Trend-Setting Products of 2006
Posted Aug 23, 2006

You might be asking how we go about selecting products we consider to be "trend-setting" out of the sometimes dozens of individual offerings from the roughly 300 vendors we consider to be in our "space"—combined, nearly 1,500 products were considered this year. I wish I could tell you that since we first started this list four years ago, we've been refining an elaborate, proprietary algorithm identifying key market indicators, economic forecasts and user behavior that has been drawn from sophisticated blog and Wiki analysis, as well as selective monitoring of e-mail and phone conversations around the world. I wish I could say that we feed this data into the KMWorld quantum computer and voila!, out pops the list.

If that were the case, things would be a lot easier--especially for me, but also for the entire, informal panel of colleagues and analysts, who gather information from vendors themselves and, especially, their customers. It is precisely that group that distinguishes the 2006 list, because, after all, customers are the most important participants of any trend. Despite the brilliant components of these offerings, they are, with a few exceptions, evolutionary, not revolutionary. Gone are the days when software developers find market success simply by introducing products because they are capable of doing so. Those companies--and their products--are long gone. For the past couple of years I've been hearing vendors say that input from customers has prompted changes to their products. I admit to being pretty skeptical early on, believing they were merely empty words from "marketeers." So for the past 12 months, I've been making a concerted effort to verify those assertions. And for the companies on this list, anyway, the claims are true. Customers, by definition, define the market, and today, more than ever before, they are driving product development because they often deploy the tools in a manner unanticipated by the developers themselves.

We believe the products listed here represent some of the very best thinking about, and development of, solutions for nearly every vertical industry and every organization, public or private. Compilation of the list is an ongoing project, so we want to hear directly from vendors and their customer (not PR people, please) about products we may have missed that deserve consideration—please direct your comments to me. I can't reply to all, but all will receive genuine consideration. We take this stuff seriously.

You'll obviously note that some of the products have appeared on the list before—sometimes the market needs a little nudge. Nevertheless, the products and their developers share a focus on addressing customer needs. It's always good to know that customers at every level of the value chain are the true benefactors of knowledge management. The way life should be.

Abbyy Software--Recognition Server Server-based solution for delivering scalable, reliable and rapidly deployable optical character recognition (OCR) functions in a service-oriented environment.

Alfresco--Alfresco 1.3 Open source enterprise content management, as well as document management, collaboration, records management, knowledge management, Web content management and imaging.

AquireOrgPublisher Allows creation of on-demand organizational charts and work force intelligence reports with real-time data access to any ODBC/OLE DB source.

Astoria --XML Content Management Platform Permits complete content life cycle storage and access of content elements from a single repository, automates manual processes, manages hundreds of simultaneous users and maintains detailed audit trails for commercial and regulatory compliance.

ATG --ATG Service Suite Treats customers as individuals, understands their intent, meets their expectations and resolves their problems thoroughly and quickly.

Attensity--Text Analytics Enables users to extract and analyze in unstructured data and creates output that is fused with existing structured data for further analysis by Attensity's applications.

Autonomy--K2 v7 The first release of Verity K2 search after the acquisition, offering greater scalability and integration with the Autonomy IDOL platform.

AXS-One--AXS-One Compliance Platform Policy-based archival and storage management for electronic records that facilitates legal discovery, compliance and governance.

Basis Technology--Rosette Linguistics Platform A suite of interoperable components for applications that analyze and process all languages, enable information retrieval applications and search engines to understand queries and search Web pages in foreign languages by providing a linguistic analysis of each word.

BEA--WebLogic Portal 9.2 New tooling, federation and community enhancements, including adaptive user interface capabilities with granular features such as enhancements for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) support, as well as support for Web Services for Remote Portlets WSRP.

BrainwareGlobalbrain Highly scalable search and retrieval of information from more than 220 file types, wherever it resides--PCs, enterprise databases, file servers, the Internet, etc.

Cipher --Knowledge.Works Toolkit of competitive intelligence capabilities, including content aggregation, advanced search, automatic text summarization and integrated reporting.

Clarabridge--BI Search Search developed from a strong business intelligence foundation; allows users to query existing reports through a Google-like interface, improving their ability to gain insight from existing business intelligence content.

