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August 04, 2014

Explaining the 2014 Gartner Enterprise Search MQ

The recent release of the Gartner 2014 MQ for Enterprise Search held a number of surprises, some of which I mentioned in my original post last week. My initial reaction was that at least a couple of the companies new to the MQ this year don't really strike me as 'enterprise search' companies. But as I dig into the MQ text, I can see some logic to their call. I can also see something else in the 2010 Enterprise search MQ: Search is going into a somewhat boring mid-life crisis.

Just a handful of years ago the field was vibrant. We had leaders FAST, Exalead, Endeca, ISYS, Open text, Omniture and more, none of which have survived to the 2014 MQ. Some were acquired; some faded away into different industries. But of the big names of the recent past, only Coveo, Autonomy and Google survive as 'Leaders'. Mark Logic, Lucidworks, Attivio, IBM and Mark Logic fall into the lower half of the 'Ability to Execute' axis.

What's going on here? "Big data" is the new kid on the block, a new toy to play with, and search is struggling with an uphill battle with the Apache Zoo-related tools (as well as new ones that seem to be announced daily.) Some companies, notably Lucidworks, are doing quite a bit to optimize search of content stored in Hadoop repositories with the natural language interface you expect from web search engines. They also have focused on tools to speed indexing currently in their Lucidworks Search commercial product but which will likely find it way into open source. 

My take? Don't schedule the wake for enterprise search just yet. Its newer, younger and fresher cousins in big data are getting all the hype for now; but eventually, users have to be able to find content in a way they understand - not SQL, but natural language queries typed by mere mortals on the 9 to 5 shift.

Need advice on your search solution? I'm happy to provide a one-hour consult on your enterprise search questions. Let me know.


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