Monday, August 8, 2005

IBM Launches Text Analysis Framework to Unify Vendor Analytics

In a well-orchestrated announcement IBM launched its WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition (what a mouthful!), a new software package that simplifies the integration of content extracted from unstructured content into searches and applications. Based on the free and open source Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) developed and promoted by IBM, the new capability provides a common framework for vendors to supply their text mining and analytics capabilities into IBM WebSphere installations. The list of content technology and services vendors opting in to this framework reads like and All-Star list: Attensity, ClearForest, Cognos, Endeca, Factiva, Kana, Inquira, iPhrase, Inxight, nStein, QL2, SAS, Schemalogic, Semagix, SPSS, and Temis. The Web was ablaze with press releases from these vendors announcing their individual capabilities within the new framework.

IBM has been strengthening WebSphere's position as an enterprise platform for value-add content extensively over the past few years, culminating with this latest advance in a much stronger venue for value-add vendors to strut their stuff with both clients' content and content from premium vendors and open Web sources. It's great news for companies specializing in content analytics, offering them an easy integration framework that can accelerate the ROI cycle for their offerings, but perhaps somewhat less rosy news for Microsoft and other integrators who are just beginning to pick up the scent on mining unstructured content's full value. Making premium content analytics-friendly is an art and science still in its infancy for many publishers, but this announcement may accelerate the importance and awareness of these kinds of applications amongst publishers and have them pause and think about how their offerings can be made more valuable to enterprise text miners.
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