November 18, 2013
When this article came up on my news feed it appeared to be an average press release: “Secure Enterprise Search 220.127.116.11. Now Available For PeopleTools 8.53.” Companies make upgrades everyday and if we wrote about all of them Beyond Search would turn into an advertising blog. A second glance made me catch notice of the news source: the Oracle Blog. Now this is an interesting development, because Oracle is keeping secure enterprise search breathing.
Secure search is a necessity for enterprise applications, especially those that deal with employee and customer related information. Oracle’s PeopleSoft software is one of the leading human resources and customer management products and the upgrades provide necessary support:
“We are pleased to announce that Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES) 18.104.22.168 is now available to PeopleSoft Customers on PeopleTools 8.53. The minimum PeopleTools Patch Version Required to adopt SES 22.214.171.124 is PeopleTools 8.53.06. This version of SES provides some important benefits for PeopleSoft Customers, particularly in the areas of platform support, distributed architecture support, and RAC support. You can get all the details on this update on My Oracle Support.”
Good for Oracle, but are they investing their time wisely in a secure search when there are so many other options on the market? Endeca, RightNow, and InQuira options also available and they are under the Oracle umbrella.
Whitney Grace, November 18, 2013
November 6, 2013
Perceptive Software is working with social collaboration firm Jive, we learn from “Perceptive Software Brings Enterprise Search App to Jive Apps Market” at PRWeb. Perceptive Search has been integrated into Jive’s platform, and is available as an app through the Jive Apps Market. The press release reports:
“The Perceptive Enterprise Search App provides companies using Jive with a powerful enterprise search tool to eliminate information silos and aggregate content across multiple repositories, including SharePoint, ECM solutions, traditional file shares, legacy Lotus Notes databases, and others. The app is fully functional right out of the box, readily indexing—and giving users access to—content across multiple repositories and scaling to accommodate spikes in volume.
“The app empowers users to explore data relationships through analytical, reporting and visualization features, giving businesses more opportunity to identify trends and drive value from their content. Such value may be realized in the form of more efficient product development, customer service, marketing and more.”
Perceptive CTO Brian Anderson notes that his company uses Jive with Perspective Search for their own employees, and reports that the app has sped up their own searches. The platform’s analysis, reporting, and visualization features remove those chores from users’ to-do lists, allowing more time to act on resulting insights, he says.
Acquired by Lexmark in 2010, Perceptive Software offers a range of process- and content-management solutions. In business since 1995, Perceptive serves clients in a wide range of industries. The company is headquartered in Shawnee, Kansas and, according to their About page, is currently hiring.
Folks at Jive Software are convinced that “social business is the future.” This is why they employ the latest technology to help clients cultivate crowdsourcing, collaboration, and customer engagement, forces they say are bound to improve the business world for both customers and workers. Founded in 2012, Jive already has five far-flung offices, including their headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Cynthia Murrell, November 06, 2013
October 28, 2013
Pebble Road’s article analyzing search is titled The Curse of Enterprise Search and How to Break It. The curse referred to is created by the misconception that once an enterprise search software has been purchased it will do all the work and the business it is being used for is already handled. The article argues against this lackadaisical approach to search, explaining that search needs to be implemented and designed for a given business with the business’s users in mind. It argues that “search is a negotiation” which is not simply a means to an end but a way to figure out the right question. The article explains with a comparison to camera shopping,
“When you’re searching for a camera, and if you don’t know exactly which one you want, you’re going to start on a search journey, or the negotiation. The journey may take you from locating the right type of cameras ? to comparing them ? to verifying their details. These three modes are not the same. You are seeking different outcomes in each mode. The modes are like layers of meaning. Meaning that will eventually lead you to make a decision.”
Metadata and appropriate interfaces are the answer proposed by the article to designing support search modes that will be useful and productive. The greatest issue is when there is a growing crevasse between the wealth of information and findability. To simplify, don’t put the cart before the horse. Design search for your business and then put in place.
