Netwrix Buys Concept Searching

April 5, 2019

Late last year we learned that Concept Searching was selling itself to Netwrix. I don’t pay much attention to “finding” solutions. I thought of Concept Searching in the context of the delay in awarding the JEDI contract. Concept Searching might be a nifty add on if Microsoft gets the $10 billion deal.

Concept Searching had positioned itself as an indexing outfit and taxonomy management tool. The company struck me as having a Microsoft-centric focus and dabbled in enterprise search and jousted with Smartlogic.

According to the company’s founder Martin Garland:

Concept Searching is excited about becoming a part of Netwrix. Merging our unique technology with its exceptional Netwrix Auditor product delivers a new level of protection to organizations concerned about data security, with the ability to identify and remediate personal or organizationally defined sensitive information, regardless of where it is stored or how it was ingested. The expanded team will enable us to be even more agile, increasingly responsive to our clients’ needs, and to deliver a platform for growth to both client bases and ensure we maintain our leadership position in delivering world-class metadata-driven solutions.

Netwrix is a software company focused exclusively on providing IT security and operations teams with pervasive visibility into user behavior, system configurations and data sensitivity across hybrid IT infrastructures to protect data regardless of its location. The company has 10,000 customers.

DarkCyber believes that like Exalead’s acquisition by Dassault or OpenText’s purchase of assorted search and retrieval systems, it will be interesting to watch how this acquisition works out.

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2019

Could Ma Bell Get Her Old Mojo Back?

June 15, 2018

Many years ago I worked on projects for the original AT&T, also Bellcore, and USWest. I am not a bell head, but I understand some of the Maslovian forces at work. Telecommunications utilities want to be monopolies. It seems to be a genetic law embedded in former members of the Young Pioneers and in the bricks and electronics of the Piscataway data center and the Cherry Hill labs.

I want to point out the write up “AT&T completes Acquisition of Time Warner, Inc.” The deal may not be for copper wire and 5ESS switches, but Ma Bell may be gathering her skirts and getting ready to rumble.

The write up states that AT&T has communications, media, international services, and advertising.

What’s missing?

From my vantage point in Harrod’s Creek, AT&T is one acquisition away from bring back Ma Bell. Either AT&T buys Verizon or Verizon buys AT&T and all will be right with the world. Another angle for revivifying Ma Bell is for an investment bank to purchase both companies and merge them.

Why?

Digital services are more efficient and effective when they operate as single source providers.

Judge Green went against the natural order of digital services, and now Bell Telephone is one acquisition away from a most auspicious return. Will that happen? Could that happen?

AT&T just bought Time Warner. Why not deliver a true Bell head solution?

Even Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft would have to rethink their business plans.

One other benefit: Phone calls would connect more quickly and certain types of oversight become much simpler.

I will have to look around for my Young Pioneers baseball cap. I think I had a red, white, and blue one with a Bell logo. None of that death star iconography.

Stephen E Arnold, June 15, 2018

Elastic Remains Strategically Bouncy

November 10, 2017

Enterprise search remains a dull and rusty sword in the museum of enterprise applications. Frankly, other than wordsmithing with wild and crazy jargon, the technology for finding information in an organization works a bit like the blacksmith under the spreading chestnut tree.

The big news from my point of view has been the uptake in open source enterprise search software. The lead dog is Lucene. Even the much hyped free version of Fast Search technology pitched as Solr is built on Lucene.

Image result for winner

Yep, there are proprietary solutions, but where are these folks? Outfits with search technology are capturing the hearts and minds of decision makers who want solutions to findability problems, not the high speed sleet of buzzwords like ontology, taxonomy, natural language processing, facets, semantics, yada, yada, yada.

I read an article, which I assume is true, because I believe everything I read on the Internet and in white papers. The write up is “Elastic Acquires SaaS Site Search Leader Swiftype.” Elastic is the result of a bold search experience called Compass. The champion of this defunct system was Shay Banon, who created Elasticsearch.

For many people, Elasticsearch and the for fee “extras” available from the company Elastic is Lucene. Disagree? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, gentle reader.

