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Search: Pure and simple

This article appears in the issue March 2007 (100 Companies) [Volume 16, Issue 3]

A pretty compelling case can be made that search is the single most interesting thing happening in enterprise software these days.

Search and navigation technology takes many forms, nearly all of which are dramatically more sophisticated than the offerings of a mere five or six years ago. Users are beginning to understand why enterprise search is so much more difficult than the familiar Google approach, but (and rightly so) they still want that same ease of use.

I'm lucky enough to get regular briefings from nearly all the players, and it's fascinating to watch such a dynamic market. Acquisitions abound, but at the same time, new entrants, many from outside the United States, are trying to capitalize on growing opportunities. A number offer entire search platforms upon which new applications can be developed—business intelligence is especially hot right now. Others focus on very narrow point solutions. The competition is as intense as any we've seen for the past seven or eight years.

With search becoming such a fundamental enterprise activity, customers can frequently be overwhelmed by choice. So, as you decide which of the spring conferences you should attend, make sure you consider the Enterprise Search Summit May 14 to 16 at the Hilton New York. And before you chastise me for making what seems like a shameless plug (the event is produced by Information Today, KMWorld's parent company), nowhere else can you find such a focused conference program combined with the opportunity to get hands-on experience with all the leading solutions. In fact, most of the vendors choose the Summit to introduce their new offerings.

Search can be confusing and complicated. The Summit makes it pure and simple. 


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