Convergence of BI and Enterprise Search Requires Full Service Solution

November 30, 2012

We are starting to see a slow convergence of business intelligence and enterprise search in the world of corporate IT. And according to the article “Business Intelligence, Enterprise Search: Marriage in Prospect, Still No Ring” on Computer Weekly, the catalyst for this convergence may just be the Big Data trend and the continued focus on unstructured data in this arena.

According to the article, the need to sift through the available data to find what is relevant and create an end-to-end solution is the ultimate goal. We learn:

“Ollie Ross, head of research at the Corporate IT Forum, notes a convergence of business intelligence and enterprise search interests among members of the blue chip user group, at least to the extent of the holding of a member-driven ‘Enterprise Search as a Business Intelligence Tool’ workshop in December 2011. Ollie Ross said that when enterprise search was first broached inside the forum, some two years ago, it was intensive from some, but not general. […] But, over time, it has come to be seen as potentially a matter of business advantage, given sufficient usage.”

BI, Enterprise Search, and Big Data Analytics are three different approaches to finding information. A good bet to close the deal would include working with a full-service solution like Intrafind that can meet your enterprise needs and even help guide you through the maze of options.

Andrea Hayden, November 30, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Range of Big Data Vendors Includes Information Delivery Experts

November 30, 2012

Sometimes an article comes along that simply hits the nail on the head. Venture Beat recently published one that does just that: “Big Data’s Dirty Secret: Companies are Storing Data but Don’t Know What to do with it.” The author posits on the whereabouts of case studies on big data and proceeds to fill in the gap. Conversations regarding big data are often relegated to technical aspects or theoretical and hypothetical predictions and projections.

Conferences such as CloudBeat, a conference that focuses on innovative cloud-based technologies, are showcasing companies using NoSQL databases to drive their business strategy.

The article zeroes in on the case study presented by Hope Arenas, Group Manager of e-Business Development at Bosch Tool Corporation, a company that provides power tools:

Arenas described how the company selected AgilOne to help standardize and collect data.’ What wasn’t easy was getting everyone on the same page and getting it clean and processed,’ Arenas explained. ‘We are just starting to analyze the data.’ For Arenas, Big Data means being able to connect with potential customers, start conversations with retailers, and target existing customers with marketing messages.

Every company has a unique trajectory and will have a unique relationship with big data. Vendors range from giants in the industry to incredibly promising information delivery experts like PolySpot. The trick for each organization is to find the right big data solution vendor that will work with their goals and specific situation.

Megan Feil, November 30, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Possible SharePoint and Lync Server Price Increases

November 30, 2012

It is rumored that SharePoint and Lync Server prices will increase, but Caroline Donnelly says enterprise users may end up better off. She discusses the claim in the ITPro article, “Microsoft Users Warned of Upcoming SharePoint and Lync Server Price Hikes.” Richard Gibbons, software manager at Microsoft reseller Bechtle Direct says that SharePoint prices may go from £4,000 at the moment, so an extra £1,500 for 2013. This is added:

Gibbons was quick to point out that end users who stump up for the 2013 versions of Sharepoint and Lync from 1 December will be rewarded with extra functionality, which might make the price hikes a little easier for some end users to swallow.

For instance, Microsoft has introduced changes that mean end users will no longer need to purchase additional SharePoint for Internet licenses, which allow external users to access the software.

And while the added functionality comes at a cost for Standard users, enterprise users already having the features could end up paying less. The price hike doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, but the amount may be hard for many to justify. To save resources, consider evaluating your third party tools and streamlining your systems. Fabasoft Mindbreeze offers Enterprise Search with SharePoint Connectors so to easily snap into your existing farm. In addition to all-inclusive search, Mindbreeze creates relevant knowledge by storing data according to type and relevance while processing data in a comprehensible form at a fair price.

Philip West, November 30, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Lucene Revolution 2013 Presented by LucidWorks

November 30, 2012

Lucene Revolution is a yearly conference devoted to open source technologies, particularly Apache Lucene and Solr. For five consecutive years, LucidWorks has been the main sponsor of the event, beefing up it reputation for open source support for developers, committers, and end users. The Lucene Revolution Web site makes the announcement:

“LucidWorks is proud to present the biggest open source conference dedicated to Apache Lucene/Solr. We have have succesfully hosted five conferences in the US (Lucene Revolution) and in Europe (Lucene Eurocon). Lucene Revolution 2013 will be held at The Westin San Diego on April 29 – May 2, 2013. The call for speakers is now open.”

