Google has struck a US distribution agreement with Ingram Micro to carry its Search Appliance and Google Mini enterprise search devices. The deal will be extended to Australia later this year.
Google, which has sold about 9000 of the devices to date, said the deal with Ingram should help boost sales in particular among SMBs. Ingram, with its network of more than 165,000 retailers and resellers worldwide, is also expected to help increase sales internationally, as well as in the government and education sectors.
"The only way to meet the growing demand for the products is to go through channels," Google Enterprise unit channel marketing manager, Rodrigo Vaca, said.
He declined to provide details of the effect Google hopes the deal will have on sales. "We expect this to have a significant impact," he said.
Google already had deals in place with regional distributors and expected the Ingram relationship to be complementary to those arrangements, Vaca said. The arrangement, which initially focuses on the US market, will go international later this year.
Locally, Google appliances are distributed by Melbourne-based ChannelWorx. A local Google spokesperson said the US deal would follow on to Australasia later this year but would not provide further details. He also declined to comment on the ramifications of the Ingram partnership on its ChannelWorx deal.
As part of the new agreement, Ingram will provide sales assistance, marketing resources, credit and technical support to Google resellers. In a statement,the distributor said the partnership strengthened the menu of wares it could offer to its channel partners.
The Search Appliance and Google Mini are server-side hardware devices loaded with Google's search engine software designed to let companies index and find information stored on corporate servers.
Although Google generates most of its revenue from search engine advertising in the consumer market, company officials have said they were committed to its Enterprise unit, which, in addition to the search devices, also marketed business software.
The Google Mini, designed for small and medium size businesses or departments within large organisations, starts at $US1995 with a capacity to index 50,000 documents. It tops out at 300,000 documents. The Search Appliance, which is more powerful and has more features, starts at $US30,000 with a 500,000-document capacity and tops out at 30 million documents.