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June 09, 2009

Enterprise search doesn't mean mortgaging the farm

Lynda Moulton, the Search Practice analyst at CMS firm Gilbane Group, really hit the mark on a recent blog post nominally about how advertising money can but editorial space. While it's true that many  publications (and analyst firms) are happy getting paid by both sides. (Note: I was called out on this by this by Theresa Regli of CMS Watch, so I no longer say 'all analysts' for anything!)

In my opinion, the real news in Lynda's post is this: "there are dozens of enterprise search solutions that will serve you extremely well, with much lower cost of ownership" than with the big industry players. In fact, open source is beginning to penetrate the corporate veil, and while Lucene and Solr are not right for everyone, it looks like they've just about implemented what Mark and I consider Verity's  "Topic 1.0" capabilities circa 1990. We went to a meet-up the other night that Mark has written about; and we were pretty impressed.

So before you decide you need to budget a half million dollars or more for search, consider what Walter Underwood, chief architect of Ultraseek and now search evangelist at Netflix once told me. Paraphrasing: "You can download Solr then spend a ton of money customizing it; or you can spend a ton of money licensing enterprise search software, then spend a ton of money installing and customizing it. Your call."

But get help!



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