After four years of negotiation, ChannelWorx has signed up to distribute Google Search Appliances (GSAs) in Australia.
The networking security distributor's managing director, Scott Lidgett, said the deal was a major feather in the cap as the company attempted to broaden out of its core business.
"We can Google anything as consumers but masses of information is locked up in the networks of major organisations like banks, universities and healthcare organisations," he said. "These appliances bring the utility of search inside the corporate network, enabling authenticated users to find and index documents.
"This product has huge potential and gives us nice diversification without taking us away from our core customers," he said. "Integrators will make some really nice business out of setting up policies and the technical security to be deployed around the appliances."
A top-end GSA can handle up to 15 million documents, Lidgett said, with prices ranging from $20,000 to in excess of $1 million. Reseller access to this enterprise product would be limited to a small number of major players, he said, with BearingPoint likely to be one of the first cabs off the rank because it already uses the product globally.
"BearingPoint is not a customer of ours at the moment so we are hoping these appliances will take us into new areas of the market," Lidgett said. "But some of our existing resellers will also jump at this opportunity because they are crying out for new ways to add value." Google also announced a mini version of GSA recently, designed specifically for SMB.
Lidgett predicted it would be available for less than $4000.
"It will be ideal for small legal offices and other professional service organisations," he said. "There will also be some scenarios within the broader corporate world where security policy will mean departments are encouraged to index separately. A mini will be ideal for those situations."
The deal has been a good while in the making. Lidgett first saw the appliances at a US trade show four years ago but said it wasn't ready for distribution at the time. However, he stayed in touch with the search giant and the chance came up again in recent discussions.