Enterprise Search Vendor Profiles Now Available
Free service provides technical descriptions of important players in enterprise search and content processing market from 1986 to the present day
One takeaway from my research is that enterprise search has not made significant strides comparable to the progress in mobile device hardware.
Stephen E. Arnold, enterprise search industry expert and author of the Enterprise Search Report and the New Landscape of Search, has announced new availability of a free series of enterprise search vendor profiles.
“I want to make these profiles available because many of today’s vendors are marketing their technology as new and revolutionary. The reality is that in many cases, the vendors are recycling search methods that have been in use for decades,” Arnold said. “But these profiles—particularly the descriptions of such innovators as Fulcrum and iPhrase—make it clear that search innovation is moving at a very slow pace compared to other technical fields.”
The content is available at www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles.
The series will include coverage of firms in the period from 1986 to the present day. Some profiles capture information not easily available because the companies have either gone out of business or sold out to larger firms. The loss of brand identity makes it difficult for those interested in the history of enterprise search to follow developments in this technical sector.
Reports already available include the recently released description of iPhrase Technologies, a vendor delivering an Extensible Markup Language-centric system in the late 1990s. Other vendors include:
- Convera, formed from Excalibur Technologies and ConQuest. Convera’s profile references the remarkable challenge of delivering video search long before there was a Google or YouTube.
- Delphes, a Canadian search system based on advanced linguistic methods. The profile identifies the challenge in terms of costs and complexity of linguistic processes.
- Dieselpoint, a database-centric system with an open source twist. Dieselpoint also relies on XML as a core component in the firm information retrieval solution.
- Entopia, a knowledge management approach. The profile exposes the SAP-type of approach for enterprise search with a knowledge management and semantic system that emulated SAP’s massive infrastructure commitment.
- Fulcrum Technologies, an early player in enterprise search whose 1986 technology is embedded in some OpenText solutions.
- SchemaLogic, one of the first metadata content management systems for controlled vocabularies. The profile reveals the complexity required to manage metadata in an enterprise.
- Siderean Software’s description of Navigator describes a system that embodies various semantic methods including certain computationally intensive semantic techniques.
- Verity, one of the first established search brands and pioneer in licensing search technology to other companies.
Arnold started posting these search, content processing, and analytics vendor profiles in October 2013. Versions of these profiles may have appeared in monographs, articles, or books. Additional profiles are now being added every ten to fourteen days.
Arnold explained, “The reason a vendor fails seems to correlate with the actual software failing, not the marketing which sold a system. Great marketing does not mean a flawed system will survive. One takeaway from my research is that enterprise search has not made significant strides comparable to the progress in mobile device hardware. Search is a very difficult problem to solve and turn into a sustainable business.”
These profiles are a valuable intelligence resource because significant information about previous search and retrieval systems is no longer easily available. The information has been deleted or the new owners of the search companies have replaced earlier documents with ones that are expressed in terms of Big Data, social media, and other current buzzwords.
The reports are an important record of the challenges enterprise search has faced since the 1980s.
About Stephen E. Arnold, ArnoldIT
Stephen E. Arnold is a technology and financial analyst with more than thirty years of experience. In addition to “Google: The Digital Gutenberg,” he is the author of more than 60 journal articles and a number of other books, including “The Path to the Total Network,” published in 1993, and the first three editions of the 600-page encyclopedia of search called “The Enterprise Search Report.” His newest studies of open source search are available from one of the global leaders in technology consulting, IDC, at www.idc.com.
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