The write up informed me:

Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, and the Elastic Stack, the most widely-used collection of open source products for solving mission-critical use cases like search, logging, and analytics, today announced that it has acquired Swiftype, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2012 and backed by Y Combinator and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Swiftype is the creator of the popular SaaS-based Site Search and the recently introduced Enterprise Search products.

Swiftype used Elastic to captur3e some customers with its search solution. According to the write up, even Dr. Pepper found a pepper upper with Swiftype’s Elasticsearch based system.

Why’s this important? I jotted down three reasons as I was watching a group of confused deer trying to cross a busy highway. (Deer, like investors in enterprise search dream spinners, are confused by the movement of fast moving automobiles and loud pick up trucks.)

First, compare Elastic’s acquisition with Lucidworks purchase of an interface company. Elastic bought people, a solution, and customers. Interfaces are okay, but those who want to find information need a system that springs into action quickly and can be used to deal with real world information problems. Arts and crafts are important, but not as important as search that returns relevant results and performs useful functions like chopping log files into useful digital lumber.

Second, Elastic has been on a role. We profiled the company for a wonky self appointed blue chip consulting firm years ago. The report went nowhere due to the managerial expertise of a self appointed search expert. See this link for details of this maven. In that report, my team of researchers verified that large companies were adopting Elasticsearch because those firms had the most to gain from an open source product which could be supported by third party engineers. Another plus was that the Elasticsearch product could be extended and amplified without the handcuffs of a proprietary search vendor’s license restrictions.

Third, Elasticsearch worked. Sure, it was a hassle to become familiar with the system. But if there were an issue, the Lucene community was usually available for advice and often for prompt fixes. Mr. Banon pushed innovations down the trail as well. It was clear five years ago and it is clear today that Elastic and Elasticsearch are the go to systems for some savvy people. Contrast that with the floundering of outfits flogging their search systems on LinkedIn or on vapid webinars about concepts.

Net net: Elastic is an outfit to watch. For most of Elastic’s competitors watching is easy when one is driving a Model T behind the race leader in one of those zippy Hellcats with 700 horsepower.

Even blacksmiths take notice when this baby roars down the highway. And the deer? The deer run the other way.

Stephen E Arnold, November 10, 2017

Attack Planes Soon to Be Equipped with Lasers

August 24, 2017

The US Air Force soon will be equipping its attack planes with laser weapons to fight UAVs that terrorist organizations may use for launching attacks.

According to an op-ed published by Defense One and titled The Future of the Air Force, the author says:

We are currently investing in the hardware to ensure space superiority; in the near future we will need to grow the number of space airmen and the accompanying infrastructure much like we did for the combat Air Force 40 years ago.

Wars in the future will be fought on multiple fronts, including space. As per the op-ed, the US Air Force needs to be equipped sufficiently to fight these battles without putting people on the front line.

The op-ed also says about the acquisition of an Israeli company that enables attack planes using lasers to fend off drones that are used for dropping bombs and other weapons. The acquisition does not come as a surprise as Pentagon had been researching use of lasers as tactical weapons since long. It seems the days of Star Wars are very near.

Vishal Ingole, August 24, 2017

Drugmaker Merk Partners with Palantir on Data Analysis

July 21, 2017

Pharmaceutical company Merk is working with data-analysis firm Palantir on a project to inform future research, we learn from the piece, “Merk Forges Cancer-Focused Big Data Alliance with Palantir” at pharmaceutical news site PMLive. The project is an effort to remove the bottleneck that currently exists between growing silos of medical data and practical applications of that information. Writer Phil Taylor specifies:

Merck will work with Palantir on cancer therapies in the first instance, with the aim of developing a collaborative data and analytics platform for the drug development processes that will give researchers new understanding of how new medicines work. Palantir contends that many scientists in pharma companies struggle with unstructured data and information silos that ‘reduce creativity and limit researchers’ corrective analyses’. The data analytics and sharing platform will help Merck researchers analyse real-world and bioinformatics data so they can ‘understand the patients who may benefit most’ from a treatment.

The alliance also has a patient-centric component, and according to Merck will improve the experience of patients using its products, improve adherence as well as provide feedback on real-world efficacy.

