Ingram Micro: Get Your Google Here

Google is good at a lot of things: Search, Web applications, online advertising, for example.

But distributing hardware to the small-to- medium business, small and medium enterprise, as well as government and education channels is not considered among its stronger suits.

That’s why Google selected Ingram Micro  to distribute Google Mini and the Google Search Appliance to those channels going forward, Rodrigo Vaca, channel marketing manager, Google Enterprise, told

“We usually have massive scale on the Internet that allows us to scale. It turns out that the enterprise business is different. We’re dealing with a hardware-based product that we need to distribute offline and we need to convince customers to buy the product.” Vaca said. “That’s why we decided to go the channel route.”

Google said it partnered with Ingram to boost “key competencies” in sales, reseller credit, marketing, technical support and logistics in order to reach target markets.

Google Mini and the Google Search Appliance are essentially Google’s version of search-in-a-box, designed to discover and retrieve information stored on a corporate Internet, Web server, file server, content management system and other locations. The Google Mini is designed for Web site search and for small to medium-sized businesses and Google Search Appliance is intended for mid-market and other data and e-file intense organizations such as legal firms, finance companies and medical offices. Google said more than 9,000 companies already use the products.

Starting today, both appliances are available to qualified Ingram Micro solution providers in the United States. The are plans for a phased rollout in other regions at a later date. And though the deal is not an exclusive partnership, Vaca said Google is “fully committed to making this a success.”

Certainly, Google’s invested time. Vaca said Google and Ingram began discussing a deal over a year ago. In the process, he said the online search giant learned a lot about channel distribution.

“When you’re in a direct sales mode, that creates a mindset inside the organization about sharing information and how you can train your sales people. When you’re working with a disconnected sales force, you need to be more strategic about how you approach training, what markets you’re going to target.”

In related Google news, the company today updated it’s Docs & Spreadsheets product. On a blog post touting the update, Google said it added a sidebar with folders, new automatic document sorting functions and better search.

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