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August 14, 2014

Google Now may head to the enterprise as Google and HP continue negotiations

New report says discussions moving along slowly, but Google under pressure from Apple-IBM deal.

By Ben Sullivan

Google’s Android section is reportedly in talks with HP and other firms about implementing the Google Now virtual assistant into the enterprise space as a ‘search tool for corporate data’, according to The Information.

The website cited three people who have knowledge of the talks between Google and HP, and reported that employees could potentially use Google Now on their Android mobile device to search for company information, as well as standard Google Now actions such as weather, traffic, and Maps.

The report also said that HP may be working on its very own version of a voice search, and is internally calling the project ‘Enterprise Siri’.

The recent Apple and IBM deal has gone to highlight Google’s relative lack of offerings in the enterprise space, and a push into that market, whether with HP or other firms, seems likely this year. However, Samsung and Google both made attempts earlier this year to breach the entrprise, announcing that Samsung’s Knox security and containerisation solution for businesses will be integrated with the next version of Android, Android ‘L’.

Knox gives a device a separate ‘container’, a secure section of the phone where IT admin can control permissions, access, and remote wipe data and information through the Enterprise Mobility Management console. Users also have access to this, allowing personnel themselves to track a missing device, wipe a device, and many other admin functions.

Good Technology announced its Q2 Mobility Index Report on Tuesday, and it showed further evidence that Apple dominated the enterprise space with its iOS.

However, Android device activations did rise to total 32% of all device activations, with iOS dipping 5% to claim almost 70% of the market space.

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CEO of Good Technology, Christy Wyatt, said that businesses have "recognised that mobile access to other key apps beyond email is critical in driving higher productivity, intelligence and even closing deals".

Google may have to act quickly before too many potential customers are locked into long term deals with Apple-IBM. That deal has opened the door door for Apple to IBM’s sales machine, which will promote the use of iPhones and iPads.

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