New Exclusive Interview: Bjorn Laukli, Comperio US

June 6, 2012

At a recent conference devoted to enterprise search, I spoke with Bjørn Laukli, now the president of Comperio US. Mr. Laukli was the Fast Search & Transfer chief technical officer. Prior to Fast Search’s acquisition by Microsoft in 2008, Mr. Laukli joined Comperio AS, a search solutions company. For more information about Comperio, navigate to the company’s Web site, If you mistype the url as, Google displays a malware warning, which does not apply to Comperio AS.

I asked Mr. Laukli about Comperio’s business focus. He told me:

We founded Comperio AS in 2004 with a vision of utilizing search technology to improve the way people interact with information, ensuring that the solutions understand people and context, rather than the other way round. Early on, Scandinavia was Comperio’s focus area, however, since 2008, it has expanded into the US and UK. Initially, the business was building a practice around the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) with both products and services. Since Microsoft acquired FAST, Comperio’s business focus has expanded into SharePoint and FAST Search for SharePoint.

A company’s approach to client engagements is key to the success of an engineering services firm. In response to the question, “How do you lead a client through a solution?”, Mr. Laukli said:

After an engagement agreement has been established, we typically enter the discovery phase. Often we follow an agile methodology like Scrum, and in such a setting we refer this phase to Sprint 0. In Sprint 0, we gather requirements and talk with the stakeholders from the client. This includes business and IT resources, as well as end users of the system. Sprint 0 consists of many activities from analysis, to concept development, interaction and technology design. The output of this initial phase is normally a detailed project plan outlining key deliverables and dependencies. A system design is also outlined and communicated. After sign-off on the project plan, we start the implementation. After the solution is deployed, it enters the maintenance phase. Comperio offers application management service (AMS) which in many cases is a great option for the client. That way they can focus on their core business, while we can ensure that their system produce high-quality results all the time.

You can read the full text of the interview with Mr. Laukli on the subsite Search Wizards Speak. For one click access to the 2009 interview with Mr. Laukli, click here. For the 2012 interview, click here.

The Search Wizards Speak collection of interviews contains more than 70 interviews with individuals who are involved in search and content processing. The index of the interviews is available at the subsite

Stephen E Arnold, June 6, 2012

Sponsored by IKANOW

Exclusive Interview: Paul Doscher, President of Lucid Imagination

April 16, 2012

The Search Wizards Speak features Paul Doscher, the new president of Lucid Imagination. Mr. Doscher joined Lucid Imagination in December 2011. He had been president of Dassault Exalead USA prior to assuming the top spot at fast-growing, customer- and community-centric Lucid Imagination.

I spoke with Mr. Doscher when he was working for the Dassault Exalead organization. When he shifted to Lucid Imagination, I spoke with him about his views of open source search. After that brief initial conversation, I met again with Mr. Doscher and probed into his views about the impact open source search is having on traditional for-fee, proprietary search systems.

When I asked about the shift from proprietary search systems to open source search, he told me:

Today organizations need the flexibility to adapt and make changes. A proprietary solution may not permit the licensee to make enhancements. If a change is made, the proprietary search vendor may “own” the fix and will add that innovation to its core product. The licensee who created the fix gets nothing and may have had to pay for the right to innovate. As corporate information technology struggles to keep up with escalating business information demands and an ever increasing mountain of growing content of all types, open source search provides a cost effective and efficient way to develop applications to address the challenges and opportunities in today’s enterprise.

Mr. Doscher has strong views about how licensees of enterprise search systems have learned about costs, the time required to deploy a system, and the effort needed to keep a search system up and running. I asked him about Lucid Imagination’s approach to a search engagement. He said:

Our approach to an engagement is to listen to what our customers need, prepare an action plan, and then deliver. In a sense, our approach is the type of involvement that many software companies have stepped away from. We have an enthusiastic group of engineers and professionals who work with clients to meet their needs.

The full text of the interview appears on the Web site. For more information about Lucid Imagination’s open source search system, you will want to explore the company’s Web site and its blog. In addition, an interview with one of the founders of Lucid Imagination, Marc Krellenstein, and with Eric Gries, a former executive at Lucid Imagination, is available in the Beyond Search archives.
Stephen E Arnold, April 16, 2012

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Protected: Exclusive Interview: David B. Camarata, IKANOW

April 9, 2012

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Improving Search with Behavioral Analyses

February 21, 2012

I wrote my KMWorld column about the interesting system and method developed by Dr. Linda McIsaac, president of Xyte, Inc. I learned about Xyte’s work in Washington, DC. A number of Federal entities tap her company for behavior-centric research.

