Enterprise search no longer a black art

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Enterprise search no longer a black art

Enterprise search buyers are finally being offered products that are easier to configure, install and implement, according to new research by independent analyst firm CMS Watch.

The firm's Search & Information Access Report 2009 features interviews with global enterprise search customers in which 20 leading products were evaluated.

The findings suggest that search firms once notorious for the complexity of their technologies now provide customers with easy-to-use web interfaces to control the software and indexing capabilities.

"The main thing is that people started to get fed up with toolboxes which you had to configure, install and implement," said report author Adriaan Bloem.

"Even the more complex vendors such as Autonomy and Endeca are putting in graphical interfaces for configuration."

These larger search vendors which sell more complex software will remain popular among certain customers with sophisticated environments, although they are being pushed all the time to make their products easier to implement and use, according to Bloem.

The research warned that vendors unable to prove that they will be able to index disparate repositories within a three-month proof-of-concept period will fall off enterprise shortlists.

Jean Ferré, chief executive at enterprise search vendor Sinequa, agreed that companies have grown tired of high-maintenance and unmanageable search tools.

"New approaches to enterprise search have challenged expectations about the benefits search can deliver to businesses," he explained.

"This new era of openness is a result of two key factors: end users now recognising search as mission critical; and market innovation around connectivity and relevancy."
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