Chelsea Kerwin, October 28, 2013
September 28, 2013
The article titled PureDiscovery Wants to Remake Search In the Brain’s Image, Raises $10M To Do It on Gigaom will interest all those invested in the race for the best search platform. PureDiscovery, a company based out of Dallas, TX, corralled $10 million dollars for its reinvention of enterprise search called Brainspace. PureDiscovery has been well known in the enterprise search game for some time, and now hopes to widen it’s aims with a cloud-based platform and soon to be released Brainspace technology. Founder Dave Copps explains the new direction the company has taken,
“The idea… is to create interest graphs linking people and documents with concepts. So if I’m interested in “big data,” for example, BrainSpace should point me to internal company documents about that topic, but also to external content and to people who know a lot about it. Ideally, it identifies people based not just on keywords in their profiles, but on their interaction with big data content and perhaps their activity on the corporate social network.”
The article also reports on a demo of the new software, in which the user highlights a passage from one piece of content, deposits it in “the brain”, and is rewarded with a new set of related content. PureDiscovery even believes that there project will find mass appeal to consumers across the Internet.
Chelsea Kerwin, September 28, 2013
September 23, 2013
I read “Unbundling: AOL, Facebook and LinkedIn” and reviewed the nifty diagram about Craigslist. I ignored the comments about Mr. Newmark, who stood next to me at a Google event, a while back. I am not sure he knows me as anyone other than a person as eager to leave as a couple of other “guests” at the function in Washington, DC. Young people make me nervous, and I wanted to take my Geritol and watch reruns of “I Love Lucy.”
Based on my understanding of Craigslist, I am not sure if the fancy diagram represents unbundling of Mr. Newmark’s idea or just a natural evolution of online opportunities crated by the consumerization of surfing. Craigslist went live in 1995, two years after the Point service, which Chris Kitze and I started with a couple of other clueless but intrepid Internet chance takers.
That makes Craigslist more than a decade old. The service has not changed too much in my opinion. The disruption of various sectors and the growth of the various topics or categories has been a consequence of user behavior, not part of a predestined grand plan. At Point we had zero idea that a large firm would want to buy our service. We were just trying to cope with traffic growth, technical issues, and advertisers who were contacting us.
Nevertheless, the Unbundling article suggests that innovation occurs because big outfits do not seize the many opportunities which their successful services offer up. Here’s the passage I noted:
There are a swarm of services, often mobile first or mobile only, trying to peel off parts of the Craigslist offer, or do things Craigslist should have been doing. AirBnB is only the most obvious. Chris Dixon has a good note about this here, and Andrew Parker produced this great graphic back in 2010.
I understand the viewpoint. However, I think there are a number of factors operating to make it possible to show, as the graphic in the article does, that Craigslist has been a gold mine of ideas.
First, many of the services which take a component of a successful service and elaborate it require bandwidth. A big outfit like AOL, Facebook, or Google for that matter has bandwidth which may be cluttered with noise. The problem becomes “Which opportunity?” which can produce some wild and crazy decisions.
A second factor is personal motivation and capability. The economy motivates some people to look around for ways to make money. Examples which come to mind is the shared ride service disrupting traditional taxi services in some cities. When people need to make money and have a car, an opportunity is perceived. Using an online existing service to build a ride share service is indeed possible. Some innovators may have time and resources to create a purpose-built system free of big company baggage.
Third, customers may be skeptical of new services from big outfits. I have been reading allegations about misbehavior at LinkedIn. I posted a test write up to see what would happen. Do I use LinkedIn for “real” work? Nope. Will I in the near future? Nope. I want to determine for myself if I can “trust” a big outfit. So, a new company offering a specialized service like those on the Unbundling graphic will get a more positive reception than another service from a giant online outfit. I may be in the minority with this approach, but it works for me.
My broad interest in online information access. One of my particular interests in enterprise search. Will the big enterprise search systems be dis-aggregated or “atomized” as the Unbundling article suggests?
This is an interesting question. Enterprise search is not a consumer service. The giant “one size fits all” solutions have been acquired by even larger enterprise solutions providers. Other large scale enterprise search solutions have just gone out of business like Convera, Delphes, Entopia, Siderean Software, and others. Enterprise search has spawned a free and open source solution set as well.
The present enterprise search market is characterized by a frenzy of consolidation, repositioning, and buzzwords. I track the sector on a daily basis, and I am not sure from point to point what strategies and tactics are actually working.
