Oracle announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Endeca Technologies, Inc., a provider of unstructured data management, web commerce and business intelligence solutions. A privately-held company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Endeca provides products that help companies analyze unstructured data, gain better business intelligence, and deliver a better customer experience. Endeca’s core technology, the MDEX Engine, is designed to enable enterprises to correlate and analyze unstructured data. Endeca InFront is a leading customer experience management platform that enables businesses to deliver targeted and relevant customer experiences online with merchandising and content targeting tools for web commerce. Endeca Latitude is a technology platform that enables businesses to rapidly develop analytic applications bringing information from many unstructured and structured information sources together. The combination of Oracle and Endeca is expected to create a comprehensive technology platform to process, store, manage, search and analyze structured and unstructured information together. The combination of Oracle ATG Commerce and Endeca InFront is expected to enhance cross-channel commerce, merchandising, and online customer experiences. The combination of Oracle Business Intelligence and Endeca Latitude is expected to provide a comprehensive business intelligence foundation and analytic applications, bringing together information from structured and unstructured data sources. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of 2011. Until the deal closes, each company will continue to operate independently. http://www.oracle.com/ http://www.endeca.com
TEAM Informatics has completed the acquisition of Frontline Logic, a software engineering firm focused on Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) solutions (formerly Stellent), Google enterprise search, and Kofax document imaging. Both TEAM and Frontline are Certified Partners in the Oracle Partner Network (OPN). Frontline was formed in 2001 to focus on Stellent enterprise content management solutions. With the acquisition of Stellent in 2007 by Oracle, Frontline has become an Oracle partner. In addition, Frontline has programs underway with Google Search Appliance and Kofax technologies, as well as an ECM training offering. For both companies, Oracle Fusion Middleware has been the flagship capability. Within Fusion Middleware, TEAM is an Oracle Pillar Partner for Enterprise 2.0 in the US and Australia-New Zealand regions. E2.0 includes UCM, WebCenter, Records Management, Imaging, and Business Process Management. TEAM and Frontline have been establishing partnerships in other Fusion areas such as Identity Management, Service Oriented Architecture, Business Intelligence, and Platforms/DB. The combined company has offices in St. Paul, Kokomo, Sydney, and Anchorage. http://www.teaminformatics.com http://www.frontlinelogic.com
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.
Open Text Corporation announced that it has expanded its portfolio of ECM solutions for Oracle Applications with the introduction of new content access and accounts payable solutions. Using these Open Text offerings, enterprises can associate Oracle transactions with business content. Open Text Content Access for Oracle is a new offering that provides a single point of access to Oracle and non-Oracle data and content assets from either the Oracle user interface or from the Open Text ECM Suite to enable companies to organize and manage all content, including legacy content, in virtual folders and provide a way to archive documents. This approach helps eliminate bottlenecks and distributes workload by allowing the people “in the know” to review, approve, and enter the invoice data directly into the Open Text solution without the need for direct accounts payable involvement. Open Text is a partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork. http://www.opentext.com/
Oracle announced enhancements to Oracle Beehive. Oracle Beehive delivers a range of collaboration tools including email, calendar, team workspaces, conferencing, and instant messaging on a single platform. With the enhancements, organizations using Oracle Beehive can establish more efficient communication channels to enable easier collaboration and improve individual and team productivity. Updates to the latest release of Oracle Beehive include‚ Web-based Team Collaboration – team workspace software that builds on an enterprise-specific security and compliance framework offers an environment for teams to manage activities and information; it includes wikis, team calendaring, RSS support, contextual search, and advanced file sharing and can be centrally provisioned or set up by the team with no portal requirement; Enhanced Web and Voice Conferencing – enables organizations to apply security and content management policies to conferencing; expanded feature set includes on-demand conference recording and retrieval; Expanded Integration with Desktop Productivity Tools – helps eliminate training costs and user adoption challenges by allowing users to take advantage of familiar software. Oracle Beehive can be deployed on premise or through Oracle On Demand. www.oracle.com