Enterprise Search Technology remains Hot
FAST Search and Transfer announced record revenues for 2Q 2006 of $38.5 Million and growth of 60%. Autonomy announced record results for Q2 2006 with profits up 351% to $27.9 Million. Endeca announced record results for Q2 2006, achieving 116% year-over-year revenue growth. That does seem hot!Forrester sees these three companies as having the widest presence across the scope of all search solution areas. Of the three, Forrester sees Endeca as the underdog, praising Endeca’s technology as being the superior product, but predicting that Endeca will have a difficult time because of their very weak product strategy, weak services, few active users, and weak partnerships with systems integrators. (Although it does seem a bit odd that Endeca should rate so high by Forrester on current product quality and yet so low on future product strategy.)Forrester considers FAST to be the Enterprise Search leader, but sees a neck-and-neck race with Autonomy. In the Fall of 2005, Autonomy appeared as the market leader in Gardner’s Information Access Technology Magic Quadrant, and that was just prior to Autonomy’s acquisition of Verity.Other strong performers noted by Forrester include Google, IBM, Microsoft and Entopia. But these companies are not currently competing in the most sophisticated realms of search. They tend to provide basic corporate search across medium and small-scale systems that don’t require fast high-volume processing. But the attack from these companies on the lower end, notably from Microsoft’s SharePoint 2007, are expected to lead to steep price declines in Search.As the volumes of unstructured data continue to grow exponentially, the importance of Search technology is clear. New Idea Engineering has an interesting article that describes how many of today’s search technologies don’t scale well in managing the predicted explosion of content growth. The challenge of providing high-quality relevant results will continue to keep search technology hot for some time. The Enterprise Search heat wave continues. Back in 2004, KMWorld declared Enterprise Search hot. And now an updated report from Forrester last week says that the field is still scorching as we move into 2007.Forrester names the top three company leaders in Enterprise Search to be FAST, Autonomy and Endeca. Record second quarter 2006 profits and revenues for all three of them back up Forrester’s observation.