ClearStory--ActiveMedia 7-- (EMS) A vibrant DAM solution that manages the digital media supply chain from creation to consumption.

Code Green Networks--Content Inspection Appliance Gold standard for content security--resides at the network gateway between a company's secure network and the Internet, and monitors and analyzes content leaving the corporate network, automatically enforces corporate content protection policies.

Connotate--Information Agent Suite A complete and robust platform for creating streams of actionable intelligence from the Internet, an extranet or intranet.

ContextwareContextware KM Codifies processes and links them to relevant resources, including content, subject matter experts and key resources, resulting in flattened learning curves.

Coveo--Enterprise Search 4 CES 4 delivers secure, unified search across all documents and multimedia files in file systems, e-mail servers, intranets, enterprise applications, databases and Web sites.

Cuadra--STAR product family Complete information management systems for libraries, records centers, reference and referral centers, law firms, museums and publishing firms.

CymfonyOrchestra Comprehensive market analytics platform combining consumer-generated and traditional media, while utilizing technology with expert analysis.

Dieselpoint--Dieselpoint Search Enterprise search for large-scale product catalogs, Web sites, document repositories and intranets, combining full-text and linguistic techniques with data navigation.

DocZone.comDocZone Hosted XML-based system to manage multilingual content and automated production of technical documentation, journals, training manuals, online help and Web sites.

eGain--eGain OnDemand A hosted e-service solution, proven to be a cost-effective, risk-reducing offering.

EMC Software--Documentum ApplicationXtender Family Enables secure storage, organization and management of documents and files, integrating imaging and reports management and facilitating enterprise relationship management, workflow and document management.

Endeca--Information Access Platform An enterprise-grade search and information access solution combining meta-relational architecture, an information transformation layer, data-driven application components and a Web-based management suite.

Engenium--Semetric Enterprise Concept-based, keyword and parametric search designed for information retrieval from disparate enterprise data stores.

Exact--e-Synergy Web-based collaboration platform helping to create an accurate, timely view of personnel, finance, workflow, documents and asset information.

Exalead--exalead one:search A unified search technology platform that efficiently handles all search--from the desktop, the Web and across an enterprise.

Exsys--CORVID Knowledge Automation Knowledge automation software and services enabling organizations to take full advantage of their expertise assets though Web-enabled expert systems.

Extensis--Portfolio Server 8 Digital asset management solution designed to streamline workflow through organizing, viewing, routing, archiving and distributing.

Fast Search and Transfer--FAST ESP Proven foundation for a wide variety of solutions, from market intelligence, criminal surveillance and data warehousing, to merchandising, online publishing and media, directories and mobile search. FatWire (

FatWire Content Server Product suite allowing deployment of a wide variety and large quantity of Web sites and content-centric applications.

FileNet--P8 Platform Enterprise platform to capture, store, manage, secure and process all forms of content and automate records management.

Global 360--Business Optimization Server Real-time process assessment, enabling rapid evaluation and change with in-progress business transactions.

Google--OneBox Delivers relevant, real-time information from enterprise sources, such as CRM, ERP and business intelligence systems based on a user's search query.

Grokker--Enterprise Search Management A fully hosted, Web-based application that combines search federation, information visualization and results management.

Hoover's--Business information services Delivers business information on public and private companies worldwide through business, industry and marketing intelligence targeted to sales, marketing and senior-level executives.

Hummingbird--Hummingbird Enterprise A platform delivering a framework to deploy content-driven and process-specific solutions.

Hyland SoftwareOnBase Combines integrated document management, business process management and records management in a single application.

IBM--WebSphere Content Discovery Server Real-time understanding of user intent and application context to optimize relevance of information that is delivered.

Imaginatik--Idea Central Designed to encourage and facilitate innovation, a configurable system with workflow capabilities to manage idea generation campaigns.

Innodata Isogen--Innodata Isogen Content Management & Publishing Systems Portfolio of content services, from digitization and imaging to data conversion and editorial services.

Inquira --Inquira 7.3 (Intelligent Search) Merges information retrieval with natural language processing in a software system that understands both content and user questions through a combination of linguistic techniques and contextual understanding. InQuira 7.3 enables companies to provide cost-efficient customer support.

