As the Google juggernaut tries to conquer the enterprise search market with the help of Montreal’s Nomino Technologies, at least one industry observer wonders if the name brand is worth the ticket price.

Already a presence in enterprise

search as a reseller of Inktomi as well as its own Nomino Search engine, Nomino technologies on Wednesday said it had been certified as a Google reseller in Canada and the U.S. The company will offer the Google Search Appliance solution product line, the enterprise solution that Google unveiled earlier this year.

Nomino was able to secure the partnership because of its strong presence in the market and solid customer base made up of large enterprises like Bell Canada and the Quebec gorvenment, said Nomino Technologies CEO Alain Thibault.

“”Our solutions are targeted to Fortune 1000 (companies); that’s the target for Google,”” he says. “”Also, we have the savoir faire because we’re reselling other products, so we’re experts.””

The Google Search Appliance is a hardware and software bundle designed to plug into a company’s NOC, a different approach to the server-installed software packages offered by competitors, said Greg Boser, president of Web marketing consulting firm WebGuerrilla.

The Google box is a latecomer to the enterprise search market, where Inktomi and Altavista have already established themselves as leaders, Boser said from WebGuerrilla’s Valencia, CA, headquarters.

“”The advantage they have now is that they’ve become so successful at the Web-search and are making money at that as well, that it puts them in a position to totally dominate the enterprise search market. Everybody loves Google,”” he said.

Customer demand was what made Nomino Technologies consider adding Google to its portfolio, Thibault says. The company realizes, however, that the Google box is a solution more suited for portals handling very high volumes of documents, he added; deploying it does not make sense for smaller companies.

Boser agreed and wondered if even large enterprises have document volumes that would justify the significant cost of the Google Search Appliance.

“”The idea that your results are going to be as good and neat as Google’s (net search results) doesn’t really work because typically you’re not crawling enough documents to get enough cross-linking to have the page-rank factor play any kind of significant role,”” he said.

Without very large databases to crawl through, the Google solution’s results would not differ much from what Inktomi or Altavista can provide, he said.

“”They’re very, very high end,”” Boser added. “”I know that their customized search, if you’re doing only a million searches a year is US$2,000 a month. And a million searches a year is not very much, right now we’re working with a culinary portal that does a million searches in a month so they could never afford Google’s application.””

The next frontier for the search giant will be the net ad market where they’re already making very good progress versus their competitors, Boser said.

“”They’re trying to kill Overture,”” he says. “”It’s going to be the battle of the titans.””

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