Amidst post Gilbane San Francisco business. I have been reading what everyone else has been writing about search the past couple of months. While there continues to be much speculation and gossip about the Microsoft acquisition of FAST, and which companies may soon be absorbed into larger entities, there also continues to be interesting activity among the mid-tier and start-up search vendors. Meanwhile, I advise those who aspire to acquire a search solution for “behind the firewall,” don’t wait for the “big players” to come up with the definitive solution to all your search needs because it will never happen. I’m in good company with other analysts who advise moving on with point search solutions for specific business needs. You will save money, and time because most of the new products are optimized for rapid deployment, in weeks or months, not years.

If you check out my new research report, Enterprise Search Markets and Applications; Capitalizing on Emerging Demand, June, 2008, you will find a directory to companies offering search solutions with choices for what Steve Arnold refers to as “beyond search.” Deep test drives of many of these products can be found in his report, as well. Meanwhile, new releases of products listed, and new products both continue to be announced. ISYS, Coveo and Expert System (Cogito) have brought new offerings to market in the last month and Collexis, a relative newcomer, is drawing attention to itself by demonstrating its products at numerous meetings this year.

So, keeping reading and checking out the possibilities. While you are at it, be sure to put the Gilbane Boston Conference on your calendar for December 3 – 4. We are all busy rounding out the program right now.

I am particularly interested in hearing from those of you who have participated in the selection of a search product in the past two years, implementing or deploying a system anywhere within your own enterprise. Please consider sending me a brief proposal for a presentation at the conference. For your effort, you will get to attend all the conference sessions, as well as help the audience with the needed reality checks on what it takes to conduct a selection process and follow through with implementation. I particularly want you to share your learning experiences: the good, the frustrating, and the lessons you have accrued. Professional speaking experience is not required – we want stories. [You’ll find my email on the “Contacts” page of the Gilbane site and you should also look at the speakers guidelines for additional information.]