Tag: Gilbane San Francisco

If a Vendor Spends Enough on Full-page Ads: Ink will Follow

Earlier comments in this blog referred to Autonomy ads in Information Week. They have continued throughout early 2009 with just the latest proclaiming “Autonomy Dominates Enterprise Search” in bold red and black, two of my favorite, eye-catching colors. Having read the publication for over ten years, I notice things that are different. Seeing a search company repeatedly showing up keeps me noticing because they are the first to spend on major advertising like this in an IT publication.

This week the predictable happened, it was an article by Information Week‘s Sr. VP focusing on Autonomy’s terrific business run in a tough economy. Fair enough – it happens all the time for big spenders.

I just want to remind readers that if you are a small unit in a large organization or a small or medium business, there are dozens of enterprise search solutions that will serve you extremely well, with much lower cost of ownership and startup effort than Autonomy. You do not need the biggest or fastest growing company’s products to get good or even excellent solutions. Furthermore, the chances of getting superior customer support and services from a more modest company, which is focused exclusively on search excellence, are much better.

Be sure to check out the offerings at the Gilbane Conference in San Francisco next week. A lot more guidance and good case studies will give you an earful of what else to consider. The search headliners at the conference with Hadley Reynolds moderating are:

E8. Search Survival Guide: Delivering Great Results
Speakers: Randy Woods, Co-founder & Executive VP, non-linear creations, Best Practices for Tuning Enterprise Search and Miles Kehoe, President, New Idea Engineering

E9/I5. The Next Big Thing: Tomorrow’s Search Revealed
Speakers: Stephen Arnold, ArnoldIT, What You Need to Know About Google Dataspaces and Jeff Fried, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft

E10/I6. Bringing it All Together: Perils and Pitfalls of Search Federation
Speakers: Helen Mitchell Curtis, Senior Program Director of Enterprise Solutions, MacFadden, Federated Search in a Disparate Environment, Larry Donahue, Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Counsel, Deep Web Technologies, Federated Search: True Enterprise Search and Jeff Fried, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft

E11/I7. The Special Case of Categories – and Where To Find Them
Speakers: Joseph Busch, Founder, Taxonomy Strategies, Taxonomy Validation, and Arje Cahn, CTO, Hippo, Find What You Need in Unstructured Content with the Help of Others (and your CMS): Demo of Wikipedia with Faceted Search

E12/I8. It’s Easier with Structure: Leveraging Markup for Better Search
Speakers: Dianne Burley, Industry Specialist, Nstein Technologies, Semantic Search and J. Brooke Aker, CEO, Expert System, A 3-Step Walk Through ECM Using Semantics

E13/I9. Improving SharePoint Search & Navigation with a Taxonomy and Metadata

Enterprise Search and the Conference Season

My blog has been silent for several weeks as I wrapped up a study of the enterprise search marketplace. More information about the report will be forthcoming in the next week or so. In the meantime, the conference season is upon us with the Infonortics Search Engine conference just held in Boston, the Enterprise Search Summit in New York next week, TextAnalytics being held in Boston in mid-June and our own Gilbane San Francisco Conference being held June 18 – 20th. It is a feast for those in the market to buy or just become more familiar with the huge number of options. In my recent research on the marketplace I interviewed a number of people who had recently made a procurement of a search product. To a person there was significant pain expressed about how much time had been spent examining and rejecting options. With well over 100 search and “beyond search” products that are now commercially viable on the market, you need to find ways to winnow your choices efficiently. There is no better way to do this than to acquire publications that give you comprehensive information concentrated in one place PLUS going to conferences to:
a) To meet vendors and assess the type of business relationship you are likely to experience with them
b) Meet other users or potential users of the various technologies to learn, first hand, what their experiences have been buying and using search software
Attending conference sessions where case studies are being given by those deploying or using software is important, but discussions on the side can also be valuable. People who show up at our Gilbane Conferences are a sharing crowd and are easy to network with. As the track chairman for all the enterprise search sessions in San Francisco, I plan to hold at least one and maybe two roundtable discussions, open to anyone who wants to participate in a free flow of ideas about enterprise search. This will likely be in the location of the lunch venue – so we can pick at our food and each others’ brains, simultaneously.
Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to showcase the themes for our search sessions in San Francisco, beginning with the Search Keynote. Last year in Boston we had a panel discussion of search executives and analysts; that was a great discussion. This June I am going to thrust Steve Arnold, author of our new publication Beyond Search, into our spotlight with a series of questions about the marketplace to discover things that he thinks buyers should be focused on over the next six months plus soliciting some thoughts on selecting appropriate technologies. He will surely add commentary on the changing vendor landscape and what it means. Once I have had a go at questioning him, the audience will have a chance to seek his guidance. This is a “not to be missed” session so please put it on your calendar – it will not be recorded.
To warm you up to Mr. Arnold’s style and range of thoughts on the subject, check out this recent interview he gave to Jess Bratcher of Bratcher & Associates.

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