Exclusive Silobreaker Interview: Mats Bjore, Silobreaker

November 25, 2013

With Google becoming more difficult to use, many professionals need a way to locate, filter, and obtain high value information that works. Silobreaker is an online service and system that delivers actionable information.

The co-founder of Silobreaker said in an exclusive interview for Search Wizards Speaks says:

I learned that in most of the organizations, information was locked in separate silos. The information in those silos was usually kept under close control by the silo manager. My insight was that if software could make available to employees the information in different silos, the organization would reap an enormous gain in productivity. So the idea was to “break” down the the information and knowledge silos that exists within companies, organizations and mindsets.

And knock down barriers the system has. Silobreaker’s popularity is surging. The most enthusiastic supporters of the system come from the intelligence community, law enforcement, analysts, and business intelligence professionals. A user’s query retrieves up-to-the-minute information from Web sources, commercial services, and open source content. The results are available as a series of summaries, full text documents, relationship maps among entities, and other report formats. The user does not have to figure out which item is an advertisement. The Silobreaker system delivers muscle, not fatty tissue.

Mr. Bjore, a former intelligence officer, adds:

Silobreaker is an Internet and a technology company that offers products and services which aggregate, analyze, contextualize and bring meaning to the ever-increasing amount of digital information.

Underscoring the difference between Silobreaker and other online systems, Mr. Bjore points out:

What sets us apart is not only the Silobreaker technology and our commitment to constant innovation. Silobreaker embodies the long term and active experience of having a team of users and developers who can understand the end user environment and challenges. Also, I want to emphasize that our technology is one integrated technology that combines access, content, and actionable outputs.

The ArnoldIT team uses Silobreaker in our intelligence-related work. We include a profile of the system in our lectures about next-generation information gathering and processing systems.

You can get more information about Silobreaker at www.silobreaker.com. A 2008 interview with Mr. Bjore is located at on the Search Wizards Speak site at http://goo.gl/f7niAH.

Stephen E Arnold, November 25, 2013

SearchYourCloud Interview

November 4, 2013

We posted a Search Wizards Speak with SearchYourCloud. You can locate the interview at this link. There are  more than 60 interviews with experts in search, content processing, and analytics. The collection is available without charge. Why pay the azure chip crowd when you can get information from the folks who bring you information retrieval software and systems?

Stephen E Arnold, November 4, 2013

Search Wizards Speak: Oleg Rogynskyy, Semantria

October 28, 2013

Semantria is a company focused on providing text and sentiment analysis to anyone. The company’s approach is to streamline the analysis of content to that in less than three minutes and for a nominal $1,000, the power of content processing can help answer tough business questions.

The firm’s founder is Oleg Rogynskyy, who has worked at Nstein (now part of Open Text) and Lexalytics. The idea for Semantria blossomed from Mr. Rogynskyy’s insight that text analytics technology was sufficiently mature so that it could be useful to almost any organization or business professionals.

I interviewed Mr. Rogynskyy on October 24, 2013. He told me:

At Semantria, we want to simplify and democratize access to text analytics technology. We want people to be able to get up and running in no time, with a small budget, and actually derive value from our technology. The classic story is you buy a system worth $100k and don’t deploy it.

Semantria focuses on a class of problems that a few years ago would have been outside the reach of many firms. He said:

We make it simple for our clients to solve the following problems: First, some organizations have too much text to read. For example, a Twitter stream or surveys with many responses. Also, there is the need to move quickly and reduce the time to get to market. Many survey results come with an expiry date before they’re irrelevant. Then there is reporting the information. Anyone can use their Excel smarts to build simple/interesting reports and visuals out of unstructured data. But that can take some time, and Semantria accelerates this step. Finally, users need to analyze text with the same impartiality each time. A human might see a glass as half full or half empty, but Semantria will always see a glass with water.

One of the most interesting aspects of Semantria is that the company delivers its solution as a cloud service. Mr. Rogynskyy observed:

We are happily in the cloud, and in the cloud we trust. We have android and iOS software development kits in the works, so whoever wants to talk to our API from mobile devices will be doing it with ease very soon.

You can get more information about Semantria at https://semantria.com.

This interview is one or more than 60 full-text interviews with individuals who are deeply involved in search, content processing, and analytics. You can find the full series at www.arnoldit.com/search-wizards-speak.

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2013

Leximancer Interview Now Available

July 23, 2013

We have posted another interview in the Search Wizards Speak series. The most recent interview features Leximancer’s Andrew Smith. You can find the full text of the interview at this link.

