Google has long offered enterprise clients Google Search Appliance, a yellow box that resembles a slice of Swiss cheese that can index any enterprise data generated by Oracle databases, SAP systems, SharePoint, Salesforce.com, HR systems, intranets, wikis, and more, and presents it to employees in a familiar Google-like interface. Based on a standard Dell server and powered by Xeon 5500 Series processors from Intel, the latest version can index 30 million documents. Today, Google is updating GSA so that users can search across its stored documents as well as data in the cloud within one search interface.
Cloud Connect for the Google Search Appliance allows workers search across both on-premise and cloud-based content from a single search box. So Google Apps users can access results from Google Docs and Google Sites alongside results from data stored in the Search Appliance. Cloud Connect also allows users search content from Twitter, as well as blogs and industry websites via Google Site Search.
The new feature is really optimal for businesses who are using both GSA and Google Apps (more than 3 million businesses are now using Google Apps as their productivity and email suite).
The new version os GSA also includes People Search, which allows users to find experts and coworkers who have a specialization or expertise in particular search queries. For example, a search for “field marketing” would result a list of field marketing team members alongside other indexed content and cloud date relating to the query. Organizations can index personnel information like department, interests, expertise and location.
Additionally, Google has added a dynamic navigation feature, which was a top user request, that allows users to specify into search results based on search modifiers for their queries. The Search Appliance now supports Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 content out of the box without the need for additional connectors.
Google has updated its enterprise search offerings with to be more scalable and is seeing a steady rise in customers over the past few years. As of last year, Google had 25,000 enterprise search customers. I’m assuming this number has increased. Clearly this latest version is a way to integrate Google Apps, and perhaps encourage current GSA users to switch over to Google Apps for a better search experience.