Search tool analyzes context, user profiles

Infrastructure software provider Autonomy Corp. has added new features to its pan-enterprise search platform, IDOL, in an effort to deal with the ever-increasing amounts of both structured and unstructured data housed in a variety of production systems and archives within the organization.

The goal of IDOL, or Intelligent Data Operating Layer, is to provide a single unified and vendor-neutral platform for searching all file formats and media-types for legal and business purposes, said the San Francisco-based company’s CEO, Mike Lynch.

“Despite standardization efforts, information is scattered across the enterprise among different vendors’ software, in different formats, and among numerous servers and laptops,” he said.

To resolve this problem, one new feature, intent-based ranking bases search results on a user’s profile and other contextual factors, instead of solely depending on popularity or keyword matches.

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Along a similar vein, the quantum clustering feature applies quantum mathematics to calculate concepts within data so that users can better identify conceptual information. In the area of rich media content, there are enhancements to existing media support for deep video indexing and analytics.

Other new features include Geo-Cluster Maps to help IT administrators perform load balancing on dense pockets of documentation based on usage patterns; and Interlinking to identify sub-areas of a document for relevant links.

With the often broad range of data formats and locations within the enterprise, employees tasked with managing this information – knowledge officers, corporate librarians, and compliance officers – often resort to “manual processes and piecemealed technology,” said the company’s chief marketing officer, Nicole Eagan.

Meaning-Based Computing, on which Autonomy builds its technology, said Eagan, “is a key tenant to pan-enterprise search to perform conceptual and contextual analysis and probability matching” on data.

The increasing complexity of corporate data and the need to identify and retrieve pockets of information across an organization was the impetus behind Microsoft Corp.’s announcement earlier last January of its intention to buy Oslo, Norway-based enterprise search technology provider, Fast Search & Transfer ASA (FAST).

“I find it fascinating that today you can find football scores faster online, but inside somebody’s company it can take five hours to track down last year’s business plan,” Jeff Raikes, president of the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s business division, said during a conference call.

Raikes said organizations have now recognized the importance of enterprise search technology to their business.

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