In terms of dis-aggregation, enterprise search has been supporting big solutions like those offered by Dassault (aerospace services!) and Hewlett Packard (yep the PC maker) to specialized solutions offered by Lexmark (printers!) and Xerox (yep, the copier folks).
There are dozens of specialists offering very specific search-related subcomponents which are like a clutch plate on a Lamborghini Urraco. The cost and availability are likely to wreck havoc for the novice’s budget. Some of the vendors of these highly specialized components (Marklogic’s XML technology or Sail Labs’ natural language processing technology) struggle to connect a problem with a solution that makes sense to potential customers. XML fuzzes into databases and databases mean Oracle or Hadoop. NLP blurs into search and search becomes Google. In short, life can be difficult for a provider of an atomized component.
I would assert the following:
- Enterprise search is neither a giant aggregated solution with a couple of big providers nor a sector characterized by on-going disaggregation. Enterprise search is more like one of those weird compounds like ketchup. Sometimes ketchup works like a homogeneous semi-solid. Other times, ketchup is a runny mess. In short, enterprise search is a polystate market. (Technically ketchup is a non-Newtonian fluid.)
- Vendors are never certain what problem their software solves. Take the examples of XML or NLP. What specific value can be delivered to a company looking to cope with Big Data? I am confident that each of the vendors in these two niches can provide me with a webinar that explains the value of their product. But the problem is, “Can an organization get enough value to buy the company’s solution?” And, a more important question, “Are their enough customers to make one or two of these companies generate $200 million or more in profitable revenue today?”
- Customers often do not know what problem they have to solve. Unlike a person who wants a cheap ride to Palo Alto, an organization’s problems are difficult to pin down. More sales means what? Enterprise search vendors talk about customer support and extracting value from information assets. The decision makers at different levels of an organization cannot explain “more sales” one way. Not surprisingly, enterprise search vendors marketing seem to fix a remarkably wide range of problems. Do these systems deliver “more sales”? Usually not in a direct way. Search engine optimization, on the other hand, does deliver measurable results. Maybe SEO will just “take over” enterpriser search at some point.
Let’s assume my assertions are partially correct. Enterprise search is a market space which may be more difficult to crack than seeking inspiration from Craigslist. Perhaps this is one reason why enterprise search has in fifty years produced only one firm which generated more than $800 million in revenues from search technology. Google, please, keep in mind, is in the advertising business. Search is plumbing which helps the company make money.
Conflating findability with the ketchup of enterprise search and its subcomponents delivers one big disconnect in my opinion. Vendors are finding it more and more difficult to demonstrate value delivered by search solutions. Making money with enterprise search is not impossible. I just think it is difficult and getting harder.
Getting inspiration from AOL, Facebook, or whatever big online service one picks may be an easier way to make a buck.
Stephen E Arnold, September 23, 2013
September 2, 2013
The article titled Solving the Inadequacies and Failures in Enterprise Search on AIIM addresses the ongoing problems with metadata infrastructure. This problem translates into a major hurdle for all those organizations hoping to utilize enterprise search. According to the author, with an appropriately stringent framework in place, progress is possible. This includes the ability to use search in order to implement actual helpful tools like records management, migration and data privacy. The article states,
“An information governance approach that creates the metadata infrastructure framework to encompass automated intelligent metadata generation, auto-classification, and the use of goal and mission aligned taxonomies is required. From this framework, intelligent metadata enabled solutions can be rapidly developed and implemented. Only then can organizations leverage their knowledge assets to support search, litigation, eDiscovery, text mining, sentiment analysis, and business intelligence. The need for organizations to access and fully exploit the use of their unstructured content won’t happen overnight. “
With these improvements in place, the article suggests that enterprise search will be fixed. Decades of floundering will come to an end if this assertion is proven correct. Features and “bells and whistles” will no longer reside in the place of actual information and wisdom gleaned from content, what search is actually supposed to provide.
Chelsea Kerwin, September 02, 2013
August 27, 2013
Enterprise search is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Organizations have to have an enterprise search solution, and yet simply adopting a solution without additional thought and effort can add to the IT burden instead of lessening it. PebbleRoad Consultants talk about this very challenge in their article, “The Curse of Enterprise Search and How to Break It.”
