The Google Search Appliance is a server designed to let anyone from a small business to a full scale enterprise offer a secure and efficient search engine for their intranet and web sites. But here is the kicker – the Google Search Appliance is made by Dell, or specifically, Dell OEM Solutions. Dell OEM Solutions manufactures the hardware and puts together the whole solution behind the Google Search Appliance server. They deliver it to companies – packaged with a Google T-shirt, and they have it set up and configured for them.
We discovered this last week when we attended Interop, and met up with Franklin Flint who is the Global Enterprise Technology Evangelist for Dell OEM Solutions. To be honest, we didn’t have much of a clue about what Dell OEM Solutions did until that meeting, so this was all a bit of a surprise to us. It turns out that Dell OEM Solutions, which is actually a very large entity at Dell, is in the business of setting up customized hardware and software solutions for businesses. Their servers can be found in everywhere from data centers to storage appliances and servers, but the thing is, that you’d never know it because most of the time they work with companies to have their equipment totally rebranded. This is where the “OEM” part comes in. Besides the Google Search Appliance, they can be found in all sorts of equipment like full-body scanners, ultrasound equipment, servers in data centers, exercise equipment, service kiosks, and automated toll booths.
But what is most appealing about Dell OEM solutions just might be the fact that they offer the same level of service to small businesses as they do for the big fellas. So if you’re a start-up with a 10K budget for a server system, they’ll offer you the same service and configuration and branding options that they do to their 100K+ customers.