Insurance firm Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has begun to use the enterprise search application from Google, the search engine giant that has been fast growing as an enterprise applications firm.

The aim is to improve use and speed of R&SA's intranet, and comes in response to the firm’s “knowledge management” department receiving regular complaints from frustrated employees who were struggling to locate applications and tools needed for their day-to-day job. The existing, undisclosed enterprise search tool also suffered integration problems with Lotus Notes.

David Copp, UK intranet manager at R&SA, said: “The intranet is an important tool in our business. We were not only suffering integration issues with the existing system but receiving regular complaints from frustrated employees struggling to find information.”

R&SA researched the enterprise search market and consulted Gartner to discuss the technology that would be best suited for the business. The Google Search Appliance was selected after an assessment of functionality, cost and usability, and it now handles 7,000 searches each day and has pulled average search times below the traditional seven-minute mark for the company intranet.

The company recently signed a 10-year IT services deal with IBM, and a virtual private network contract with BT.