Stephen E Arnold, July 23, 2013

Sponsored by Xenky

Interview with CEO as SLI Systems Goes Public

July 3, 2013

SLI Systems is now listed on the New Zealand Exchange. CEO Shaun Ryan shares his thoughts on this and the enterprise search market in this Double Shot Interview that Interest.co.nz has posted to YouTube. In the 17-minute conversation with interviewer Andrew Patterson, Ryan is full of confidence as he shares his thoughts on the future of his company and his industry.

See the interview for more, but here are a few highlights. Ryan acknowledges that his company’s biggest competition is Endeca, who he says is the only company to surpass SLI. They actually found it helpful when Oracle bought Endeca, saying that move opened a “hole in the market.” Interesting.

Customer service is a priority for SLI. Since their business follows a SAS (software-as-a-service) model, customer retention is key, so taking good care of the best ones is “vital,” says Ryan. Besides, the company has gotten some of their best ideas from listening to customer suggestions.

SLI’s decision to go public comes after an average of 30 percent annual growth over last five years. The company considered going the private-venture-capital route, but the best options there would have required a move to the U.S. Though Ryan describes the process of becoming publically listed as difficult (and stresses the importance of a good CFO), he says it was worth it. Patterson asks, How big could the company grow? Ryan responds:

“We see there’s a lot of room for growth in ecommerce. Ecommerce is growing globally, in every country. The U.S. is the world’s largest ecommerce market, but it’s also growing in every country in the world. And you’ll find this, you’re shopping more online, your friends and family are shopping more and more online, that’s just a worldwide phenomenon, so we see there’s a lot of potential. And I’m sure, once you look at it, you’ll notice that search on a lot of websites is really poor, and you’ll sort of get a feel if you go and have a look at a few different websites, you’ll get a feel for how much of a need there is for our sort of services.”

We agree, there is no shortage of retail sites crying for improved search functionality. When asked what SLI hopes to achieve over the next five years, Ryan replies quite sensibly that they hope to continue to grow, pushing into more markets since “the whole world needs better search.” At the moment, SLI serves customers in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Next in their sites is Japan, but Ryan emphasizes that they get customer requests from a number of other countries.

The interview concludes with Ryan’s thoughts on cultivating New Zealand’s tech industry. His two suggestion: turn out more qualified computer science graduates (that sounds familiar), and celebrate the success of companies who have done well. That is a category in which SLI Systems is happy to claim membership, and they show no signs of slowing down now.

Cynthia Murrell, July 03, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Search’XPR Interview Available

June 17, 2013

The developer of Oorace is Search’XPR. The company has set up operations in New York to complement its two offices in France. You can read an exclusive interview with Jean-Luc Marini. I will explore the idea of software which goes beyond key word retrieval and facets in an upcoming KMWorld column. In the meantime, check out the interview on Search Wizards Speak. SWS is the largest collection of first-person explanations of concepts in search, content processing, and analytics. The entire collection is available from the index at http://arnoldit.com/wordpress/wizards-index/.

Stephen E Arnold, June 17, 2013

Sponsored by Xenky, the portal to ArnoldIT

Robert Steele on Open Source Intelligence in 2013

April 4, 2013

Robert Steele has been a prescient thinking and actor in the intelligence sector for decades. In 1979 he was competitively selected to join the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service. He spent nine years with the CIA, doing three tours overseas as a case officer recruiting and handling agents. In 1986, helped write the Marine Corps Master Intelligence Plan (MCMIP) as well as a plan for a Marine Corps Intelligence Center (MCIC). In the last 30 years, Mr. Steele has worked on a wide range of projects around the world.

In the interview which appeared in HighGainBlog, he said:

For all the money we spend on it, the secret world is not really providing the return on investment taxpayers should expect. Intelligence – decision support – is simply not being provided to everyone that needs it.

His views on the relationship of intelligence to decision support caught my attention as well. He said:

intelligence helps to emphasize that intelligence is synonymous with decision-support – the output of a very robust process of requirements definition, collection management, source discovery and validation, multi-source fusion, historically- and culturally-informed analytics, and the sharp visualization that answers an important question for a particular decision-making considering a particular decision challenge.  Few realize that most of what is produced by the secret world is not intelligence at all. Rather, it is secret information that is generic in nature and often not useful to decision-makers.

