Google is slowly but surely racking up government wins and has some pretty big names under its belt so far. For example, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Alabama and Washington, D.C. are just some of the search giant’s customers.
What is the government purchasing you ask? Well, search appliances and apparently lots of them totaling millions of dollars.
In addition, the company has built a search-enabled Wikipedia-type service for the benefit of US spy agencies. In theory this new system allows the agencies to share information that was once isolated to individual computers and hard drives.
To access the data, users log in with multiple clearance levels and so far, 37,000 users have established accounts on the network, which contain 35,000 articles encompassing 200,000 pages.
Although Google has been at the search appliance business for a long time, it has made comparatively little money in this space. It seems that unless the world’s corporations decide they all need appliances from the California-based search giant, this division will always be a drop in the bucket compared to the consumer business.
In addition, it is rewarding o see the US government adopt and embrace technology such as search. These same agencies have also rolled out a 3D, virtual world with unified communications built-in. IBM was a big part in providing this technology in fact.
After the horrific events of September 11, it is fantastic that the government is embracing technology. It is ironic that the technology industry in the US is so far ahead of most other countries and it seems just now that the government is deciding to harness what US corporations have been taking advantage of for many years.
In addition, in the Google and IBM examples, you will notice the government is using COTS or commercial, off the shelf technology which means that for the most part, the UC and search solutions you can buy for your small business today are good enough for the federal government’s spy agencies who have unlimited budgets. Wow.