Google introduced on Tuesday a new version of its system to search for information locked inside an organization's key business systems, working with software makers including Oracle, Salesforce.com and Cisco Systems.
The new feature, known as "Google OneBox for Enterprise," is built into boxes Google sells to businesses. They help create custom search systems for employees inside organizations or for consumers on the company's own web site.
Google plans to allow corporate customers to create company-specific searches where employees can use the familiar Google search box to locate information such as contacts or calendars, employee benefits, sales leads or purchase orders.
"Over time Google has become a gateway for searching for all types of information," said Dave Girouard, General Manager of the company's enterprise business. "We have been doing this on the consumer side for years," he said.
Similarly, office workers using the new business software search feature inside companies using a Search Appliance, as Google's hardware product is known, will be able to narrow the search and seek specific types of office documents.
The move to customize how Google hardware searches inside popular software applications comes as the Search Appliance nears sales to its 4,000th customer, nearly double the 2,000 customers it counted in 2005's third quarter, Girouard said.
A company could set up a hundred different categories of custom searches for documents inside their organizations, with specific queries targets to particular employee groups.
Initial software partners include Cognos and SAS, suppliers of software used to uncover marketing trends in business databases along with Employease, an online supplier of employee benefits services but the scope of Google's effort is to embrace hundreds if not thousands of common software types.
Google will promote use of the new search feature by providing open access to developers to download the software, create new applications and share them with other developers.
In order to jump start use of its search software inside business, government and other private organizations, Google has worked with consulting partners such as BearingPoint and Persistent Systems to provide access to commonly used applications from SAP AG, Oracle's PeopleSoft, Microsoft Exchange and IBM's Lotus Notes.