Critical Review of the Market and Search Systems by Search Expert Stephen E. Arnold Now Available

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Written and sourced by search industry expert Stephen E. Arnold and the ArnoldIT.com team, this new study takes a frank, objective look at the market for enterprise search systems and six leading vendors. It also offers important common sense translations to help information retrieval laymen understand the explanations search vendors provide.

A newly released survey of the enterprise search market can offer critical assistance and facts to companies that need help finding the right search vendor for them. “The New Landscape of Enterprise Search: A Critical Review of the Market and Search Systems,” published by Pandia.com (Oslo, Norway), is now available for purchase.

Written and sourced by search industry expert Stephen E. Arnold and the ArnoldIT.com, http://www.arnoldit.com, team, this new study takes a frank, objective look at the market for enterprise search systems and six leading vendors. It also offers important common sense translations to help information retrieval laymen understand the explanations search vendors provide. In a time of considerable financial duress, an enterprise search system is an important part of many organizations’ operations, and “We wanted to try and provide an anchor point for today’s system professionals and managers,” Arnold said.

“Search vendors are using a diverse, often Madison Avenue approach to explaining information retrieval,” Arnold continued. “Because there are hundreds of companies offering broad solutions and an equal number selling eDiscovery, customer support systems, business intelligence systems, and sentiment analysis solutions, among others.”

Companies in need of upgraded search systems have to scrape away the marketing jargon. “Dig more deeply and you will discover that some solutions use open source software wrapped in proprietary code. Other vendors license third-party tools from specialists and essentially ‘package up’ solutions which are pitched as a cohesive whole. Many vendors are repacking 1990 technology and the licensee is often unaware of shortcomings until it is too late,” Arnold explained. “Little wonder most enterprise search systems generate dissatisfaction levels among their users of 50 percent, 65 percent, and even higher. After spending months and money, enterprise users often cannot locate a contract, an important presentation, or a specific email. In many organizations, manual methods and bootleg desktop search systems flourish.”

The principal chapters of the report are a preface explaining the logic behind the study; an introduction detailing how the annual review is conducted and compiled; surveys of major players in the industry including Autonomy, Endeca, Exalead, Google Search Solutions, Microsoft and Fast, and Vivisimo; and a wrap-up that provides a glimpse of the search industry of the future.

The volume contains a listing of resellers and partners of the profiled vendors for troubleshooting and expansion purposes, as well as stark evidence of the “footprint” each of the vendors has in specific market sectors. “To our knowledge, such data have not previously been collected,” Arnold said.

Arnold also included a table listing another two dozen vendors of enterprise search and a glossary with short explanations of important terms.

“With more than 200 vendors offering enterprise search solutions, there are 194 vendors who could argue that their system is better, faster, and cheaper than the vendors’ systems discussed in ‘Landscape’,” Arnold said. “That may be true. Focus is the goal of this new study. Most procurements boil down to a handful of major players. Procurement becomes difficult because search is increasingly described as customer support, business intelligence, or semantics. Confusion is rampant so organizations turn to established vendors’ solutions.”

The new report does not duplicate the information which is available without charge in the Search Wizards Speak collection of more than 50 interviews with experts in search and retrieval, http://www.arnoldit.com/search-wizards-speak/, or Arnold’s blogs about search and content processing: Beyond Search, http://arnoldit.com/wordpress/, and Inteltrax.com, http://www.inteltrax.com.

The report comes in at a compact 150 pages and is available as a PDF for $20. Order online at http://www.pandia.com/enterprise-search/. More specific information on “Landscape” is available at http://arnoldit.com/wordpress/landscape/.

About Stephen E. Arnold, ArnoldIT
Stephen E. Arnold is a technology and financial analyst with more than thirty years of experience. He is the recipient of the following awards: ASIS Eagleton Lectureship, 1986; Online Best Paper Award, 1989, the Malcolm Hill Award, 2003, the OSS Golden Candle Award in 2007. In addition to “Google: The Digital Gutenberg,” he is the author of more than 50 journal articles and a number of other books, including “Internet 2000” and the first three editions of the 600-page encyclopedia of search called “The Enterprise Search Report.” His new study “The New Landscape of Enterprise Search: A Critical Review of the Market and Search Systems” was published on June 1, 2011, by Pandia in Oslo, Norway. Mr. Arnold’s Web site is http://www.arnoldit.com.

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