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IBM upgrades enterprise search capabilities

by Lyndsay WiseWednesday, March 12, 2008
On March 11, 2008, IBM announced the new release of its enterprise search software OmniFind Enterprise Edition 8.5. Some enhancements that come as part of the new product release are tight integration with IBM collaboration products (such as Notes/Domino 8), Unicode support, and a front-end dashboard that displays search results. The dashboard capability enables users to refine search results by clicking on bar charts displayed beside search results. This new level of interoperability will allow users to interact with their search environment and define search parameters more visually, allowing end users to choose how they interact with their environment. Also, because many search engines display results similarly, using a dashboard to provide more interactivity may become a key differentiator when search engine use is becoming mainstream and expected. 

In addition to this week’s announcement, next week IBM will introduce the availability of a business intelligence tool for call center data analysis for customers deploying OmniFind Analytics Edition. Called, ProAct, this text analytics tool allows companies to mine structured and unstructured data that is generated in call centers as well as stored in transcribed call logs, instant messages, and email messages. With the increase in embedded BI applications and use of unstructured data to enhance current applications of business intelligence, call center analysis becomes a natural fit for additional applications of BI.  With a wealth of text based information residing within CRM systems and tied to the customer’s experience, the use of unstructured analysis within the realm of CRM will become commonplace as vendors develop or enhance their current analytics suites.  The general integration of text analytics within CRM applications highlights the fact that customer interactions and sentiments are key to maintaining a successful business.

On an industry level, both of these announcements highlight the recent emphasis on the integration of unstructured data within business processes to give organizations a broader picture of what is happening within their organizations.  As organizations move forward and these types of offerings become more commonplace, organizations will need to implement these solutions to stay on par with the competition.

The use of enterprise search provides users with easy access to volumes of data and is generally viewed as a commoditized offering.  However, with embedded BI functionality, such as using a dashboard to increase the interaction available, the use of search may yet become a more integral part of an organization’s analytics based applications if used in conjunction with added unstructured data analysis.
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