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EMC & Google: Sign of Converging Vendors, Worlds

Posted by Frank Gens on January 27th, 2006

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A week ago – under many people’s radar – EMC and Google announced an agreement to integrate EMC Documentum Enterprise Content Integration (ECI) Services and Google Desktop search. This follows last year’s agreement to integrate EMC’s software with both Google.com and the Google Search Appliance, letting customers leverage Google’s search products as information sources.

Last year, these two agreed to integrate EMC offerings with both Google.com and the Google Search Appliance, so the latest announcement was not startling in and of itself. But the deal caught my attention because, in my view, it is one more bit of evidence of two key, and disruptive, trends:

1. Google as a growing player in the Enterprise. As we discussed in Is Google the Next “Disruptive” Enterprise Application Platform/Ecosystem? and in Users’ Take on Google as a Potential Enterprise Applications Platform, the idea of Google as an emerging force in the Enterprise IT market is something to be taken quite seriously. The EMC deal comes on the heels of Google agreements with IBM and Sun last Fall. We expect to see a growing number of Google partnerships to be announced by established Enterprise IT suppliers throughout 2006 – by those vendors who want to take advantage of the Google “halo” in the market (which led EMC to make a bigger deal of this agreement than similar ones with enterprise search engine vendors Autonomy, Verity K2, and FAST), as well as the tangible value of Google’s products and services (strong network platform/infrastructure, ubiquity, low cost, ease of adoption). [I speculated on the virtues of expanding the Google/IBM relationship recently with Business 2.0.]

2. Consumer/Individual Technologies “Invading” Enterprise IT. At least as important as the role of Google itself, is that this is an example of how – in the developing online economy – technologies and services developed for consumers (or, more accurately, individuals) will increasingly press up into the enterprise IT environment. Google was selected by EMC as a content federation partner – not because Google was chosen as the search standard by many CIOs (which it hasn’t been thus far). Rather, it was ought out by EMC because individuals in businesses have made it a de facto standard that any real enterprise content/information federation can’t ignore. This has obviously already happened big-time with Blackberries and other mobile devices, and has begun to show up in other areas (e.g., VOIP via Skype). Look for consumer-driven IT and online services to exert growing influence on the shape of enterprise IT.

A key question for enterprise IT vendors and CIOs alike is: are Google – and more broadly, the in-flow from the individual/consumer worlds into the enterprise – on your radar screen?

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