Mr. Steele’s views on open source software identifies a trend which has been accelerating in the last few years. Proprietary software has issues which have added a turbo charger to open source software adoption. He asserted:

Proprietary software is unsafe, does not scale, and is unaffordable. I have been unhappy with all vendors for the past 40 years because not a single one of them is committed to helping people make sense of information – they focus on trapping customers into using them as a core system, make promises they cannot keep, and then over-charge for configuration management and data conversion. I am also very concerned about Google’s computational mathematics and programmable search engines – I have a very high regard for Google’s expertise, and a very low regard for the government’s ability to understand now Google can manipulate search outcomes and other forms.

For those interested in intelligence activities, the new Robert Steele interview is a must read. You can find the Steele 2013 interview in HighGainBlog. Mr. Steele’s Public Intelligence blog is a valuable resource.

Stephen E Arnold, April 4, 2013

Sponsored by Augmentext

Bitext: Moving Forward with Enterprise Semantics

March 20, 2013

Antonio S. Valderrábanos, founder of Bitext, recently granted an exclusive interview to the Arnold Information Technology Search Wizards Speak series. Bitext provides multilingual semantic technologies, with probably the highest accuracy in the market, for companies that use text analytics and natural language interfaces. The full text of the interview is available at http://www.arnoldit.com/search-wizards-speak/bitext-2.html.

Bitext provides B2B multilingual semantic technologies with probably the highest accuracy in the market. Bitext works for companies in two main markets: Text Analytics (Concept and Entity Extraction, Sentiment Analysis) for Social CRM, Enterprise Feedback Management or Voice of the Customer; and Natural Language Interfaces for Search Engines and Virtual Assistants. Visit Bitext at http://www.bitext.com. Contact information is available at http://www.bitext.com/contact.html.

Bitext is seeing rapidly growth, including recent deals with Salesforce and the Spanish government. The company has added significant and important technology to its multilingual content processing system.

In addition to support for more languages, the company is getting significant attention for its flexible sentiment analysis system. Valderrábanos gave this example: “flies” may be a noun, but also a verb. We say “time flies like an arrow” versus “fruit flies like bananas.” Bitext believes computers should be able to parse both sentences and get the right meaning. With that goal in mind, they started the development of an NLP (natural language processing) platform flexible enough to perform multilingual analysis just by exchanging grammars, not modifying the core engine.

He told ArnoldIT’s Search Wizards Speak:

Our system and method give us a competitive advantage with regards to quick development and deployment,” Valderrábanos said. “Currently, our NLP platform can handle 10 languages. Unlike most linguistic platforms, the Bitext API ‘snaps in’ to existing software.

Bitext’s main area of research is focused on deep language analysis, which captures the semantics of text. “Our work involves dealing with word meanings and truly understanding what they mean, interpreting wishes, intentions, moods or desires,” Valderrábanos explained. “We just need to know what type of content, according to our client, is useful for her business purposes, and then we program the relevant linguistic structures.” He added:

Many vendors advocate a ‘rip and replace’. Bitext does not. Its architecture allows our system to integrate with almost any enterprise application.”

Bitext already delivers accuracy, reliability and flexibility. In the future, the company will be focusing on bringing those capabilities to mobile applications. “IPads, tablet devices in general, and mobile phones are becoming the main computing devices in a world where almost everybody will be always online. This opens a new whole arena for mobile applications which will have to cater for any single need mobile users may have,” Valderrábanos said.

Donald C. Anderson, March 20, 2013

Mark Bennett on Open Source Search

March 15, 2013

Mark Bennett is a recent edition to the LucidWorks team, after New Idea Engineering joined LucidWorks. Steven Arnold recently interviewed Bennett for his noteworthy series, Search Wizard Speak. “An Interview with Mark Bennett,” can be found on the ArnoldIT Web site.

After discussing many of the latest trends in search, Arnold and Bennett turn to the question of proprietary search solutions, and how they are responding to the surge in open source.

Bennett weighs in:

“Some organizations will use open source because its efficiencies are recognized by management. Other organizations will embrace open source because a vendor offers 24×7 support like LucidWorks and has world class engineers available to customize the system. The feature-set is different as well, enterprise buyers care about analytics and data quality, and would prefer a graphical UI. Other organizations will stick with what has been traditionally licensed year after year indifferent to the fact that what’s in an IBM solution may be open source or totally proprietary like Oracle Endeca or Oracle InQuira.”

