IBM has made available for free a plug-in that integrates its WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition enterprise search system with Google's enterprise desktop search tool.
By linking the IBM enterprise search system with Google's PC search tool, users will be able to search for information not only on corporate repositories, such as databases, content management systems, applications and the open web, but also on their desktops, IBM says.
Among the documents the free Google Desktop for Enterprise can index and make searchable on users' PCs are the full text of email, files, viewed web pages and chats.
For example, it can index email from Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express, IBM's Lotus Notes, America Online's Netscape Mail and The Mozilla Foundation's Mozilla Mail and Thunderbird, according to information on Google's website.
The Google product is free, but organisations can choose to buy what Google calls "premium support" for it for a fee of US$20,000 (NZ$28,000) per two years for an unlimited number of users.
Google Desktop for Enterprise is derived from a similar tool for consumers, but the enterprise version has installation, distribution, management and security features for IT departments to use when rolling out and configuring the product for their users.
The move is an example of "co-opetition" because Google makes enterprise-search systems called Google Search Appliance and Google Mini that compete in the enterprise-search market. When coupled with Google Desktop for Enterprise, the Google Search Appliance extends users' ability to search for information on corporate repositories and the web down to their PCs.