Insightful--S-PLUS 7 Integrates advanced analytics into everyday business processes.

Integrify--Version 4.0 Request and approval management solution that provides process definition, automation and visibility for areas such as IT, HR, finance, sales, marketing and other types of services.

Interwoven--Application Connector Suite Facilitates team member collaboration and knowledge management in everyday business portals through specific adaptors to ensure a tightly coupled experience.

Inxight--SmartDiscovery Suite Enables management and full utilization of all business information at a content-rich level, providing an easy-to-integrate platform.

ISYS--ISYS 7 Suite Designed to provide fast, easy-to-deploy search engine functionality in a range of different environments, including the Web, intranets and desktop.

KANAResponse Premier customer service tools combining e-mail and e-service, call center, Web self-service and vertical industry solutions.

KNOVA--KNOVA 6.5 A service resolution management suite featuring search, content management and internationalization.

KnowNow--KnowNow eLerts Service that offers users notification in real time when relevant RSS content is posted to the Web.

Kofax--Document Scan Server Hardware and software that connects to a network on one end and a USB scanner on the other; thus, it scan-enables virtually any application and can be easily installed and managed.

Liberty IMSLibertyNET Platform, document management, records management, process automation, workflow, digital asset management, COLD/ERM, e-forms, e-mail management and collaboration.

Lockheed MartinAeroText A fast, agile information extraction system for developing knowledge-based content analysis applications—well suited for automatic database generation, routing, browsing, summarizing and searching.

Mark Logic--MarkLogic Server Robust XML content server with tunable search, XML classifier, point-in-time queries and XML lexicons.

MDY (recently acquired by Computer Associates)--MDY FileSurf Enterprise-grade records management solution for managing the entire life cycle of physical and electronic records, including e-mails and attachments.

Mercado--Mercado bSMART Provides an online B2B sourcing environment for employee purchasers and business partners through intuitive online catalog navigation and targeted product search.

MetaCarta--Geographic Text Search Identifies implied and explicit references to geographic locations within documents, assigns latitude/longitude coordinates to the references, indexes the document and then enables a search for indexed documents through GUIs.

Metastorm--BPM Suite A complete business process management suite that addresses the full process life cycle that can be customized to meet both human- and system-centric requirements, allowing full utilization of existing applications.

MicrosoftSharePoint Highly flexible and broadly adopted information, process and content management software that has spawned many products from other vendors developed specifically for integration with it.

Mindjet--MindManager Mac Concept mapping software for Intel-chip Macs to facilitate idea development and understanding relationships and ramifications of complex issues, supported through graphics, related documents and Internet links.

MindTouch--Managed Office Server An onsite Wiki appliance specifically designed to meet the information management needs of small to medium-sized businesses.

Mobius--ViewDirect TCM suite Content repository offering that serves as the foundation for a software suite that meets a broad range of content-intensive requirements, including Web content management, imaging, workflow, Internet presentment and payment, records management and enterprise report distribution.

Nervana--Nervana Discovery Solution Search offering based on computer-readable ontologies and ranking and indexing through construction of semantic maps of source documents according to how well they match user-specified knowledge contexts.

New Idea EngineeringSearchTrack Pure Java proxy server application that works in conjunction with existing search engines to provide analytics and directed results.

NewsGator--NewsGator RSS Suite Internal and external RSS feeds delivered securely to employees through Outlook, the Web and mobile devices.

Nexidia--Nexidia Enterprise Speech Intelligence 6.0 Audio mining and speech analytics software that allows users to search on proper names, places industry-specific terms and jargon without extensive training and unwieldy dictionaries often associated with speech-to-text solutions.

Noetix--Enterprise Technology Suite A business intelligence solution that automatically generates an extensive library of customizable reports from Oracle and Siebel applications.

Northern Light--Enterprise Search Engine Cost-effective offering with a 17-factor approach to relevance ranking that considers statistical text measures, hyperlink analysis and subject classification.

Nstein--Ntelligent Enterprise Search Search-driven business/competitive intelligence, measuring opinions as indicators of future behavior.

