Enterprise Search: Bold Predictions and a Massive Infowarp

July 12, 2022

Writing about enterprise search was a “thing” in the mid to late 2000s. There were big deals. Microsoft bought Fast Search & Transfer as an investigation in the firm’s financial methods. Then the Autonomy acquisition happened, and, as you may know, that sage continues to unfold. Vivisimo was acquired by IBM, and it’s rather useful clustering and metasearch system disappeared into the outstanding management environment of Big Blue. Enterprise search vendors flipped and pivoted: Some became customer support systems. Others morphed into smart news. A few from the Golden Age of Search hung in, and these firms are still pitching enterprise search but with a Silicon Valley, New Era spin.

I read “Enterprise Search Market to Witness Massive Growth by 2028: IBM Corporation, Lucid Work Incorporation [not the well funded name of the outfit, however], Microsoft Corporation, Dassault System” [not the correct spelling of the firm’s name]. How much can one trust a write up which misspells the names of the companies subjected to an intensive analysis process?

My answer is, “Not at all.”

Let’s take a look at some of the information in the write up.

The list of vendors included in the report is:

Attivio Software Incorporation

Coveo Corporation

Dassault Systems S.A. [The accepted spelling is Dassault Systèmes]

IBM Corporation

Lucid Work Incorporation. [Wow, the name of the company is LucidWorks. Pretty careless.]

Microsoft Corporation


Oracle Corporation

X1 Technologies Inc.

Okay, the names of some of the companies is incorrect. Bad.

Second, I loved this passage:

The research covers the most recent information about current events. This information is useful for businesses planning to produce significantly improved things, as well as for customers gaining an idea of what will be available in the future.

I have zero clue what this quoted passage means. Current events to me and many others involves the financial crisis, Russia’s non war war, and assorted pandemics. Monkeypox. Boo!

Third, did you notice that the vendor providing search and retrieval to numerous companies and to many vendors is not included in the report. I am referring to Elastic, cheerleader for the widely popular Elasticsearch. Why omit the vendor with many installations. I can see skipping over Algolia, Sinequa, and Yext, among others. But Elastic? Yikes.

Here’s my take on this report:

  1. I am not sure it will be useful
  2. I don’t see an indication that the features of the specific search engines are compared, contrasted, and evaluated. Oracle has a number of search solutions. Will these be evaluated or will the analysts focus on structured query language, ignoring Endeca and other systems the firm owns?
  3. Misspellings are easy to make with smart software helpfully replacing words automatically. However, getting the company names wrong is a red light.

Net net: Enterprise search will indeed witness – that is, be an observer of rapid growth in certain software sectors – I just think that enterprise search is now a utility. More modern methods of fusing and locating high value information are available. Buying a report which describes ageing dinosaurs may not be a prudent use of available funds.

Stephen E Arnold, July 12, 2022


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