Google has been doing its best to worm its way into business with Android and Chrome OS. At the same time, HP is anxious to sell more mobile devices based on Android (webOS didn't go so well). It just so happens HP has a lot of experience selling to businesses. According to The Information, the companies have been discussing combining efforts to increase business sales by enabling additional Google Now functionality specifically for business customers. A worker using the proposed system might be able to ask their Android phone for sales or inventory information in the same way you ask it what the weather is like.


Google Now is tightly integrated with the company's Knowledge Graph platform, which pulls in data from many sources to enhance semantic search. The proposed HP deal would basically build internal corporate data into a search product powered by Google and implemented as part of Now. You could do a search for recent sales numbers for a certain item, financial data for the company, and so on. This could all be tailored (probably by HP) to each corporate customer. Google Now cards could also make relevant pieces of data easier to get to, for example quarterly reports from the previous year could show up for easy year-over-year comparison.

HP previously tried to get Google's okay to build a "Nexus" for business and government, according to The Information. These devices would have featured high-level hardware encryption and other enterprise features. This idea was dismissed by Android's previous leader, Andy Rubin. The current head of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai is more concerned about Apple's dominance in enterprise, but the latest discussions on the business search deal are still going slowly. If the deal is struck, integrating the data from businesses with Google Now could prove challenging. The systems would vary wildly for each customer, and Google is more than busy enough getting the consumer side right.

[The Information]