Enterprise search company Vivisimo has appointed a new CEO and president as the company aims to scale up. Co-founder and previous CEO Raul Valdez-Perez becomes chairman. John Kealey, the new CEO has been on the company’s advisory board for the past 18 months and so knows the company well.
In terms of executive positions he was most recently CEO of iDirect Technologies, which was acquired by Singapore Technologies in 2005. He’d held previous positions at SBC Communications. Calderwoodm who has worked alongside Kealey for many years was a founder and managing partner of Amp Capital Partners, a VC firm in Virginia and also worked at iDirect. He has many years of software management experience while at Baan.
The CEO search apparently started last year and Kealey was an early choice but wasn’t available until now.
We’ve noted before that Vivisimo that was being bad-mouthed by its competitors over and above the usual level of FUD you see in this or any other tech market though we couldn’t figure out why. However we said then that it seemed misplaced to us and this move would seem to indicate that the company is certainly going in the right direction. We look forward to getting an update from John in the near future.
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.
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? 😉