According to The Washington Post, Google this week held a two-day-long pitch fest with nearly 200 federal contractors, engineers, agency employees, and military members eager to learn more about its products. Google has beefed up its sales operations in the Washington, D.C., area in the last year in hopes of capturing more business from military, intelligence, and civil agencies. Several government agencies already use an enhanced version of Google Earth. That's right: Google is going deep into the verticals.Last week Google rocked the world with news of its enterprise software play, Google Apps Premier Edition. It looks like Google is already pitching this app to government agencies. In addition to Google Apps Premier Edition, Google is also selling premier paid versions of its other products to government agencies, including enhanced versions of Google Earth and, of course, the company's search technology.
While official numbers aren't available, The Post reports that Google nearly tripled its business with government agencies from $73,000 in 2005 to $312,000 in 2006.
First, you can look for Google to aim its products at verticals other than government in the next few months. Many insiders claim that Google is ready to tackle the health care market. And it looks like Microsoft is ready to battle Google for this space. Second, you can bet the online fight for vertical markets between Google and its rivals -- including Microsoft, Yahoo, and lots of smaller vertical publishers and content providers across a number of industries -- is going to get much more intense very soon.