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Day: January 13, 2010

Alfresco Brings ECM to Lotus Users

Alfresco Software, Inc. announced the availability of Alfresco Content Services for Lotus social collaboration products, an integration between the Alfresco open source enterprise content management (ECM) system and IBM Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal. This integration brings together a combination of the Lotus social collaboration capabilities and Alfresco’s enterprise content management. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus allows access for programmers to extend the integration from Lotus Notes, Domino, XPage and Portal applications using a wide choice of languages, APIs, protocols and services, including Java, JavaScript, JSP, PHP, CMIS, JSR 168k CIFS, IMAP, JCR, WebDAV, FTP, NFS, SMTP, XForms, SOAP, and .net. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus includes an implementation of the SharePoint protocol. This provides users with access from Microsoft Office, while giving companies the freedom of choice in their IT architecture. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus will be available in the spring of 2010, and will be available to download from January 17. http://www.alfresco.com/ibm

Search Industry in 2010

Just in from Information Week is this article (Exclusive: IBM Reorganizes Software Group ) that prompted me to launch 2010 with some thoughts on where we are heading with enterprise search this year. When IBM does something dramatic it impacts the industry because it makes others react.

I don’t make forecasts or try to guess whether strategic changes will succeed or fail but a couple of years ago, I blogged on IBM‘s introduction of Yahoo OmniFind, a free offering and then followed up with these comments just a few months ago. IBM makes their competitors change, try to outsmart, outguess, or copy, just as Microsoft or Google changes cause ripples in the industry.

Meanwhile, OpenText, another large software company with search offerings, is not going to offer search outside of its other product suites. [More is likely to come out after the scheduled analyst meetings today but I’m not there and can’t brief you on deeper intent.] We have recently seen an announcement about FAST being delivered with new SharePoint offerings, the first major release of FAST announced since Microsoft acquired them almost two years ago. While FAST is still available as a standalone product from MS, it and other search engines may be steadily moving into being embedded in suites by their acquirers.

Certainly IBM has a lot of search components that they have acquired, so continuing to bind with other content offerings is a probable strategy. Oracle and Autonomy may soon come up with similar suite offerings embedding search once again. Oracle SES (Secure Enterprise Search) does not appear to have a lot of traction and it’s possible that supporting pure search offerings may be a burden for Autonomy with its stable of many acquired content products.

All of this leads me to think that, since enterprise search has gotten such a bad reputation as a failed technology, the big software houses are going to bury it in point solutions. Personally, I believe that enterprise search is a failed strategy and SMBs can still find search engines that will serve the majority of their enterprise needs for several years to come. The same holds true for divisions or groups within large corporations.

Guidance: select and adopt one or more search solutions that fit your budget for small scale needs, point solutions and enterprise content that everyone in the organization needs to access on a regular basis. Learn how these products work, what they can and cannot deliver, making incremental adjustments as needs change and evolve. Do not install and think you are done because you will never be done. Cultivate a few search experts to stick with the evolving landscape and give them the means to keep up with changes in the search landscape. It is going to keep morphing for a long time to come.