Posted by Ryan Pollock, Product Marketing, Google Enterprise

Just two years ago we made enterprise search technology accessible to small business when we released the Google Mini, and it was only last April that we revamped the Mini with a new design and more powerful features. And yet, we were convinced that we could deliver even more technology and a better experience to our users.

Today we're pleased to announce some Mini innovations that mean large improvements for the Mini's use on your intranet or public website. We've also added features that will let you search the business applications across your enterprise for an affordable price - big business power in the same Mini package.

The most frequent request we heard from our intranet users was the ability to search across various data sources that weren't websites. We previously introduced a feature called OneBox for Enterprise in the Google Search Appliance, and now our engineers have squeezed it into the Mini's small but powerful package. OneBox allows users to search across various systems --, Oracle, and Cognos to name just a few -- all from the same search box. Results are delivered in real time.

We also introduced the notion of document-level security into the search results. The Mini can crawl and serve search results for sites protected by HTTP Basic and NTLM v1 and v2 security and can integrate with your LDAP system. This enables both authentication and authorization at serve time, so you can make sure individual users see only the results they have clearance to access.

For those customers who use the Mini on public websites, we integrated with Google's webmaster tools. A new administrative interface makes it simple to add Google Analytics tracking code to your search pages, so you can better understand how visitors search your website. And to help more accurately index your public website, the Mini auto-generates a Sitemap file that helps us learn which pages are most important to you and how often those pages change.

Existing customers can upgrade their Google Minis through our support website. If you don't already have a Mini, check it out.


How do you measure the value of a CM / DM system? Do you measure it by its purchase price? The time it takes to deploy? The cost of maintaining it over time? Or do you tend to measure it more subjectively - do you calculate the benefit to your organisation in terms of its potential efficiency and productivity in time saving and document location?

Whichever way you calculate the value of your systems, your users may have a very different view of the world and ask just one simple question: What Can It Do For Me? And the truth of the matter is, if what is on offer is not as effective, as quick, or as easy as their current behaviours of ringing around to find documents or duplicating work, then users will feel underserved and adoption will undoubtedly suffer. Which of course will have disastrous effects on value, whichever way you calculate it.

This was just the case with the Hampshire Police, here in England, who spent £11m (well over $20m USD) during 2 years in their customization a much needed records management system aimed at making the working lives of county's police more pleasant and productive. But, it missed simply because it was just too difficult to use and too time consuming to learn how to use. So the net result here was that officers just simply chose not to use the system, leaving a large hole in the budget and even larger one in the deployment calendar.

There is a lesson to be learnt from this cautionary tale, and in this case the calculation of value and the route to success would have been: Usability = Adoption = Value.


In a recent report from usability expert Jakob Nielsen reviewing the "10 Best Intranets of 2007", the Google Search Appliance and Google Mini were recognized as one of the most used products. The winners, recognized as leaders for their easy to use interfaces and focus on information delivery, chose Google's enterprise search offering as a key centerpiece of their intranet solution.

Just as the Google search box has become the gateway to a world of information on the Internet, so too can the yellow search box (the Google Search Appliance) be the simple to use interface to your enterprise.


Reading through my regular feeds from various industry sources (made simple thanks to Google Reader) I found this one from KMWorld. The good folks at KMWorld set out with a simple goal,
"based purely on market awareness and the elusive "Q-factor"—how well recognized are the market leaders in their respective fields? In our online and print survey, we asked this question: Which of these companies do you immediately think of as the leading provider of business intelligence, document management and so on?"
The results are in, and we're happy to see that Google Enterprise is on top in the Enterprise Search category. This just goes to show you that high quality, easy to use, and affordable enterprise search is something people are thinking about.

Now, if only I can find the redcarpet and the afterpaty...

Engin Yilmaz, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise Europe

Having a content management system is helpful for managing the content within your enterprise, and users rightly have high expectations of the quality of the results of these systems. This in turn is driving up the importance of search when specifying which system to choose. So having a great CMS that wins awards for usability and better meets these needs of the user has to be the icing on the cake.

And if you are using the award winning Morello system from Mediasurface now powered by the Google Search Appliance then your cake has a cherry on it too, albeit a yellow rack mounted one.

In other words, we're pleased to announce that Mediasurface has launched a connector to the Google Search Appliance for its Morello content management system. Users of both products can now access Morello content (and more) via the familiar Google search experience that they have become accustomed to, whilst ensuring that the security and integrity of the content management setup in Morello is respected.


After a short hiatus for the holidays, our partner webinar series is back. Join us and several of our partners as we explore a range of industry and technology topics this quarter. Sign-ups are open for the first three, and our initial topics include "Leveraging Portals," "Simplifying FRCP Compliance," and "Situationally Aware Enterprise Search". See our Product Tours and Demonstrations page for details and to register for one or all three.

Google Apps Collaboration Specialist

At Google, we believe that the need for information crosses all borders and therefore spend a significant amount of resources localizing and launching our products in new markets. With over 38,000 alumni living and running businesses in 140 countries around the world, few educational institutions understand the need for a global perspective and share the challenges of communicating with an international audience like Thunderbird business school. That's why we're excited to announce that Thunderbird is providing Google Apps for Education, our integrated email, IM and calendaring offering, to all of its students and alumni. (The fact that our email interface is available in 40 languages is a huge plus for them.) Now the Thunderbird administration has an easy way to keep with alumni without having to figure out the postage rate to Paraguay and alumni around the world can more easily collaborate on business opportunities or plan a mini-reunion. Read more about the deployment in their press release.


This is the time of year for reflection, and the Enterprise team celebrated by reflecting on top customer requests from 2006. One top request was the ability to customize search results based on the individual characteristics of each customer's environment. One comment from a customer at a financial company stood out. He told us his organization considers pdf files of higher value than documents or spreadsheets, because pdfs typically represent the final version of rules or regulations that guide his business process. He was simply looking for a way to strengthen pdfs in search results.

This need inspired Source Biasing, a new feature of the Google Search Appliance that enables companies to strengthen or weaken the weight of content based on type of content or actual source. But at the same time, we didn't want to make the feature overly complex or require complex scripting or coding. We think the new menu-driven approach of Sourcing Biasing feature balances simplicity with control.

But we also added another new feature -- something we think may improve the search experience for both users and administrators. It's called Results Hit Clustering. While clustering results may not be new to enterprise search, we think we have a new spin on it that makes it more relevant for users and easier to implement for

There's more about both features in our press announcement or on the Google Search Appliance page.

So, while our holidays weren't exactly quiet, we think they were relatively productive. Feel free to tell us what you think of the new features.

Thanks for a great 2006. We look forward to an equally productive 2007.