October 18th, 2013 — Data management
Apache Hadoop 2 goes GA. Teradata cuts guidance. And more
And that’s the data day, today.
April 12th, 2013 — Data management
Funding for MarkLogic and ParElastic. And more
And that’s the data day, today.
September 14th, 2012 — Data management
Oracle Endeca. Microstrategy. Who’s Really Using Big Data? And more
And that’s the Data Day, today.
February 8th, 2012 — Data management
February 23rd, 2010 — M&A, Text analysis
Newssift, which was set up by the FT Search unit within the Financial Times and launched in March 2009 was shut down recently after just a few months in full operation. We looked at it from time and time and obviously looked at it closely at launch time, talked to the executive in charge of it (who also appears to have left the FT) and to most of the vendors that supplied the technology – namely Endeca, Lexalytics, Nstein and Reel Two.
But the fact that people like us only looked at it from time was indicative of the problems the site apparently had. According to a source at one of the technology suppliers, the site was sticky once people had stayed around on it for the first time, but those new users were hard to come by and those that didn’t persist that first time didn’t find a reason to come back.
But Newssift’s loss is a bit of a blow to those in the text analysis industry, as it was supposed to be a flagship application of the technology, brought to market by one of the pre-eminent publishers in the world. That combination apparently wasn’t enough to make it succeed.
The thing that reminded us to look at it was yesterday’s acquisition of Nstein technologies by fellow Canadian content management player (and roll-up machine) Open Text for $35m, which seems to be a case primarily of Open Text consolidating its industry as long as it can get a good price, rather than being a deal for customers or technology.
We probably should have been using Newssift daily rather than relying on M&A to jog our memory as to its existence. But we weren’t, and now it’s gone .
September 16th, 2009 — Archiving, Search, Text analysis
In one of those Autonomy announcements that seemingly appear out of nowhere, the company has declared its intention to “transform” the relational database market by applying its text analysis technology to content stored within database. The tool is called IDOL Structured Probabilistic Engine (SPE), as it uses the same Bayesian-based probabilistic inferencing technology that IDOL uses on unstructured information.
The quote from CEO Mike Lynch grandly proclaims this to be Autonomy’s “second fundamental technology” – IDOL itself being the first. That’s quite a claim and we’re endeavoring to find out more and will report back as to exactly how it works and what it can do.
Overall though this is part of a push by companies like Autonomy, but also Attivio, Endeca, Exalead and some others into the search-based application market. The underlying premise of that market is database offloading; the idea of using a search engine rather than a relational database to sort and query information. It holds great promise, partly because it is the bridge between enterprise search and business intelligence but also because of the prospect of cost savings for customers as they can either freeze their investments in relational database licenses, reduce them, or even eliminate them.
Of course if the enterprise search licenses then get so expensive as to nullify the cost benefit, then customers will reject the idea, which is something of which search vendors need to be wary.
Users can apply to joint the beta program at a very non-Autonomy looking website.
May 18th, 2009 — Search
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.
Endeca – met chief scientist Daniel Tunkelang for the first time. Clearly the owner of an active mind, Daniel presents a different face to the search company. His thoughts on the conference are here.
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.
March 7th, 2008 — Search, Text analysis
I’ve gathered all my current thinking on potential M&A in enterprise search in a SectorIQ that we published earlier this week to our customers. In it, I look at four main potential targets plus a few other small ones and look at a few of the likely acquirers. (This is the way we write all our Sector IQs, btw and they’re a great way of getting a quick grasp on what might be coming down the pike in any particular sector of the IT industry)
Fortunately those of you that are not our customers (yet!) are able to read it via our arrangement with the New York Times DealBook section. Click here to see the NY Times posting or go here to go straight to the report – and while you’re there, sign up for a trial of our M&A KnowledgeBase, where we’ve been collecting details of every IT, internet and telecoms deal since the start of 2002!
Finally, a quick word about the headline. We like to have some fun here at 451 with these things and while I appreciate that this one might have been pushing things a little in terms of clearly explaining what the report was about, when else would I be able to use it? 😉