New Idea’s Founder Speaks, New Search Tools Service in Beta

July 21, 2008

New Idea Engineering is one of those specialized engineering firms that keep a low profile because the company is swamped with work. Miles Kehoe and Mark Bennett, the two founders of New Idea have deep experience with search and related technologies. Messrs. Kehoe and Bennett, , revealed in an interview for the Search Wizards Speak series the premise of their firm:

New Idea has from Day One tried to make our products and tools cross-vendor, but none of the major vendors has any incentive to do so until customers start objecting.

This is a clear statement of one reason why search vendors may not rush to resolve some issues for their customers. Now The problems with enterprise search are now becoming more widely known. New Idea’s founders explain why:

…The biggest problem we see in failed implementations is that the technology the customer picked is just not the right one for their environment. Corporate IT managers have to remember that a great demo is indistinguishable from product, but sometimes they seem willing to accept the vendor’s demo as a suitable substitute for their environment. There is also a mind set in many IT departments that search is either not critical – it’s still often a “check-box item” – or that it must be terribly easy…

You can read the full text of the interview here. Additional information about New Idea is here. The company has a useful Web log, and a new addition to the New Idea arsenal of useful resources is a listing of software tools that can help untangle some of the Gordian knots in an enterprise search deployment. An alpha version of the new service called Search Components Online is available here.

Disclaimer: I have provided some information about open source and shareware content transformation tools. Kudos to the New Idea Engineering team for creating a much-needed listing that can help those struggling with flawed enterprise search systems or consultants trying to help their customers get their system back online. I have linked to the company’s enterprise search Web log and cheerfully nabbed nuggets from the company’s informed postings.

Stephen Arnold, July 21, 2008

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