Two-day training workshops precede the conference, focusing on the topics of “Scaling Search with Big Data and Solr,” “Solr Unleashed,” and “Solr Under the Hood.” There are many reasons to attend Lucene Revolution 2013, not the least of which is the opportunity to network with and learn from other developers. LucidWorks continues to match their actions to their words by supporting the open source community in word and deed. Do not miss your opportunity to attend this flagship event.

Emily Rae Aldridge, November 30, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Altova Release New Version of MissionKit

November 30, 2012

Altova, a data management solutions provider and creator of XMLSpy, recently published the news release, “Altova Announces the Release of Version 2013 of MissionKit” on its website.

According to the article, Altova has released an integrated suite of XML, SQL, and UML tools. It offers automatic error correction and support for SQL stored procedures in data mapping projects. Prices start at $59 per product and are available for purchase in the Altova online shop.

The release states:

“Among the many updates and new features we incorporated into the Version 2013 release, one of the most significant is Smart Fix. Smart Fix is unique to XMLSpy 2013 and is a huge leap forward in intelligent XML editing. It provides options for fixing validation errors that developers can apply automatically, with a single click. It’s true XML alchemy,” said Alexander Falk, President and CEO for Altova. “With increased demands on developers today we are always looking for ways to incorporate efficiencies into our products. You simply won’t find this functionality in other tools.”

Altova’s MissionKit is certainly affordable and the suite offers great tools. However, it only saves you money if you plan on using equal numbers of XMLSpy and MapForce.

Jasmine Ashton, November 30, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Is the Series A Crunch Going to Starve Search Vendors?

November 29, 2012

Short honk. If you watch the venture capital league tables, you will want to read “The Series A Crunch Is Hitting Now. Have We Even Noticed?” The main idea is that starts up looking for the next round of dough may not get it. I have a difficult time keeping track of  the new search, content processing, and predictive analytics vendors. I don’t have much trouble keeping track of the vendor “pivots” and the legal hassles arising from information retrieval litigation. I am already experiencing HP fatigue. It is an ink company, right? Assume the write up is correct when it says:

But wherever you stand on that, there’s one very real consequence of this explosion in seed funding: There has not been a corresponding explosion in investors willing to lead the next round, the so-called Series A. In fact, if anything, there are fewer. In the late 90s there was an explosion of capital at every level. This time around, there has been an explosion at the early stages, and the very late pre-IPO growth stages. But the Series A has remained the same. While Series A is what everyone is focusing on now, life doesn’t get much easier for those who survive. Finding a Series B will be even harder. That means we’re getting a very different “nuclear winter” as a result of industry excesses this time around. And by most accounts, it’s a far more benign one, considering that potentially thousands of companies are — and will be — going out of business in droves over the next year.

Assume this is okay. My thoughts:

  1. Some companies will find that their access to cash is gated. These outfits will be forced to slash staff and take extreme measures to survive.
  2. Some companies will shift from serving customers to preening themselves to the handful of companies which buy technology to take it off the table.
  3. Some companies will remain university type research outfits chasing every money making opportunity that each can find. Open source search vendors and some of the fragile, government centric analytics companies may become fans of hyper marketing.

I am glad I am old and living in a goose pond in rural Kentucky. Here information retrieval means shouting at someone down the hollow. Less financial risk with this findability method.

Stephen E Arnold, November 29, 2012

OwnCloud Expands with Focus on on Deployment

November 29, 2012

An impressive showing in second seed round funding–$2.5 million to be exact–was reported by open source file sync and share software company OwnCloud Inc. According to the TechCrunch article titled, “On-Premise Cloud Storage/Sharing Startup, OwnCloud, Closes $2.5M Second Seed Round, Led By General Catalyst Partners,” the round was led by investor General Catalyst Partners as well as new investors.

The Boston-based startup plans to use the money for continued expansion in its enterprise and education customer base as well as support service providers. The article shares:

“‘We’ve been excited about ownCloud since its infancy, and after watching everything they’ve accomplished in a very short time, it validated our belief that they’d developed an exceptional team with an exceptional product,’ said [General Catalyst Managing Director] Bohn in a statement. ‘There’s no one in this increasingly crowded market that can do the things ownCloud does – integrate closely with existing IT, innovate at lightning speed and offer choice of storage locations. With those capabilities already in place differentiating it from the competition, we’re confident that ownCloud will succeed.’”

