Vendor Profiles

Enterprise Search Profiles: A Service of

Over the years, we have written profiles about vendors engaged in search and search-related software. As i approach 70 years of age, I am taking drafts of these profiles and posting them on this Xenky page. Some of these profiles have been refined for various publishers. Others were prepared for interested parties. My intent is to provide a person looking for information about search and content processing with basic descriptions of companies, products, and technologies. Looking for information about defunct firms and some firms that have been acquired is frustrating due to the changes in the online access systems. Google is better at presenting information about a popular topic than as a tool for supporting certain types of specialized information scanning.

As my team and I work through my “foul papers” of the company profiles in my files, we have learned that descriptions of systems, benefits, and features have been consistent for decades. Some of the systems dating from the 1980s (ISYS) and Verity (now part of HP Autonomy), for example, are essentially in step with modern vendors’ sales pitches and technical descriptions. Systems which went out of business sported technology that was positioned in a manner comparable to today’s most successful systems.

If you want to add information to a profile, you may navigate to Beyond Search and the specific story announcing the availability of a specific profile. Once at that story, you m ay use the Comments function to additional information, links, argue with me, or add your own commentary to a particular profile.

I am not “unfreezing” these drafts. I am not updating them. These are provided on an “as is” basis. Please, note that these are provided as reference only and commercial use is not permitted without prior written permission. Like our reference material on the frozen site, I am building an archive because I am cutting back on the work that I have been doing for 40 years. I assume my estate will keep the site online once I log off for the last time.

Let me offer several observations:

Descriptions of defunct vendors’ systems are surprisingly timely. The reason a vendor fails seems to correlate with the actual software failing, not the marketing which sold a system. Great marketing does not mean a flawed system will survive.

The “lingo”, jargon, and buzzwordage is quite fresh across the profiles which span the 1980s to the present day. Developers have been given the job of making “science fiction” work in an organization. Search vendors can paint a word picture and often the systems are described as meeting needs which are essentially unchanged over the decades

Search has not made significant strides comparable to the progress in mobile device hardware. Search is a very difficult problem to solve and turn into a sustainable business.

Search developers like Sisyphus may face a thankless task. The marketers will just recycle glittering generalities. System users will face findability challenges. That’s one hypothesis these profiles touch upon.

Profiles will be added on a periodic basis but not a fixed schedule.

Stephen E Arnold, October 8, 2013


Autonomy [autonomy-01-14] Autonomy is an important vendor. The company was a pioneer in its use of Bayesian, Laplacian, and Volterra methods as key components in its Integrated Data Operating Layer (IDOL) and Digital Reasoning Engine (DRE). The company generated almost $1 billion in revenues for fiscal 2011 when Hewlett Packard acquired the company, its patents, and customers. No other enterprise-centric search vendor has come close to matching Autonomy’s revenue generation. Autonomy’s technology foreshadowed the approach of other vendors like Google and Recommind. Endeca, when Oracle acquired that company in 2011, tallied about one-tenth the revenue of Autonomy. Prior to the sale to HP, Autonomy stands as the pre-eminent marketer of search technology to the enterprise. This report covers the technology, the marketing, the strengths and weaknesses of the company. [2014-02-05]

Convera. [convera-2013-10-08.pdf] The company is important because it was one of the first firms to articulate a comprehensive vision for information access. Convera promised video search, text search, text mining, automatic indexing, clustering, work flow, analytics and more. The company also pioneered the jumping from enterprise search to Web search to vertical search in an effort to generate sustainable revenues. The company’s interactions with firms like Intel and the NBA made clear the risks inherent in trying to make search deliver on marketing assertions. Vestiges of Convera exist today. Some integrators still support licensees of RetrievalWare, Convera’s amalgam of proprietary software, acquired technology, and scripts created to add features to a particular installation. [2013/10/09]

Delphes. [delphes-10-18-final.pdfDelphes and its Dio range of search system is an example of academic theory colliding with business realities. Delphes was based on linguistic methods developed at a number of high-profile universities. The company Delphes sought to commercialize the chief technology officer’s concept. The resulting system was described in terms of “linguistic soul.” The system included most of the early-2000 information retrieval methods, including natural language processing, work flow, federated search, and automatic indexing of content in different languages. Delphes listed some notable clients. The company went offline in 2007 and its senior management dispersed to academic and other pursuits. [2013/10/22]

Dieselpoint. [Dieselpoint-10-31-final.pdf] Dieselpoint has been an alternative to the business-chasing, XML-centric data management systems for many years. The company offers a wide range of features in a pure Java search-and-retrieval system. Dieselpoint’s system can process structured or unstructured information. The system offers the Java specialist an extensive playground. Multiple languages, facets, and speedy query processing for eCommerce, search-based applications, or basic Web search make the system interesting. If you have not heard of Dieselpoint, that is because the company maintains a low profile. The company is in business even though portions of its Web site have not been updated for months. [2013/11/04]

