There are a number of tools that work well for the Internet that do not allow for the same level of success offline. This is a lesson that businesses are forced to learn all too often. The realities of the Internet are far different from the realities of the business world.
The Google Search Appliance is a prime example of this. This appliance was expected to achieve a certain level of success but was eventually abandoned before it could become a key aspect of corporate consumption. Executives and organizations that were once excited for all of the possibilities are now staying away in droves.
Since Google is already such a major part of everyone’s life, it was easy to see why companies got so excited. Google works so well in all other facets that the idea of a Google Search Appliance certainly had to be appealing for a number of reasons.
However, these early feelings masked a number of facts that went ignored during these stages. First of all, Internet applications and enterprise searches do not take place under the same circumstances. Enterprise applications simply do not have access to the same resources as Internet applications do.
When an Internet application goes through its typical growing pains, there is a team of technologists on hand who are ready to address these issues. In some cases, an entire company will be dedicating their resources to perfecting the application. These efforts cannot be matched by Google Search Appliance.
Enterprise applications also have a much smaller group of people that are in need of optimization. Since these applications are used in one specific location, this limits the amount of capital that can be raised to address certain concerns. After all, it is not like the average employee can simply sell off the data usage patterns of their colleagues.
Internet applications also provide users with content that can be consumed with relative ease. The manner in which enterprise applications are used does not compare to the way Internet applications are utilized. The Internet model allows for a far greater level of security and the data formats are far more rich. In retrospect, it is easy to see why enterprise applications did not achieve the same level of success.
The collaboration process is much different and if there is any silver lining to be had here, it is that Google has essentially provided a road map for future reference. Enterprises that wish to emulate their tactics will now have an example to draw from that allows for a greater level of success. These stories are always much deeper than they appear and it is always going to be about far more than just the technology.