Analysis: Enterprise Search
June 22, 2007
IBM-YaHoo, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP ... why are these big dogs scrapping with specialized vendors like dtSearch, Vivisimo and X1 Technologies for a market Gartner pegged at a measly $370 million in 2006 worldwide revenue?
One word: Mindshare. We've all heard end users ask, "Have you Googled it?" You can't buy that kind of name recognition, and incumbent application vendors want to make darn sure IT groups don't begin to equate enterprise search with those shiny yellow Google appliances.
Moreover, it's clear that profit margins are anorexic mainly because Google and IBM-Yahoo are exerting downward pricing pressure. Not that we're complaining--undercutting competitors is a time-honored, and customer-friendly, tactic. And yet, even at relatively attractive prices, this isn't a fast growing market. Why is that?
After testing search products from dtSearch, Google, IBM, ISYS Search Software, Mondosoft, Thunderstone Software, Vivisimo, X1 in our Green Bay, Wis., Real-World Labs®, we think we know: Current products do not do a good job providing relevant results given large amounts of typical enterprise data. That includes Google's killer PageRank algorithm, which transformed the Web into a truly useful source of information. PageRank simply does not translate well to the enterprise search market. Web search is different from desktop search is different from federated enterprise search, and so far, no one vendor has pulled it all together.