I interviewed Dr. McIsaac on February 15, 2012, and the information I gathered struck me as important and highly relevant to enterprise search. With users of enterprise search systems expressing significant dissatisfaction with incumbent systems, licensing a new search engine should make people happy. Well, it does not. Traditional methods of figuring out what makes a user of a findability purr does not work particularly well.

Dr. McIsaac’s method may provide a solution. I have put the full text of our conversation on my Search Wizards Speak subsite. You can access the interview at this link.

Here’s an example of the outputs her research approach:

Xyte provides a system science model and a structure that identifies the way people function intellectually by classifying their cognitive information-processing capabilities presented as a logical system of relationships among various human capabilities. In simple terms, Xyte’s system provides a structure based on a proven theory which is predictive of the way individuals think and process information and then act consistently. No other system is predictive.

I was able to gather some information about the type of findings she delivers to clients. She told me:

Xyte surveyed each of what we call cognofiles or behavioral sets of the Xyting Insight™ system about usage of social media to determine who is most apt to use these computer applications. Not all consumers are eager to use Facebook or use it consistently. According a recent Xyte study, 27 percent of the population has never logged in to Facebook and another 20 percent only log in once or more a month. Data from our study suggest that some of the broad generalizations about social media, particularly as a replacement for a search system or face-to-face interaction are inaccurate. That means that advertisers are missing 47 percent of the population. However, 38 percent do log in daily and 16 percent do log in several times a week. The population segment that most frequents Facebook has a number of characteristics; for example, showing great compassion for others, wanting to be emotionally connected with others, having a natural intuition about people and how to relate to them, adapting well to change, embracing technology such as the Internet, and enjoying gossip and messages delivered in story form and liking to read and write.

For more information about Xyte, navigate to The complete interview is at

Stephen E Arnold, February 21, 2012

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Social Media Analytics: Relationships with End User Consumers

February 2, 2012

Text Analytics News recently partnered with Useful Social Media to publish a series of interviews with experts in the field of Social Media Analytics. The second installment focuses on the relationships between vendors and their end user consumers.

Social Media Analytics Expert Interview Series: Part 2” is conducted by the Chief Editor of Text Analytics news, Ezra Steinberg. The interview panel includes: Meta Brown, General Manager of Analytics at LinguaSys; Christine Campbell, Director of Marketing at Socialware; and Pirouz Nilforoush, President & Co-Founder of NetShelter Technology Media. All three interviewees will be speaking at the Social Media Analytics Summit in San Francisco in April. The interview sheds some light on customer interaction; some helpful questions and responses from the interview follow:

 “USM:  What do you believe the average consumer thinks about companies’ social media listening initiatives?

Nilforoush (Netshelter): I think the average consumer is confused as to why different brands are initiating conversations with them online that can resemble advertising or spam. Brands need to focus their efforts around engaging their top influencers, rather than trying to engage with every single person that has something to say about their brand. It is not a scalable model for the brands and can be annoying for the end user. Instead, brands should focus their efforts on the people that have the biggest impact on their brand. These influencers will do the work for brands on their own and impact the masses.

USM:  What would you tell someone who is thinking about employing social media analytics for their company?

Brown (LinguaSys): Start with just one narrow project tied to a specific business problem. Choose something where you feel confident that quick improvement is possible. Plan carefully – what’s the path from data collection to analytics to action to returns? Give yourself the best opportunity to succeed – don’t begin until you have made a plan that gives you a way to demonstrate measurable value for your investment in social analytics!

The interview focuses on planning for implementation of social media analytics and consumer’s thoughts on the topic. Many organizations would benefit by considering the opinions and thoughts provided by these leaders in social media. The full interview can be found here and can give insight on building relationships via social media and what to anticipate during the process.

Andrea Hayden, February 02, 2012

Interview with Paul Doscher

February 1, 2012

Paul Doscher is the CEO of LucidWorks, formerly Lucid Imagination. Before taking the helm of LucidWorks, Doscher led enterprise search vendor Exalead, from 2008-2011. Fierce Content Management has taken an interest in Doscher’s expertise and has conducted an interview with the leader entitled, “One on one with Paul Doscher, CEO LucidWorks.”