Their article begins:
“Got enterprise search? Try answering these questions: Are end users happy? Has decision-making improved? Productivity up? Knowledge getting reused nicely? Your return-on-investment positive? If you’re finding it tough to answer these questions then most probably you’re under the curse of enterprise search. The curse is cast when you purchase an enterprise search software and believe that it will automagically solve all your problems the moment you switch it on.”
This is a frequent reality among enterprise users, yet the answer is simple. Search is a negotiation and user intent is everything, so the article says. Prepare for how you will use your enterprise solution and choose one that fits the bill. Be prepared to customize and continue to train your people and adjust your configuration. A solution like LucidWorks is a good way to meet those parameters. Built on the open source foundation of Apache Lucene Solr, LucidWorks solutions are agile and customizable, but are ready to go out-of-the-box. Furthermore, LucidWorks is always on the leading edge of innovation, benefiting from their large and vital open source community.
Emily Rae Aldridge, August 27, 2013
August 23, 2013
The Fort Mill Times covers the latest in enterprise search with their coverage of the Global Enterprise Search Market report in the article, “Research and Markets: Global Enterprise Search Market 2012-2016: The Emergence of SaaS-Based Solutions is a Recent Trend Witnessed in the Market.”
The article begins:
“The analysts forecast the Global Enterprise Search market to grow at a CAGR of 12.98 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increased demand for rapid and easy data access. The Global Enterprise Search market has also been witnessing the emergence of software-as-a-service based solutions. However, the high cost of implementation could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.”
Among the key vendors in the market are Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and HP. However, the real attention in the report is on the open source vendors and their explosive growth in market share. They are quickly edging the proprietary vendors off of their throne and forcing them to adapt. But many customers simply want a cost effective solution with great support and good results. So proprietary solutions should be nervous, because open source leaders like LucidWorks are giving them a run for their money.
Emily Rae Aldridge, August 23, 2013
August 13, 2013
When enterprise organizations understand the value of unstructured data, and especially the value of it when it is integrated with structured data, what kind of solutions do they utilize? According to a recent study by Altimeter Group reported in “Enterprise Social Data Isolated in Departmental Silos,” 42 percent of the 35 large organizations surveyed were using business intelligence tools. Other areas where data sets converged were market research at 35 percent, CRM at 27 percent, email marketing at 27 percent and sensor data at four percent.
The main argument presented by the article is that as long as people are working in departmental silos, information and data will be first and foremost stored in a way that parallels how people are organized.
We learned more about why some organizations face challenges when integrating data:
The report also revealed it’s not always easy to integrate this data, attributing the issue to the fact that so many organizational departments touch the data, ‘all with varying perspectives on the information,’ the article states, adding: ‘The report also notes the numerous nuances within social data make it problematic to apply general metrics across the board and, in many organizations, social data doesn’t carry the same credibility as its enterprise counterpart.’
We know that one company, Expert System, would have quite the rebuttal to this argument that unstructured data may not be worthy across the board for all departments. Their solution Cogito Intelligence API yields insights and actionable information after parsing both structured and structured data while using sentiment analysis and natural language processing technologies.
Megan Feil, August 13, 2013
August 6, 2013
Will New Zealand-based enterprise search provider SLI Systems get an injection of capital from the New Zealand Super Fund? It could happen. Scoop reveals, “NZ Super Fund Allocates $40M to Pioneer Capital Fund.” The write-up tells us:
“The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests to fund the country’s universal state pension, will place $40 million in a new $150 million venture capital fund to finance fast-growing small to medium-sized businesses with global potential.
“The funds will be placed with Auckland-based Pioneer Capital, which already holds stakes in recently listed software company SLI Systems, boutique brewer Moa beer, and health system software developer Orion Health.
“This is Pioneer Capital’s second fund, to be known as PCPII, which is seeking $150 million to invest in privately-owned, small to medium-sized New Zealand businesses which are expanding in large international markets, with average investments of between $10 million and $30 million.”
SLI Systems seems to fit the bill for Superfund largess. The company went public earlier this year, and certainly has the global market in its sights. The company supplies tools for site search, navigation, merchandising, and search engine optimization. They boast that their technology learns from the behavior of visitors over time, resulting in more relevant results. The company has offices in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and, of course, New Zealand.
Cynthia Murrell, August 06, 2013