Google, IBM/Lotus To Ally On Enterprise Search Effort

Until now, the Google desktop search feature indexed and searched popular desktop applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, PDFs, cached web sites, and even AOL Instant Messaging (AIM) sessions, as well as Microsoft Outlook mailbox contents. But not Notes.

"Google today is an end user tool. While it's obviously used by people in enterprises, it's mostly used by consumers so it's first desktop product was targeted at consumer use. Now they're launching an evolution of the product with enterprise capabilities," said Sean Poulley, vice president of business development for IBM's Lotus group.

The new capability will give users with Notes an efficient search capability and will give Google better visibility in business applications, he said.

It is an interesting deal, especially because at Lotusphere in January, IBM Research showed its own "Tamnun Juru" Notes search capability. IBM Software has also billed its Information Integrator's search capability as the business analog to Google Web searches.

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Poulley said there will be many user options for search. "This is not an either/or kind of thing," he said.

Google, which made its name and fortune on fast Internet searches, has since branched out with a variety of blogging and other products. With its Gmail email service, it could even be seen as a potential competitor to Lotus Notes, although Gmail is a free, consumer-oriented service.

IBM Lotus could give Google an ally in businesses against Microsoft, which has launched its own search capability on the consumer side.