IBM has agreed to support within its OmniFind corporate search engine Google Inc.'s desktop-search software, an indication of how the latter company is warming up to business software makers that can open the door to large corporations.
No money has changed hands in the partnership, which does not involve IBM actually distributing Google's enterprise version of the desktop product. Instead, OmniFind customers who choose to download Google's software will be able to access its functionality within the same search field, David Girouard, general manager for Google's enterprise business unit, said Friday.
OmniFind, in conjunction with IBM's WebSphere integration software, is used to search for data stored in back-office databases. Google's software would add the ability to search a corporate desktop for local documents, emails, photos, Web pages and other information.
Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., and IBM, Armonk, N.Y., worked together in providing the tighter integration between the two products, Girouard said. But IBM did most of the development work.
Google primarily depends on consumers to introduce its services and desktop products within corporate environments. That strategy, however, is changing, with Google starting to work with enterprise vendors as another means of entry.
Google this month launched a technology partnership with IBM rival Sun Microsystems Inc. While neither company discussed future projects, they did announce that Sun had agreed to distribute the Google Toolbar, a browser add-in for quick access to Google services from the desktop.
Google would most likely be working with other enterprise vendors in the future to take its search technology behind the corporate firewall.
"To work in an enterprise environment, you can't be an island," Girouard said.