beginning of greater opportunities and benefits, especially for small and mid-sized business owners around the world," Murai said in a statement. "As Google makes a much anticipated entrance into the channel we look forward to contributing to Google's mission by making its products universally accessible."

Analyst Darren Bibby, who focuses on channel issues for Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, says Google's move into the channel has implications for Microsoft and its partners as Microsoft attempts to carve market share for itself in the enterprise search space, where Microsoft recently launched a new partner specialization.

"The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is two weeks away, and search is a big topic for Microsoft," says Bibby, adding that partners will have choices to make on enterprise search. "I think what Google has done here is real basic in terms of partnering. You're going to go with what's known as the consumer market leader in search, with a basic partner offering. Or you're going to go with Microsoft, which is fighting tooth and nail to catch up with that reputation, but then they've got a much more developed partner program and give partners lots of attention."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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