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Day: April 3, 2008

Parsing the Enterprise Search Landscape

Steve Arnold’s Beyond Search report is finally launched and ready for purchase. Reviewing it gave me a different perspective on how to look at the array of 83 search companies I am juggling in my upcoming report: Enterprise Search Markets and Applications. For example, technological differentiators can channel your decisions about must haves/have nots in your system selection. Steve codifies considerations and details 15 technology tips that will help you frame those considerations.

We are getting ready for the third Gilbane Conference in which “search” has been a significant part of the presentation landscape in San Francisco, June 17 – 20th.Six sessions will be filled with case studies and enlightening “how-to-do-it-better” guidance from search experts with significant “hands-on” experience in the field. I will be conducting a workshop, immediately after the conference, How to Successfully Adopt and Deploy Search. Presentations by speakers and the workshop will focus on users’ experiences and guidance for evaluating, buying and implementing search. Viewing search from a usage perspective begs a different set of classification criteria for divvying up the products.

In February, Business Trends published an interview I gave them in December, Revving up Search Engines in the Enterprise. There probably isn’t much new in it for those who routinely follow this topic but if you are trying to find ways to explain what it is, why and how to get started, you might find some ideas for opening the discussion with others in your business setting. The intended audience is those who don’t normally wallow in search jargon. This interview pretty much covers the what, why, who, and when to jump into procuring search tools for the enterprise.

For my report, I have been very pleased with discussions I’ve had with a couple dozen people immersed in evaluating and implementing search for their organizations. Hearing them describe their experiences guides other ways to organize a potpourri of search products and how buyers should approach their selection. With over eighty products we have a challenge in how to parse the domain. I am segmenting the market space into multiple dimensions from the content type being targeted by “search” to the packaging models the vendors offer. When laying out a simple “ontology” of concepts surrounding the search product domain, I hope to clarify why there are so many ways of grouping the tools and products being offered. If vendors read the report to decide which buckets they belong in for marketing and buyers are able to sort out the type of product they need, the report will have achieved one positive outcome. In the meantime, read Frank Gilbane’s take on the whole topic of enterprise tacked onto any group of products.

As serendipity would have it, a colleague from Boston KM Forum, Marc Solomon, just wrote a blog on a new way of thinking of the business of classifying anything, “Word Algebra.” And guess who gave him the inspiration, Mr. Search himself, Steve Arnold. As a former indexer and taxonomist I appreciate this positioning of applied classification. Thinking about why we search gives us a good idea for how to parse content for consumption. Our parameters for search selection must be driven by that WHY?

Zimbra Expands Mobile E-mail Availability to All Java-enabled Devices

Zimbra, a Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO) company, announced the availability of its ZimbraME (Java Mobile Edition) client and source code for businesses. Users of any Java-enabled mobile phone will have access to a complete collaboration solution. The ZimbraME client provides Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) Open Source and Network Edition users worldwide with free access to the Zimbra experience with e-mail and calendar on mass-market Java-enabled mobile phones. This extends Zimbra’s reach of services to a broade range of devices available. ZimbraME is an over the air downloadable Java-based application for mobile devices that allows ZCS users to access their mail, contacts and calendars. It retains the search capability found in the Zimbra AJAX client. ZimbraME source code is available to the Zimbra community for feedback and enhancement, as well as to implement ZimbraME on the devices of their choice. Mobile devices supporting ZimbraME include the BlackBerry 8800 and 8820 series; the Motorola RAZR2; Nokia E61 and N73 handsets; the Sony-Ericsson W950i handset; and the Samsung SGH-E900 handset, adding to Zimbra’s support for wireless platforms that includes Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm and iPhone. Additionally, Zimbra supports native sync to BlackBerry handsets via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The ZCS 5.0 Open Source Edition is free. The commercially supported ZCS 5.0 Network Edition is available for a 60-day free trial on the Zimbra website.

UN Bans Unnecessary Languages: Scary but False

April Fool’s Day usually brings out the kid in all of us, making for some fun and interesting spoofs. The April 1st press release that the United Nations was banning all “unnecessary languages” brought out the worried adult in me pretty quickly. Turns out I was spoofed — thankfully.

OTOH, the arrogance inherent to “all will be English” begs the question, are many organizations being spoofed on a daily basis by succumbing to this theory? And is it not scarily interesting that reading the entire article as a source of truth doesn’t sound too far off given the lack of global content — not only translated, but localized — in numerous industries? PRWeb claimed the article “too close for comfort,” but valuable for revealing serious issues in the global community.

Posted by, the article stated, “By 2049, when all languages other than English will have been phased out, the only language that will have international sanction will be English.” Pretty ominous sounding stuff. Enough to generate 315 extremely emotional responses to the blog entry between March 31 and April 3rd. Scary but false.

As the United Nations continues to promote 2008 as the Year of International Languages, here’s a “scary but true.”

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