Why LucidWorks? And Why Now?
Big news for us here at New Idea Engineering. After 16 years as an independent search technology consulting company, we've become part of LucidWorks effective December 1, 2012.
For years we've focused on both the business and technology of search. We've provided vendor neutral consulting services to large and small organizations. We've worked with search platform companies to help tune their product capabilities and their message; we've helped companies implement enterprise search from 'the usual (vendor) suspects'. We've provided business best practices, data audits, and implementation overview for dozens of companies for most of our time as an independent company.
As you know, the market for enterprise search has changed over the last several years. Verity then Autonomy, FAST, Endeca, Exalead, ISYS, and more have been acquired by large companies with varying levels of success. With these acquisitions the products have morphed to fit into the new owners' world view, we've politely referred to shift in focus as being "distracted". Google, one of the few non-acquired engines, got into the market with a low-cost entry which has enjoyed great acceptance; but as the market changed, Google has started raising its prices for the nifty yellow box. And while they pursue laudable offerings like phones, tables, Google Glass and self driving cars, cloud computer and simultaneously retool their ad model for the mobile world, it's fair to say that even their enterprise offerings are potentially distracted at times.
Sure, if your company has a typical use case for search, there's an engine or appliance for you. But so many complex projects we've seen are atypical, almost by definition. These high-end projects are no longer efficiently served by commercial sector. Many projects have turned to Open Source offerings, but not out of cost savings as you might think, but out of a desire to have extreme control and flexibility, and not be tied down by vendor meddling and license nit-picking.
Over the same period, more and more people have realized that the need to understand and manage 'big data' is taking off. In fact, search is the interface of choice to find content in big data repositories.
It's been about 10 years since we did our first project based on Lucene, the basis for nearly all modern open source search engines today. Since then, the capabilities of open source search have increased to the point where we honestly think Solr may be the best search platform available on the market today.
We didn't call what we did with Lucene back then 'big data', but that's really what it was. Scalable, controllable, flexible, powerful... and open! And free for the taking - and modifying. Just add programmers.
A few years back, Lucid Imagination was started to provide that support, along with training and an easy to use interface that lets business owners - not just developers - use Solr search. We've called them "the RedHat of Open Source Search". Now, Lucid Imagination has become LucidWorks, and it is set to be the best way to search web, file, and database content, with extreme control, and of course with big data.
A few months ago we spoke with Lucid CEO Paul Doscher about upping our contract with them, and about where they were going, and it just made sense to us at that time to join a bigger team.
While we're committed to success at LucidWorks, we'll continue to use our blog to discuss all aspects of enterprise search – vendors, tools, technologies, events, and trends. Unlike our days at past search companies, this one is based on an open platform so we'll be able to share a lot more as we move forward.
We hope you'll find our posts interesting, helpful, and engaging. Let us know how we're doing.