Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Enterprise Search Summit: Quick Conference Notes

At the Enterprise Search Summit today, I'll have a fuller writeup in our Industry Events weblog later, for now some quick notes:

- Vendor presentations kept to ten minutes are a hoot, it's interesting to watch hype get squished into a nice small window. Plays into the hands of Northern Light CEO David Seuss, who has a nice compact elevator pitch that focuses on scalability and performance. But does an enterprise really care about servicing 216 queries per second? Better to do that in a minute with highly usable results.

- The presentation by MITRE on their Google Search Appliance information was an objective an insightful look at their strengths in an enterprise installation. Going from about search 250 queries a day to more than 30,000 queries a day demonstrates that a search engine that people trust can make all the difference. Still, it's mostly HTML in the searches, with some interesting kludges to get at SharePoint files and other enterprise content, and the search tools are still crude the the standards of some search engines, but where an enterprise has a strong web content and needs competent search quickly it's a worthy option. More to the point, MITRE was able to implement some neat KM tools - "find an expert" based on matching authors to searches and searching mail lists (egroups) for knowledge. Nice tricks for cheap and easy KM benefits. Also key was the use of a "fast jump" feature to indexed but unsearched content that provided highlighting of these resources via the same features used on Google's commercial engine for ad serving using keywords. This highlights the value of tools used currently mostly for ads to highlight the value of content sources in context.

- Autonomy at the lunch break touting the benefits of Bayesian algorithms. Good stuff for international content, but after ten years of touting it are we supposed to get excited?

Back to the conference...
Post a Comment