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January 10, 2008

Updated 2008 Enterprise Search Vendor Roundup

Jan. 10, 2008 - San Jose, CA, USA 

Microsoft announced they were acquiring FAST Search on January 8, forcing New Idea Engineering to amend our January 4th article "2008 Enterprise Search Vendors:  The new 'Fab4 ... and 1/2" (http://www.ideaeng.com/pub/entsrch/2008/number_01/article01.html). The announcement validates our original assessment and reinforces that search is mission critical for corporations, driving Microsoft to invest in a better search technology.

Some Highlights from NIE's 2008 Enterprise Search Vendor Roundup
Autonomy IDOL and FAST Search continue to hold the high end. K2 and Ultraseek are finally retiring.
Google's new version 5 appliance has arrived in the enterprise search mainstream.
Endeca is moving from the ecommerce side and had one of the most impressive search demos at ESS West 2007.
Lucene/ Nutch/ Solr (LNS) open source search engines continue to gain customer mindshare.
Microsoft with its acquistion moves in as Tier 1.
IBM and Oracle still not there.
Autonomy IDOL and FAST Search continue to hold the high end, evolving into "search platforms" that go beyond traditional drop in applications. The two leaders from earlier this decade, K2 and Ultraseek, are fading.

Google's new version 5 appliance has arrived in the enterprise search mainstream. While the new version won't satisfy every requirement, it addresses many of the earlier integration issues that had held it back. Expect to see the Google logo on a lot more enterprise portals.

Endeca has created some slick administration tools, doing very well in a head-to-head comparison with Autonomy and FAST despite their continued progress in this area.  As the importance of administration continues to increase, we are more enthusiastic about them in the Enterprise space.

Open source tools based on Lucene, including Nutch and Solr (LNS) are increasingly considered by companies, especially in niches that need to micromanage document relevancy and rating. Lucene and its derivatives are increasingly embedded in other software packages and services, to the point that many users won't even realize they're using it.

We had expected IBM to be the next entrant into the "Tier 1" lineup, based on their iPhrase acquisition. To our surprise, when we saw IBM at ESS East 2007, they were featuring one of their older engines, the OmniFind Enterprise Edition. IBM OmniFind is still not one of our new Fab 4 and an 1/2.

Dieselpoint, Intellisearch, Reccomind, ISYS, ZyLAN, Vivisimo, Siderean and Exalead have strong presences in niche markets.
To read the full article ... 2008 Enterprise Search Vendors: The New Fab 4 ... and 1/2. http://www.ideaeng.com/pub/entsrch/2008/number_01/article01.html


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"K2 and Ultraseek are finally retiring. "

So the products are being discontinued?

We have used Ultraseek for 9 years. There has been a movement to get Google because it would be good "PR" for the web sites. It would be non-trivial to make the switch for some users at out institution.

Does Google Appliance clearly outperform Ultraseek? Vice versa?
Wow - yes, the power of the Google name certainly makes managers feel better about switching search. Check out http://www.enterprisesearchblog.com/2007/07/whats-in-a-name.html.

We like Ulktraseek - although honestly we wonder if switching the core engine to IDOL will help or hinder it's future. Companies like Dieselpoint are coming along with powerful replacement technologies with all of the flexibility that Ultraseek had - which is sometimes not the case with Google. mbk

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