Google Search Appliance Sales Up 200 Percent

Google has announced that sales of its Google Search Appliance (GSA) increased 200 percent over the course of the last year. The enterprise-focused product, which integrates hardware and software into a stand-alone appliance dedicated to search technology, first became available early last year.

Google also provided a list of high-level business and government entities that have installed the GSA for use on their own intranets and the Internet. They include the U.S. Army, Nextel Communications, Xerox, Procter & Gamble and the City of San Diego.

Debbie Jaffe, GSA product manager at Google, told the E-Commerce Times that she believes several factors have contributed to the GSA’s success, most notably its capability for quick deployment.

“It is automated [and] ready to use out of the box,” Jaffe said. “You plug it into your network, and it is up and crawling in less than an hour.”

Large Businesses Targeted

According to Jaffe, the GSA’s target market is primarily Fortune 5000 companies, large government entities and universities. However, midsize businesses and divisions within larger organizations also have deployed the appliance.

Although most GSA deployments are intended for use on network intranets, the device also can be used for site searches on the Internet, Jaffe added. For example, most university deployments are set up for public searches, and the City of San Diego is using its GSA to provide visitors and city residents with the ability to locate information about the city and services related to it online.

Leveraging the Enterprise

Yankee Group analyst Michael Kelleher told the E-Commerce Times that Google appears to be leveraging its huge consumer brand and technology, in conjunction with its widely praised search technology, to increase revenue opportunities in the increasingly lucrative enterprise space.

Kelleher said he thinks the GSA could work well within an enterprise intranet because of the technology developed for Internet searches. Internal intranets tend to have specific parameters that make searches less difficult than searches on the Web.

Surplus of Synergies

Meanwhile, Jaffe noted that significant synergies exist between Google’s enterprise and consumer operations — and the GSA clearly benefits from them.

For example, the ways in which enterprise users search for data do not differ much from tactics used by consumers. Google therefore has been able to use expertise gained in the consumer market to make the GSA work powerfully and simply at a low price point, Jaffe said.

Google currently offers three versions of the GSA, with prices starting at US$28,000. The price includes two years of support and software updates.

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