If you signed up for feeds from this site, new posts have been slow coming. Gilbane’s announcement of an Enterprise Search Practice has not gone unnoticed. The past two weeks have resulted in more good will than this analyst could easily digest and filter. The good news is that ideas for posting on “enterprise search” are already accumulating faster than they can get written, and the number of enthusiastic well-wishers is encouraging. It looks like we have an audience and community of practice in the making. Thank you to all who have sent their support and good cheer.
Quite a number of responses have come from companies who want to discuss their technology offerings and positioning. At Gilbane we are following up on those requests and beginning to schedule time for discussions and presentations. With the recognition that vendors/suppliers of technologies want ink, and plenty of it, comes a responsibility of which I am acutely aware because I was one of that community for over 20 years. Having founded, in 1980, and lead an integrated library automation firm in the corporate arena, I know how industry press coverage can make or break the fortunes of even the best offerings. While blogs are intended to launch and promote discussions, even play devil’s advocate, I don’t take this role lightly. Every good intention and hard work by vendors deserves thoughtful and unbiased consideration. It deserves to have analysts who know what they are talking about, and those that would present what they can fairly assess in a useful context. The very definition of analyst (noun) supposes a responsible action, to analyze (verb) the offerings. While my analysis may not focus on what a vendor wants me to consider, it will try to present information that is both helpful and thought-provoking without being mean-spirited or dismissive, and content that helps potential users of the technology focus their own choices and decisions.
Now it’s time to get down to business and start making this a more frequent happening. Based on a number of comments, let’s begin with clarifying what we mean by enterprise search at Gilbane. While the marketplace often categorizes enterprise search as a specific kind of search product, we at Gilbane don’t. Any technology that serves any type of enterprise by helping it find electronic or physical content through an electronic search interface is fair game. Enterprise search is about looking for content in the organization or for the organization. It may be embedded in a specialized application, may be a platform designed to collectively search and aggregate content from many internal silos, or it may combine search of desktops, enterprise hard drives and the Internet. There is a very big universe of content out there; enterprises need all the search tools they can (afford to) leverage to harvest what they need and when they need it.
Now this analyst’s job is to give you a balance between what the vendors are saying and offering, and what the users really need, and get the two engaging more effectively with each other.