Finally, the two companies will collaborate on a platform that will allow improved global supply chain forecasting and help to get medicines to patients who need them around the world as quickly as possible. Neither company has disclosed any financial details on the deal.

This is no surprise move for the 125-year-old Merk, which has been embracing digital technology in part by funding projects around the world. Known as MSD everywhere but the U.S. and Canada, the company started with a small pharmacy in Germany but now has its headquarters in New Jersey.

Palantir has recently stirred up some controversy. The company’s massive-scale data platforms allow even the largest organizations to integrate, manage, and secure all sorts of data. Its founding members include PayPal alumni and Stanford computer-science grads. The company is based in Palo Alto, California, and has offices around the world.

Cynthia Murrell, July 21, 2017

The New York Times Pairs up with Spotify for Subscription Gains

July 18, 2017

The article on Quartz Media titled The New York Times Thinks People Will Still Pay for News—

If Given Free Music examines the package deal with Spotify currently being offered by the Times. While subscriptions to the news publication have been on the rise thanks in large part to Donald Trump, they are still hurting. The article points out that if the news and music industries have one thing in common, it is trying to get people to pay for their services.

The two companies announced an offer… giving a free year of Spotify Premium to anyone in the US who signs up for an all-access subscription to the news publication. Premium normally costs $120 a year, and the offer slashes the price of an all-access Times subscription too—from $6.25 a week to $5 a week… While it may seem like both companies will take a hit from these discounts, the boost in new subscribers/readers will likely more than make up for it.

It is a match made on Tinder, a coupling for the new world order. Will this couple get along? As millennials seek new outlets for activism, purchasing a subscription to the Times is a few steps above posting a rant on Facebook. Throw a year of Spotify into the mix and this deal is really appealing to anyone who doesn’t consider the Times a “liberal rag.” So maybe the Donald won’t be interested, but the rest of us sure might consider paying $5/month for legitimate news and music.

Chelsea Kerwin, July 18, 2017

Oath Rhymes with Loath and Maybe Sloth?

April 5, 2017

I wanted Yahoo to be named Yabba Dabba Hoot. Darn it. The Verizon outfit which may put some interesting software on mobile phones it sell has come up with the name Oath. I am not sure any of my friends in Harrod’s Creek would have stumbled upon this word. I noted that a number of the write ups reporting about the new name, the Tony Romo like sacking of Marissa Mayer, and the assurances that the calculus of AOL+Yahoot will change my life. See “Under Oath? How Yahoo + AOL Will Change Your Life.”

USA Today brilliantly revealed that Verizon’s Xoogler believes “the brands will stay the same. “ Yep, that’s what happens when Verizon acquires companies: The status quo is the Baby Bell way. Well, sometimes as long as one is not the CEO, the CFO, the legal team, and anyone who does not understand the ethos of the Young Pioneers and Bell Telephone training methods:

image

The real journalism outfit which we call McPaper here in Kentucky quoted the Xoogler responsible for the AOL Yahoot marriage. Tim Armstrong and apparently someone else allegedly said:

Armstrong has described Oath as a B2B brand, overseeing the names that you are all familiar with. Beyond Yahoo and AOL, those names include Tumblr, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. In all, about 1.3 billion consumers use the company’s collection of brands making these among the most powerful digital brands on the Internet. “We like to say branding wise if you look at a hat, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports will be on the front, Oath will be on the side,” Armstrong said. Besides the early reaction to Oath hasn’t been all that flattering, with the new name the subject of numerous jokes out on social media.

On the side. Does oath mean economic growth?

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2017

Yahoo: Discount News

February 25, 2017

I read “Verizon, Yahoo Agree to Lowered $4.48 Billion Deal.” The knock off price for an outfit with interesting security controls and a fine customer communication business process is $4.48 billion. Not bad for an aged Internet dowager which seems to have been drifting of late. The write up stated in real news fashion:

Under the amended terms, Yahoo and Verizon will split cash liabilities related to some government investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Yahoo will continue to be responsible for liabilities from shareholder lawsuits and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.

From my vantage pointing Harrod’s Creek, it is party time for the attorneys engaged in the many facets of Silicon Valley’s business school generation machine. Yahoooot or is it Yabba Dabba Hoot. I just get mixed up.

