I started off this year’s Enterprise Search Summit in New York last week with a dinner sponsored by New Idea Engineering and Attivio on Monday night, which was highly enjoyable, despite my jetlag – having to try and stay up the first night in from London. Thanks to those folks for the invite and the conversation.
Katey and I were not allowed to sit in any of the session this year from some strange reason. So I can’t tell you first hand about what was interesting or not or the attendance in the sessions. Go figure. It also wasn’t that conducive to meeting end users, which is a main objective of attending these things.
Katey reckoned attendance overall was slightly down on last year, but not spectacularly so (I was at different conference and so had to miss last year’s).
So away from those two disappointments, we did have a fairly full docket of meetings with vendors, which were generally lively, with good give and take. Where we say ’451 research to follow,’ it means our clients can expect a research report on the company in the near future.
Some of the highlights:
Attivio – CTO Sid Probstein is always chock-full of ideas and so always good to have a sitdown with him. CEO Ali Riaz is entertaining on a whole different level. The company appears to be going great guns and is at the forefront of the drive to combine structured and unstructured data as we have said before.
BA-Insight – not really a search company or a text analysis company; more of a piece of information management middleware that aims to increase ‘findability’ within SharePoint. As any SharePoint users, especially those in an environment with multiple SharePoint sites – that can only be a good thing. Connectors to other search engines coming. 451 research to follow.
Coveo – the company was out in force at this conference having just launched version 6.0 of its search platform featuring better scalability, connectors and mobile functionality. We covered that product update a short while back.
Google – the typically on-message briefing from Google. It owns the low end and is increasingly taking chunks out of the mid-tier, but still no sign of the management layer enterprises needed to get their arms around the myriad Google search appliances lying around most large organizations. It will probably appear out of the blue at some point though, this year, I’d imagine.
Microsoft – Nate Treolar was a great evangelist for Fast Search & Transfer while a product manager, and so it seems appropriate that he has the term ‘evangelist’ in his title at Microsoft where he’s working not only on the SharePoint search ecosystem but other programs such as ‘conversational’ and ‘actionable’ search; talking and doing, hey, what else is there?
PerfectSearch – we don’t usually see too many companies at this conference that we haven’t spoken to before, but PerfectSearch is one of them. It sells a search appliance and some of the founders have a Novell background, hence its Orem, IT HQ. 451 research to follow.
Vivisimo – from what we’ve heard the company is going well, both in the indirect (OEM) ad direct markets. We’ve noticed how often this company is being bad-mouthed by its competitors (over and above the usual FUD in any tech market) though we’re not sure why. Perhaps because Pittsburgh isn’t as fashionable as Boston or the Valley? Don’t really know, but it seems misplaced based on our experience. It’s making good headway with Lexis-Nexis, which will be important in the eDiscovery market as well with other customers that have demanded confidentiality (pretty common in the eDiscovery market). 451 research to follow.