OneSource- Account Intelligence for Deep, rich business information offering company-linked information covering more than 1.7 million public and private companies and 6 million executives worldwide, directly integrated into

Open Text--Livelink ECM - Knowledge Management Robust KM solution and approach allowing organizations to search, classify, navigate and collect corporate knowledge in a single, secure, Web-based repository.

Oracle--Oracle Content Database (OCD) Scalable, secure management of unstructured content in an Oracle database, encouraging continuing product development from other vendors specifically designed for OCD integration.

OutStart--OutStart Evolution LCMS A sophisticated platform designed to facilitate rapid enterprise learning content development and management.

PaperThin--CommonSpot 4.6 Complete, full-featured, browser-based Web content management solution supporting authoring in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla and FireFox.

ProClarity--ProClarity Analytics 6 Enhanced and expanded integration and functionality for the SQL Server business intelligence platform.

QL2--WebQL 3.0 Extracts data from the deep Web and other unstructured sources inside or outside the firewall, then reformats and delivers it to the user in actionable formats such as spreadsheets, databases and XML.

Quantum Art--QP7.Enterprise Enterprise content management solution that includes process-based publishing and RSS/XML syndication and transformation technologies.

Recommind--Projects & Expertise Built into the company's search-based application integration framework, delivers a 360-degree view of an organization's projects and people by integrating information from multiple corporate systems.

RedDot (a Hummingbird company)--XCMS Mid-market content management with online collaboration and business process automation.

RightNow--RightNow Analytics Delivers actionable business intelligence through the capture, organization, analysis and dissemination of information about all customer touch points across sales, marketing and service.

SafeHarbor--SmartSupport Web Enterprise Customizable, comprehensive customer support solution with additional navigation channels, enhanced escalation and support for multiple brands.

SchemaLogic--Enterprise Suite Business semantics management solutions through a metadata repository from which both structural metadata definitions and semantic metadata or reference data are served, revealing relationships between assets.

SerenaChangeMan Enables management of multiple concurrent releases of all organization applications, regardless of development methodology, geographic location or computing platform.

Siderean--Seamark Navigation Server Discovers and indexes content, pre-calculates relationships and suggests paths for data exploration.

Smead--Smeadlink Express Full life cycle document and records management for both paper and electronic files.

Stellent--Universal Records and Retention Management Enables enterprises to define all policies for records and retention management, as well as perform discovery and apply litigation holds in a legally defensible manner across the organization.

SumTotal Systems--SumTotal Version 7.2 HR software that enhances the performance management process and integrates learning activities as part of a worker's development plan.

SupportSoftSelf-Service Suite Automates technical support, customer service and IT infrastructure management.

Teragram--Direct Answers Delivers short, specific answers to information-gathering queries rather than Web links provided by common keyword searches.

TOWER Software--TRIM Context 6 Platform for managing documents, records, processes, content and e-mail that integrates into line of business applications.

Traction Software--Traction TeamPage Robust enterprise blog platform.

Ultimus--BPM Suite Complete business process management offering that enables automated deployment without completely defined process maps, allowing processes to be adapted in real-time by process experts.

UnicaNetTracker Web analytics solution that allows transforming transactional and clickstream data into actionable strategies.

VignetteNext-Generation Web Presence Solutions Wide-ranging approach to employee, customer, partner, supplier and reseller portals through management of the full information value chain.

VivisimoVelocity Combines approach of consumer search with enterprise requirements and a service-oriented architecture to deliver performance, scalability and security.

webMethods--webMethods Fabric Business integration and process optimization suite incorporating enterprise services, business process management, business activity monitoring and a composite application framework.

WebSideStory--Search 4.0 Integrates site search and behavioral data to enable marketers to optimize the ranking of their search results based on any number of visitor metrics.

X1--X1 Enterprise Platform Desktop search interface through the X1 Enterprise Server, including content connectors for a number of common enterprise data sources and SDKs for development of comprehensive, custom search solutions.

Xenos--d2e Enables enterprise content management, automated archiving, distribution and printing without changes to existing applications.

XyEnterprise--Contenta Backbone for a number of Content@ solutions, including an out-of-the box Darwin Information Typing Architecture offering.

ZyLAB--Information Access Platform A robust, flexible and complete XML-based system for archiving and long-term management of digitized paper documents, multimedia, electronic files, e-mail and attachments to facilitate business processes.