Fierce Content Management’s first question to Doscher asked how large amounts of untraditional data could be handled by the enterprise. He responded:

“Enterprise search has adapted dramatically over the past years. Many people think of search as executed through the use of a simple user interface and predicated on keyword matching. Such search results are static and lack intelligence. These types of search solutions remain relevant and appealing to certain enterprises. And yet, with the rapid explosion of text messaging, emails, video, digital recordings and smartphones, the amount of data that companies need to access and understand has grown monumentally and continues to mount. We see enterprise search extending well beyond the basic functionality to deliver results to business users that are meaningful and actionable.”

Doscher goes on to discuss the power of LucidWorks Search and particularly LucidWorks Big Data to conquer the new challenge of unstructured data. LucidWorks gets its strength not only from Doscher’s experience and leadership, but also from its open source foundation. Open source is in general a more agile, a more cost effective, and a more sustainable base for powerful software solutions.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 1, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Exclusive Interview: Gilles Andre, PolySpot

December 13, 2011

Last week I was able to interview Gilles Andre, the chief executive officer, of PolySpot late in November and then last week. Mr. Andre joined PolySpot in June 2010. Prior to this, Gilles  was co-founder and CEO of Augure, a company engaged in e-reputation management and services. Mr. Andre was also the founder of Leonard’s Logic suite in 1997 (software editor of Genio ETL). Acquired by Hummingbird in 1999. Mr. Andre is board member at Talend, recognized market leader in open source middleware solutions.


PolySpot is a provider of open search solutions. The company offers a robust and innovative architecture which supports search-centric applications accessible from any device connected to a client’s network.

I was interested in Mr. Andre’s view of PolySpot. The search and content processing sector is in transition, and the role of open source solutions continues to gain traction. He told me:

PolySpot’s agile framework, its use of open source technology like Lucene, and a focus on putting information in the business work flow. Olivier Lefassy, David Fischer – our CTO – and I had designed some interesting ideas, and I was eager to fine tune these elements into a business model that would propel PolySpot over the hurdles which cause many enterprise information solutions to fail.

With open source making in roads at IBM and other major technology providers, I asked about Mr. Andre’s involvement in the “communities” which play an important role in the sector. He told me:

When I was board member at Talend, a very successful French initiative in the ETL [extract, transform, load] segment from inception in 2006 to December 2010, I came to understand the potential of open source software. PolySpot gives me a chance to leverage my knowledge about fast growth, high potential companies, open source software, and the “big data” opportunity around us. I think you can say that data management and information are woven throughout my business fabric.

The PolySpot approach boasts a robust framework. I asked what PolySpot has constructed around Lucene, the open source search system:

We build the connectors I mentioned before and a connector software development kit. We engineered out proprietary transformation and enrichment platform (that’s the Sense Builder components) which adds intelligence to raw information. We also developed a very innovative end to end administration console enabling to design and maintain search applications with no particular technical skill, this eases Lucene and Solr configuration but also amplifies the search functionalities provided by Solr. Last, we have added display modules, information views, and graphical user interfaces. These can easily be customized. To make it brief, PolySpot delivers the first end-to-end packaged search infrastructure over Lucene and SOLR core technologies.

After seeing several demonstrations of client deployments, I was impressed with the PolySpot technology. To learn more about PolySpot’s solutions and technical approach, navigate to The full text of the interview with Mr. Andre is located in the ArnoldIT’s series Search Wizards Speak at this link.

Stephen E Arnold, December 13, 2011

Sponsored by, publishers of The New Landscape of Enterprise Search

BA Insight Interview

December 11, 2011

Short honk: We overlooked a new interview with Guy Mounier, BA-Insight. If you track the vendors who provide components to extend and enhance Microsoft SharePoint, you may find the interview with BA Insight interesting.


You can find the interview at this link. The interview carries the date of September 27, 2011. Our error. At age 67, I lose my pen several times a day.

Stephen E Arnold, December 11, 2011

Dr. Jerry Lucas, Telestrategies

November 14, 2011

An Exclusive Interview from

In October 2011, I had a chance to talk informally with Dr. Jerry Lucas, an expert in telecommunications and the owner of the Telestrategies conference series. I was quite interested in his views about content processing. His interest spans text and the large volumes of information that accrue in modern telecommunications systems. One theme which threaded thought his observations was the large volume of data that is now available in digital form. I don’t want to denigrate the commercial services who chit chat about “big data” for figuring out which soap detergent is perceived as having a “smiley face” on the brand. I do want to point out that the Telestrategies’ conferences are designed for law enforcement agencies, intelligence professionals, and practitioners who either work as advisors to agencies or as product developers. Put that your AtomicPR water balloon, insert XML tags, and spam the connected world.

