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Trend Alert:enterprise search is hot

By Paula J. Hane

Seeing the words "enterprise search" repeated in one press announcement after another signals a hot trend to me. Just in the last six months, I've covered product news from Endeca, Copernic, Northern Light, FAST, Verity, EasyAsk, Inxight—and news from Open Text arrived as I was writing this article.

Finding information that's located in internal and external data repositories is one of the major challenges of today's business organizations. It's led to a growing popularity in the marketplace for products addressing that need. Most of the newer enterprise products do much more than just provide keyword searching. The clear trend is to integrate entity extraction, linguistic technologies, taxonomies and classification with sophisticated search technologies to offer users better search results with less work.

At last fall's KMWorld & Intranets conference, more than half of the knowledge management exhibitors identified themselves as being in the "search, taxonomy and classification" markets. With so many products available—and improvements coming along all the time—evaluating and choosing the best products for particular information needs has become an important and complex mission. To aid in the task, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) has announced several initiatives, including a new conference and an enterprise search demonstration site, designed to put information into the hands of corporate decision makers.

The new event, the Enterprise Search Summit, is scheduled for May 11 to 12 in New York. According to Nancy Garman, Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference program planning, ITI designed the Enterprise Search Summit specifically for IT managers, information and knowledge architects, content managers, and Web publishers and developers who are tasked with implementing site-search functions within their organizations. Over the course of two days, conference attendees will learn from expert instructors and industry analysts about how to select and implement enterprise search applications and how to mesh search with information architecture and content management systems.

Along with tutorials and demos, the Enterprise Search Showcase will feature tabletop displays and demonstrations by enterprise search software and solutions vendors. To view the complete program or to register for this new conference, go to enterprisesearchsummit.com.

In advance of the May summit, attendees and any others interested in enterprise search are invited to test-drive a number of leading technology solutions by visiting a unique search implementation on the ITI sites, which are rich with information about content management, search engines and related technologies. The new Enterprise Search Center (ESC) was launched in early April and will be available for use throughout 2004.

By invitation, participating vendors of enterprise search solutions have set their crawlers loose on the following Web sites, all owned and operated by Information Today, Inc.: KMWorld, eContent Magazine, Destination CRM, eMedia Live, Streaming Media, The Cyberskeptic's Guide, and Intranets. Users searching the ESC will see how each engine performed against the same content collection. Because the sites operate on a variety of platforms, users will also be able to see how the engines coped with distributed and independent systems, not unlike those found in many enterprises. Those who try the ESC are asked to register and then complete a short questionnaire after their test-drive.

The first three companies participating in the ESC are Northern Light, Synomia and Entopia.

(Editor's note: This article first appeared in the April 2004 ITI NewsLink, which is a free weekly e-mail newsletter featuring news and resources for the information industry. To subscribe, please visit infotoday.com or e-mail join-infotoday@lists.infotoday.com.)

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Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.'s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks, e-mail phane@infotoday.com

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