October 18, 2011
In 2007 Larry Elison said: "We think the paradigm for doing business, how people do their daily jobs is changing and is moving to a search paradigm.” For years Oracle has worked on weaving its search functionality into and across Oracle applications. It's called Secure Enterprise Search (SES) and it's invisible to Content & Collaboration (C&C) professionals because it's inside the Fusion platform, rarely sold as a standalone solution. With SES integrated in Oracle products, Oracle envisions "action-oriented" enterprise search. What does that look like? When workers don't just search for pending expense reports, they also can pay them from the search UI.
When search is an embeddable service, it makes it easier to use search to get tasks done. This is why I think infrastructure vendors (HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Dassault) acquiring specialized vendors (Autonomy, Endeca, Fast, and Exalead, respectively) is a good thing for C&C professionals. What's missing from these marriages? Semantic search capabilities — where search surfaces unstated concepts and allows users to visualize the patterns and trends locked inside volumes of text. (IBM is one to watch for this vision — a leader in BI, they have recently commingled their search and content analytics technology to create a new product.)
Endeca sells its search capabilities to two different audiences — people who run search on eCommerce sites, and people who want to build applications for unified information access. It's unusual to see a fit like this, where Endeca's technology matches two different focus areas for Oracle: Customer Experience and Agile BI. Endeca has well-known eCommerce customers who use its on-site search and merchandising solutions. For insight on what the acquisition means for eBusiness & Channel Strategy professionals, please see Brian Walker's post: Oracle Buys Endeca, What It Means. Regarding Agile BI: Endeca was early at positioning search as an exploratory tool for non-technical users to map diverse data and content together. For insight on what the acquisition means for the BI space and for Business Process professionals, please see Boris Evelson's post: Oracle Leapfrogs Competitors By Acquiring Endeca.
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