Google Now might soon have a more prominent role in the workplace if this alliance of enterprise companies manages to pull through. Google and HP, as well as other unnamed entities, are said to be in discussion about a partnership that could give Google Now an even wider vocabulary, particularly one that can speak finances and inventories.
This move is said to be in response to Apple's recently announced partnership with IBM to bring Cupertino's ecosystem closer to the enterprise, a market segment that Google is now heavily investing in for Android. HP might now be approaching Google, but the rumor is that the PC maker was initially eying Apple before the Apple-IBM deal. According to sources, it was trying to sell the concept of an "Enterprise Siri", a voice-activated search tool for enterprise customers.
That said, HP was probably playing the field since it was also talking to Google about something similar for almost a year now, according to The Information's report. Google was said to be initially uninterested in the prospect, but that could have very well changed by now. The search giant seems to be making a concerted effort to leave its stamp on the enterprise market, with the adoption of Samsung's KNOX security framework into Android as well as the opening up of its Hangouts messaging and video chat service to businesses. The Apple and IBM team up could also very well push its hands to make its own smart assistant ready for an enterprise thrust.
But what would an "Enterprise Google Now" really bring to the table? While its spoken responses are not as exhaustive as Siri's, Google's experience and expertise in all things search could very well give it an upper hand when it comes to integrating the service to companies' databases. Imagine simply uttering that magic "OK, Google" phrase and asking about the current state of inventory for a particular product and getting back an info card about it, if not a verbal reply. Google Now also has the advantage of ubiquity. Unlike Siri, Google Now isn't limited just to Android or mobile devices but even has a presence on desktops and laptop via Chrome, making it possible to use Google's technology in almost every step and aspect of an enterprise workflow. That said, there doesn't seem to be any rush yet to bring such a product to light, so it might take a bit of time before we can confirm if there is any meat to this insider scoop.