Serving specific industries and sectors is a great niche for companies concentrating on transformation from storage to deployment. Trusting a solution such as Intrafind, based upon well-formed technology to deploy enterprise solutions that fit the organization, may be a wiser choice in some sectors such as finance and pharmaceuticals.

Andrea Hayden, November 29, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Revolutionary New Technologies are Needed to Deliver Information in Age of Big Data

November 29, 2012

A recent article from The Wall Street Journal discussed how big data was the next Next Big Thing. “Big Data Is On The Rise, Bringing Big Data Questions” cites the recent Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford Event that focused on this very topic. Even though the phrase is used so frequently, big data solutions have only gone beyond a pilot stage in about 6 percent of companies. 18 percent are still in the pilot stage.

These statistics show the reason behind all the mention of big data in the media. Companies want to understand it and why they need it. Data evangelists say that it holds the significance of our businesses, lives and society.

The article talks the business side of things while referencing one of the presenters:

Michael Chui has extensively researched the area for McKinsey Global Institute. His conclusion is emphatic: ‘The use of data and analytics in general is going to be a basis of competition going forward for individual firms, for sectors and even for countries. Those companies that are able to use data effectively are more likely to win in the marketplace.’

Whether big data has already exploded or the best is yet to come, one thing is for sure. Companies utilizing next-generation solutions to deliver information, such as PolySpot, in this age of big data are bound to outdo those who are not currently invested in this kind of revolutionary technology.

Megan Feil, November 29, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Amazon CloudSearch Features and Pricing Explained

November 29, 2012

Amazon Web Services Blog aims to bring tools to the table that helps build powerful Web sites and applications with little time and cost. In “Amazon CloudSearch – Start Searching in One Hour for Less Than $100 / Month,” the author explains the importance of Web site search and Amazon CloudSearch capabilities. This is given about search challenges:

Search plays a major role in many web sites and other types of online applications. The basic model is seemingly simple…Needless to say, things can get very complex very quickly…We know that scaling a search system is non-trivial. There are lots of moving parts, all of which must be designed, implemented, instantiated, scaled, monitored, and maintained. As you scale, algorithmic complexity often comes in to play; you soon learn that algorithms and techniques which were practical at the beginning aren’t always practical at scale.

The author also highlights Amazon CloudSearch’s advanced searching and programming features. And while Amazon CloudSearch touts search scaling capabilities, it is hard to overlook the complex pricing model based on the number of running search instances, hourly costs, batch upload charges, and per Gigabyte prices. You might first want to take advantage of the Mindbreeze InSite free trial for a truly powerful search feature with no install required. In addition, their pricing model is straight-forward.

Philip West, November 29, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Open Source is Great But Use With Caution

November 29, 2012

Do you ever get one of those annoying pop-up windows when you are browsing the Internet that says, “Warning! Your machine has been infected with a virus! Click here for a free virus scan!” Well-informed Internet users know that this is a ruse to download spyware or a virus on your machine. Sadly, not everyone is aware of this and end up infecting the poor computer. This metaphor relates to the open source community. Developers have a plethora of free technology at their hands via the open source community, but unless they know the correct software to choose it can be as bad as downloading a virus. Business 2 Community caught onto this idea in “Replacement of Decade Old Web Technologies by Open Source CMS.”

When searching for an open source web content system, it is necessary to choose the best one for your needs. The author states:

“In this way, you need to be much cautioned while choosing the most suitable open source content management system for your business website. Thus, if you like to install the most suitable CMS in your official website, you need to understand the specific competency of each freely available open source content management system.”

The article outlines four systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. Each has its own perks, WordPress is best for blogging, Joomla for making Web sites with lots of features, Drupal is the most search engine friendly, and Magento is for commerce.

However you decide to use these open source web content management tools, you need to take into consideration how easy it will be to make the data findable. If your goal is to create a popular Web site, a tool that does not pull in the Web traffic is not worth using. Do the research and find out which works best. Do not forget that these Web sites, while they do have programmed search applications, might not be up to the task if you have large amounts of data. It might be best to try a trusted IVP like LucidWorks and its powerful search clients for enterprise, Cloud, and Big Data.

Whitney Grace, November 29, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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