Bennett is a great addition to the LucidWorks team, which has expanded again recently with the addition of Stephen Tsuchiyama as SVP. LucidWorks is increasing their staff to meet the growing demands of open source software for the enterprise. But LucidWorks is not just responding to a trend, they have been a leader in search and customer service for years, so they are also benefiting from their stellar reputation.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 15, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

Exclusive Interview: Mark Bennett of LucidWorks

March 5, 2013

Engineer Mark Bennett says it’s the tools that matter. Beyond Search agrees. Having tools and talking about tools are two very different things.

Mr. Bennett, co-founder of New Idea Engineering, recently brought more than twenty years’ enterprise search experience to LucidWorks, along with knowledge across major commercial search platforms, superior mathematics and physics-related disciplinary training, and a history in the search industry, including an early tenure at Verity, one of the pioneers in enterprise and large-scale information retrieval back in the 1990s.

Mark Bennett of LucidWorks, a member of their core enterprise search engineering team, recently granted an exclusive interview to the Arnold Information Technology Search Wizards Speak series to discuss the trajectory of search in 2013. LucidWorks is the leading developer of search, discovery, and analytics software based on Apache Lucene and Apache Solr technology. The full text of the interview is available at http://goo.gl/eoeuz.

He told Beyond Search:

“In a nutshell: search, analytics, and content processing vendors have to recognize that what is needed to allow developers to use the product is different from what is required to sell the product and deliver software which users embrace,” Bennett said about the immediate future of search products. “The challenge that keeps search specialists engaged is the problem of dealing with outliers—bizarre business requirements that every project seems to unearth. Outliers are the new norm.”

Bennett recalls a talk with a vendor ten years about a particularly tough search problem. Then, the vendor “ticked off a half dozen reasons why it was really very hard to solve and not worth the effort.” Years later, open source people visited the same problem, came up with a similar list, and diligently worked through those items. “LucidWorks, for instance, delivers facets, suggestions, advanced file storage, and high performance without the punishing costs of proprietary solution,” Bennett explained.

Stephen E. Arnold, Managing Director of Arnold Information Technology and publisher of the influential search industry blog Beyond Search, said:

“In my analysis of open source search, I rated LucidWorks as one of the leading vendors in enterprise search. Other firms with open source components have not yet achieved the technical critical mass of LucidWorks. Proprietary search vendors are integrating open source search technology into their systems in an effort to reduce their technology costs. At this time, LucidWorks is one of the leading vendors of enterprise and Web-centric search. Firms like Attivio (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=236514#.US9fGzBcgug) and ElasticSearch (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=237410) ElasticSearch are racing to catch up with LucidWorks’ robust technology, engineering and consulting services, and training programs.”

Bennett commented on the differences between LucidWorks and other retrieval solutions companies. “Despite all the comparisons done lately, the target audiences for most open source solutions are very different,” he explained. “If you spin up a copy of Solr you’ve got a very powerful Web user interface, and LucidWorks gives you even more of an administrative user interface. But when you fire up ElasticSearch, you’ve got a REST API.”

Bennett still often works from the Unix command prompt. “But when I watch a Windows or Mac power user for a day, and then watch a Unix command prompt guru—both get a lot of work done. My point is that each is a different type of power user. By the way, I work from the Unix command prompt myself.”

His point is that vendors need to be able to address the user interface preferences. “I do wonder what happens when an ElasticSearch developer hands off an application to a busy information technology person or an operations team to manage. Either those new owners are will need to know the ‘Web command line’ (URL and JSON syntax) extremely well, or if not, an administrative framework will be needed.”

LucidWorks is a step beyond more commercial proprietary search systems, in Bennett’s opinion, because it serves both groups of users. “Our professional services team has experience with many of other search engines. Chances are we’ve worked with many of the pieces before and know how to crack tough problems quickly. If an issue is a first time event, I am confident we can develop a solution.” He added:

“LucidWorks has delivered an open source enterprise search solution which accomplishes two things,” Arnold said. “First, it is an excellent alternative to many proprietary information retrieval systems. Second, the system takes the rough edges off some open source search solutions which add to an organization’s costs, not keeping them within budget allocations.”

Search is not a “one size fits all” solution, Bennett confirmed. “So while some engines drop features that ‘only three percent of people will ever use’, other groups realize that it’s the tools that matter.”

Visit the LucidWorks website at http://www.lucidworks.com.

Donald Anderson, March 5, 2013

Sponsored by Mediscripts, the world leader in prescription solutions for health professionals worldwide

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