The full text of the interview with him appears as part of the Search Wizards Speak series, which is the largest, free collection of first person narratives about information retrieval. The full text of my conversation with him is at this link. The master index for the series is available on the Beyond Search Web site at Wizards Index.

I wanted to highlight two points Dr. Lucas made in our discussion.

First, I asked him, “What is your view of the challenges flows of digital information pose to government professionals working in law enforcement or the intelligence community?” He told me:

First and foremost are the lack of updated laws creating new lawful interception mandates. In the US the last technical mandate law passed by Congress was the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. CALEA was passed in 1994 and enacted in 1995. The key players providing today’s communication services used by bad guys—specifically, Apple, Facebook, Google, Second Life, Skype, etc.–are not covered by CALEA mandates nor any other interception assistance laws. These companies have to respond to court orders but these companies don’t have to deploy any infrastructure features to assist law enforcement. I think this is a challenge which must be resolved. A second big challenge law enforcement and intelligence professionals is the lack of educational and budget support by their senior management. As you know, today’s senior management developed professionally in their careers depending on voice calls and e-mail messaging as their prime electronic communications tools. Today many senior managers still make phone calls and send e-mails during working hours and likely watch TV during off hours. So here is my point. To understand what’s needed to police a community you have to live in that community. I call this Policing 101. But Today’s senior managers usually don’t live in the Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Second Life and other cyber space environments as part of their every day activities.

Second, I asked Dr. Lucas, “You have a unique vantage point on some quite interesting technologies. If you were to advise a developer at a large firm specializing in digital information analysis, what would be the three most important features the company should include in their next product release?”

I know you are aware of the phenomenal requirements regarding data privacy or who can access data in a law enforcement agency. Privacy policies and safeguards for open source search in an enterprise can be very lax with regard to a law enforcement agency. Data gathered on a bad guy from a communications service provides under a court order is not fair game for searching over time by law enforcement professional. Those data may have to be erased over time and more. So compliance is an essential characteristic of many products and service. Second, product feature to consider is interoperability with legacy lawful intercept and intelligence gathering products. Interoperability is very important. So called “fork lifts” are rare events in this space and no one in this space wants to see an additional screen introduced in the central monitoring center. I want to emphasize that the user interface must be simple and shouldn’t require the user to be highly computer literate.

I found that the Apple influence is extending beyond the iPhone and iPad crowd. For more of Dr. Lucas’ insights and views, point your browser to the Dr. Jerry Lucas Interview. Information about Telestrategies is located at

Stephen E Arnold, November 14, 2011

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OpenSearchServer Revealed

October 31, 2011

In an exclusive interview, Raphael Perez, chief executive officer of OpenSearchServer, explains how his firm will further disrupt the traditional enterprise search market. (The full text of the interview is available on the enterprise search subsite.

OpenSearchServer project started in a French B2B media group in 2007. The company was looking for a search solution. The project emerged when a group of engineers became frustrated with the commercial search solutions.

Raphael Perez said:

Because no available solution was available at a decent price or offering all wished features, decision were made to create an in-house solution as an open source project based on Lucene. Emmanuel Keller, then the chief information officer, led the projects, and after two years of work more than 12 applications were installed and providing high value results. In December 2009, Emmanuel purchased the rights of the solution and formed a company to develop the community and offer them high level professional services, support, community management. It was the start of the story.

Today OpenSearchServer is one of a number of firms using Lucene as a component of a commercial enterprise search solution. One of the value adds his engineering team has crafted is a Classifier. He told me:

One a major module our Enterprise customers appreciate is called Classifier. It brings a very innovative set of features for applications with automatic classifications, matching and that are very appreciated in many businesses. Offering this module helps us to bring a nice differentiation for customers. Also we offer log reporting tools and a SOAP Web service.

The firm has a number of clients, including a rich media firm, an investment firm, and the vehicle information vendor ETAI, an Infopro group company.

You can read the full text of the exclusive interview in the enterprise search service, Search Wizards Speak. Search Wizards Speak is the largest collection of first person narratives about search, content processing, and analytics available without charge. There are more than 50 interviews available in the series.

For more information about OpenSearchServer, navigate to the company’s Web site.

Stephen E Arnold, October 31, 2011

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