As a vendor that’s built a dominant brand in the search engine space, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) solutions also span into other key offerings as well. CDN came up with a list of five Google business solutions that partners can use to benefit both their own, and their customers’ businesses.
These five business cases include Google Apps Premier Edition, Google Search Appliance, Google Mini, Universal Search, and Google Maps API Premier. Google Apps is a suite of online applications, and is a primary component of the company’s core business, says Tamara Micner, a spokesperson for Google Canada.
Making up the Google Apps communication and collaboration suite are Google’s Gmail, Calendar, Google Sites, Talk and Video tools. Google Apps, Micner says, allows employees to more easily work together and collaborate with one another.
Randy Woods, co-founder and executive vice-president of Non-Linear Creations Inc., an Ottawa-based full-service e-business solutions provider, Web developer and IT integrator, says the benefit of using Google Apps is that the solution is reliable because it’s always on. Non-Linear Creations is both a Google and Microsoft partner and while Woods says the company carries technologies which sometimes compete, it’s easy to distinguish which is the best technology for customers.
“You don’t have to install Google Apps on desktops or laptops because it’s all hosted online,” Woods said. “I think Google Apps is a better fit for small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, or even universities who may have a lot of users and limited budgets. For the customers that are using SharePoint, Microsoft products would likely be a better fit.”
Google’s Search Appliance and Google Mini hardware appliances are designed towards different customer needs. Both search appliances sit behind the firewall and offer secure search capabilities. Google Search Appliance targets the enterprise-scale Intranet, database and enterprise applications search. With Google Mini, small to mid-sized business (SMB) customers can search on the corporate intranet, database and through applications.
“Google Search and Google Mini hardware appliances are easy to use because you plug it in, point it at what you want indexed and it starts to give you results,” Woods said. “If you have a public Web site, this could be a nice fit because it’s a wide-open environment, meaning it’s less secure. If companies want to do a search on their Intranet and they’re concerned with privacy and security and they’re already using Microsoft technologies, Microsoft’s search may be better.”
Businesses that utilize Google’s Universal Search capabilities within their organizations will see all of their information available to them through one search box. This solution has the ability to search through content on the corporate network, desktops and on the Web.
Woods says being able to search quickly and effectively brings a huge return on investment to businesses. If people can easily find things and they know where to look, organizations can minimize their search time and employees can focus on other business tasks.
“One of the biggest issues people face is in finding what they’re looking for,” says Woods. “So having a search that works well becomes really important.”
Google Maps is another useful tool for many businesses to use on their Web sites, explains Micner. Partners can use Google Maps on their own, or their customer’s sites to provide geospatial awareness to visitors.
This solution can be embedded directly onto a Web site and users can find directions to the given location from anywhere. Along with this solution, Micner says customers can also take advantage of Google Earth to receive location imagery and other related local information. This would do particularly well in the real estate markets, says Micner, because real estate agents have to show location and specific areas to their clients. These images can also be used in documents, presentations and other printed materials.
Another useful tool that anyone can use is YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006, she adds.
“YouTube can also be a valuable resource for businesses to build a brand for marketing and to also get a sense of what’s going on in other people’s minds,” Micner said. Woods says Non-Linear Creations is all about helping its customers around the world leverage Internet technologies to drive their business success.
“We’re in the business of helping our customers, whether it’s through a combination of infrastructure work, search, or online marketing,” he said. “Being able to bring Google (search solutions) to the table is an added tool in the arsenal for us.”