Stephen E Arnold, February 25, 2017

Autonomy and Hewlett Packard: A How To from Fortune

January 16, 2017

I read “How Autonomy Fooled Hewlett-Packard.” The article was written by Jack T. Cielsielski, who is president of R.G. Associates, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Ciesielski’s company publishes “The Analyst’s Accounting Observer, which is described as “a research service for institutional investors.” The company offers this example return on a $1 million investment:

image

The caption for the chart is “All performance data is net of advisory fees.  3, 5, 10 year returns are annualized total returns.  Inception is the annualized total return since 12/31/1992.  S&P 500 Total Return sourced from www.standardandpoors.com.  Past performance is not indicative of future results.”

I am not sure if the write up is a Fortune-edited article, a Fortune-commissioned article, or an inclusion in Fortune which an entity purchased. For the purposes of Beyond Search, I will assume that the article is an example of “real” reporting and spot on in its objectivity and accuracy. I recognize that depending on where one sits and the tools and information available will affect what one perceives. This is the viewshed problem, which is illustrated below. Each color shows what the respective observer “sees.”

Image result for viewshed

I was interested in the write up because the legal dispute between the “old” Hewlett Packard and executives of Autonomy is on going. Obviously neither Mr. Ciesielski  Fortune does not want to find itself in the legal crossfire. My assumption is, therefore, that Fortune’s “real” journalists have figured out some of the nuances of the HP-Autonomy matter. I would point out that these nuances were overlooked or misinterpreted by HP’s executives, Board members, advisers, lawyers, and accountants. Too bad neither HP nor Autonomy had Fortune-caliber experts assisting when the $11 billion deal was conceived, executed, understood, and prosecuted. Some outfits have smarter, more thorough investigators, researchers, and analysts.

The write up points out that the former top dog of Autonomy USA (Christopher Egan) had to pay $800,000 in November 2016 he garnered from the HP buy out. The prime mover in this check writing was the US Securities & Exchange Commission. The Fortune article states:

HP relied on figures he had helped inflate. The facts of the case are now public.

Here’s the method used by Autonomy as reported by Fortune:

Autonomy’s UK-based senior managers directed a program swelling revenues by almost $200 million. Autonomy sold its software through “value-added” resellers, legitimate businesses providing additional services and support to product end users while also selling Autonomy’s software. Just five resellers, in 30 transactions, provided services to Autonomy that couldn’t be called legitimate.

Read more

Verizon AOL May Allow 500 People to Find Their Future Elsewhere

November 17, 2016

With or without Yahoot — sorry, I meant, Yahoo — is a darned exciting outfit for a Baby Bell. I read “Verizon Owned AOL to Layoff 500 Employees, Mostly in Corporate Unit: Source.” With all the chatter about fake news, let me state that I believe everything I read about Verizon, AOL, and every other online centric outfit in the datasphere. No distortion exists in bizarro world. Unnamed sources are the only type of source that has any traction today.

The write up says:

Digital media company AOL, owned by Verizon Communications Inc, will lay off five  per cent of its workforce, or about 500 employees, a source familiar with the situation said.

Pundits, Brahmins, and former middle school teachers have been reporting about this RIF or reduction in force. Hey, there’s nothing like a Thanksgiving treat to make folks feel really great about their job. On the bright side, a certain president elect is hiring.

AOL may become two mini businesses:

  1. Media, search and communications
  2. Advertising technology and other assorted infrastructure enabled products and services.

Another rumor is that something called “Be On” may be reshaped. A copy of the Xoogler Tim Armstrong’s message to employees appears on Business Insider. Variety points out that the RIFs are “unrelated to Verizon’s Yahoo Bid,” which raises the question, “Why is AOL dumping staff?” No answer, of course.

Fortune Magazine recycles a Silicon Valley “real” news outfit with this second hand statement from the Xoogler Tim Armstrong:

“The layoffs are related to a 2017 strategy where we will add to our business. These are super targeted by area and we will be re-growing especially in video and mobile.

Yep, Happy Thanksgiving.

Stephen E Arnold, November 17, 2016

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