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Google search finds Compugen

Company signs national systems integrator for its enterprise search products to get greater reach. But it will likely add only one more VAR

Six months ago Compugen Inc. president Harry Zarek wasn’t interested in teaming with Google to sell its enterprise search products here.

“I don’t think they have articulated a message that appeals to IT customers,” he told ITBusiness in April.

But earlier this month the company became the search software giant’s first national Canadian systems integrator. Earlier this year Google signed Non-Linear Creations, a content management specialist with offices in Ottawa and Toronto.

In addition to providing implementation and consulting services for Google’s search software, Compugen will also resell Google’s rack mount appliances.

“They educated us that they do have a version of the product that is appropriate for the enterprise,” Zarek explained, “and (that) they understand the issues that enterprises have with data and data search.”

Google has signed some 100 VARs and ISVs since it launched a partner program 12 months ago.

Its enterprise products include Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, Google Earth Enterprise (a database of satellite maps), Google Maps and SketchUp Pro, a 3D modeling tool.

In August it began marketing Google Apps For Your Domain, a bundle of free hosted services including e-mail, instant messaging, calendars and Web creation tools for small businesses. But it has said it will eventually charge for corporate versions.

Scott Goodhew, Google’s Toronto-based enterprise sales manager for Canada, said Compugen brings more “arms and legs” to help his efforts at corporate selling here. “They have a good mix of feet on the street and inside sales resources, complemented by a large technical and professional services team who can assist with the implementation side of the delivery of search solutions.”

Only one more

While Google is constantly evaluating partnering opportunities, Goodhew also said that “we may add one more reseller” here.

Google also has an ISV partner in this country in Ottawa-based Cognos Inc.

Compugen, which has revenues of roughly $250 million a year from selling infrastructure and IT optimization products and services, has offices in 14 Canadian cities.

Compugen will be able to resell the Google Search Appliance on its own, a switch in the company’s strategy of only selling it direct.

Microsoft has made noises that it wants to push into enterprise search, but has yet to announce products beyond desktop. Although it is tight with Microsoft, Zarek apparently felt no need to wait.

“We’ve worked closely with Microsoft in their next release of Office, and they have search capability as part of that,” Zarek said. But, he added, “my sense is Google has had a number of years to optimize their search capabilities.”

He wouldn’t reveal what margins or profits he expects from offering Google Enterprise products, other than to say they would be similar to other products the company carries.

“I think there are going to be multiple products in the search space,” said Zarek. “It is an emerging market segment, one that will have, hopefully, good services opportunities in addition to product resale.”