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Google's Enterprise Search Gets a Helping Hand

Google's Search Appliance offering for businesses may get a leg up in the enterprise thanks to the addition to a suite of add-ons that promise to greatly extend the scope of its searches.

The Google Search Appliance (GSA) can search deeper into different types of enterprise content with the addition of new Consulting company Adhere Solutions said its new All Access Connectors, released this week, can dramatically broaden Google Search Appliance's (GSA) capabilities. The offering is based on technology from Adhere's partner MuseGlobal, a content integration firm.

With the Connectors, MuseGlobal said GSA users will be able to search hundreds of millions of pages that the standard GSA couldn't. The Connectors promise to be able to tap into 5,400 sources, including internal and external databases, repositories, subscription content sources, data feeds and Web mining applications.

Search results can be presented by source, subject, data and other metadata categories.

"We gather, normalize and deliver a unified set of content from any internal or external resource whatever the location," Kristina Bivins, MuseGlobal's president, told InternetNews.com. "The All Access Connectors tie in very seamlessly with the Google Appliance; we see it as a way to improve workflow."

For example, Connectors include a wide range of sources from Dun & Bradstreet directories, the New York Times, an SAP ERP system or Microsoft Sharepoint, and other, more specialized content. The offering also works within systems' and sources' existing rights and privileges, which can be configured on installation.

The Connectors also supports automatic updates, as content changes from target sources.

The efforts continues moves by software vendors to look for ways to cash in on a robust and growing enterprise search market.

Research firm Gartner forecasts total software revenue worldwide from enterprise search will reach $989.7 million this year, up 15 percent from 2007.

By 2010, Gartner forecasts the market will have grown to $1.2 billion.

One way that Adhere and MuseGlobal plan to stand out in the crowd of vendors angling for a slice of the market is through ease of use and affordability.

Bivins said the solution requires no coding to implement, and could be a more cost-effective solution for companies who are also considering high-end enterprise search solutions from vendors like Autonomy and Endeca.

Price is based on the number of Connectors a company wants to license -- the greater the number of Connectors, the more sources of information GSA can link to. A starting price of $30,000 for up to ten Connectors includes installation and setup.

But IDC analyst Sue Feldman said it's not so much a question of one being a better solution than it is about meeting a particular customer's needs.

"Few people wake up deciding to do search all day," Feldman said. "The question is, 'What do you need to do?'"

"There are so many interesting search solutions that get lumped together, but you have to find the one that addresses your problem," she told InternetNews.com. "I would position [Adhere/MuseGlobal] as having connectors to all kinds of content sources that the GSA doesn't have the ability to get at. If you're trying to aggregate information, say for competitive intelligence, it's a promising way to go."

Adhere this week also announced that it has joined Google's Enterprise Program, which includes developers, consultants and independent software vendors providing value-added services for the search giant's enterprise products.