Attivio vs Sinequa: Who Does What?
September 12, 2012
When I was assembling the Attivio company profile for IDC (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=236514), I noted a catchphrase conflict. I ran the query “unified information access” and got a hit on Wikipedia. The phrase seems to have been coined by Sue Feldman, an IDC expert in search. The phrase “unified information access” is also strongly linked to Attivio within a Google search results list. In our research for the IDC Attivio profile, Attivio had made extensive use of the phrase for several years.
What was interesting was that we noticed that Sinequa, a vendor of enterprise search technology, was using the same phrase. You can see Sinequa’s use of the phrase in the banner of the Sinequa Web site.
What is the value of a phrase if a number of vendors use it to describe what their systems deliver? Does this create confusion? Can Attivio’s strong grip on the phrase be eroded? Like “search enabled applications,” a phrase can lose its meaning when a number of companies use it. The words “search,” “information,” “big data,” “taxonomy,” and “semantics” have become almost impossible to define. Marketers “assume” that the words are understood by the reader or listener. Are they?
Search and content processing vendors continue to “look alike.” Little wonder. Each company seems to be piggybacking on other wordsmiths’ positioning ideas. Unlike Apple Samsung, there is no physical product involved. The words, therefore, are probably more easily repurposed and shaped. Does this help one understand what a company’s products actually do?
My view is that search, analytics, and content processing vendors are repeating the marketing approach which helped make traditional enterprise search vendors into almost identical systems.
Are the systems identical? In my experience, the systems are quite different, but licensees do not know what difference is meaningful until the license deal has been signed and the license fee paid. Is differentiation no longer important? I thought a unique selling proposition was important, but with vendors recycling terminology, perhaps the USP is old school, and, therefore, irrelevant.
Stephen E Arnold, September 12, 2012
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