Entopia. [entopia-10-14-Final.pdfEntopia took advanced methods like semantics, mixed in some MBA buzzwords, and set out to make search the infrastructure of the licensee’s organization. Tacit Software (acquired by Oracle) was active in the email monitoring and analysis business. Other search vendors combined analytics and automatic indexing. Entopia, however, was not able to get the commitment a company would make to SAP R/3 or comparable software system. Information is a big problem. When a company like Entopia sells a large company on a big solution, the company has to see value in the system. Entopia was unable to deliver on its vision. Search, no matter how it is packaged, was difficult to implement and demonstrate measurable value to the licensee. The company went offline in 2006. [2013/10/16]

Fulcrum. (PCDocs, Hummingbird, OpenText). [Fulcrum-12-23-13.pdf] Fulcrum Technologies opened for business in 1983. Its technology is incorporate into OpenText’s solutions in 2013 and probably for the foreseeable future. The company’s Ful/Text and Search Server are not widely known today. The code is now three decades young. What makes Fulcrum interesting is its technology, its marketing of search and a knowledge system, and its numerous owners. The Fulcrum case provides a Google Map style view of how a search company’s journey leads to financial peaks and valleys, through marketing deserts and oases, and from owner to owner with little change in the actual search technology itself. Fulcrum brushed open source, linguistic methods, and almost every possible way to apply search to an organizational problem. Fulcrum is instructive for would-be search entrepreneurs relaxing as the New Year approaches. [2013/12/23]

iPhrase. [iphrase-jan-2014.pdfNow a unit of IBM, iPhrase continues to provide some functions to OmniFind, a search and content management system. iPhrase approach enterprise content with a “return on investment” argument. Some of the company’s rhetoric borrowed from Autonomy’s earlier “black hole” analysis. From a technology point of view, iPhrase demonstrated that Extensible Markup Language could be used to re-render source content and impose significant computational burdens and generate a voracious appetite for storage. The company landed some big accounts and elected not to go public. The firm sold itself to IBM. The lessons of iPhrase are ones I find instructive, particularly with the valiant effort to “prove” that search delivers ROI, a theme that other vendors embrace but, like iPhrase, struggle to back up with credible financial data. [2014/01/07]

Lextek. [Lextek-3-2014.pdf] Lextek is essentially invisible unless one digs for a vendor of enterprise and original equipment manufacturing search tools. If you use Adobe Acrobat, you are experiencing the delights of Lextek’s Onix search toolkit. The system dates from the early 1990s. The company diversified into artisanal chocolate a few years ago. I was not sure how this type of business meshes with information retrieval. The chocolate company’s Web site does not include a search system. Lextek’s Onix brand name surfaces in discussions of Windows dynamic link libraries. The Onix DLL is often mistaken for rogue code. Wrong. Lextek also provides a free and apparently open source list of stop words. This profile pulls together the publicly available information about Onix. [2014/03/20]

SchemaLogic. [SchemaLogic-Final-11-27.pdfSchemaLogic provided a content management system for taxonomies and controlled vocabularies. The company found sales success in organizations in which an appreciation and understanding of tight indexing existed. Taxonomy became a marketing buzzword, but the number of organizations willing to spend six figures or more to index content was modest in relation to the number of companies with no indexing or “good enough” indexing control. The company, like many content processing-centric vendors, struggled to deliver strong top line growth and a healthy net profit. The firm was sold in 2011 to a competitor, Smartlogic. [2013/12/2]

Siderean. [Siderean-B.pdfSiderean Software’s Seamark Navigator embraced semantics. The system provided a more modern approach to Endeca’s aging system. The company’s system anticipated the later success of MarkLogic as an way to wring value from content in SGML or XML formats. The interfaces that Siderean’s team developed provide an interesting glimpse into the ways in which related content can be explored. Metadata may offer too many options, thus making a system’s outputs too confusing for some applications. Siderean made sales to some high profile clients, but the revenue generated from license fees was not able to support the company’s operations. Siderean went offline in 2008. [2013/11/11]

TeraText (formerly a product of SAIC, now Leidos pty). [TeraText-Feb-21.pdf] TeraText’s technical foundation dates from the 1980s. Few of the enterprise search vendors I encounter know much about the information retrieval work of Dr. Ron Sacks-Davis or the forward-looking system he developed decades ago. TeraText is an important product today because it continues to provide infrastructure, content processing, and information retrieval applications in a number of low-profile organizations. The system allows a user to search. More importantly, TeraText may be one of the first, if not the first content processing system, to make it possible to make information retrieval the central function of enterprise applications. Search vendors asserting that certain functionality is “new” or a “revolutionary approach” may signal their lack of knowledge about an important system. [2014-03-03]

Verity. [Verity-Dec-2013.pdf] Verity was one of the leading providers of enterprise and OEM (original equipment manufacturing) search from the late 1980s until it was purchased by Autonomy in 2005 for $500 million. Verity’s system evolved into a complex, expensive, and often sluggish rascal. The company, like many other “one size fits all” search vendors rode a financial teeter totter as it tried to find a way to make search into a higher-value enterprise solution. The company rapidly added layers of functionality to its core search-and-retrieval system. Like Fulcrum and other search vendors, the quest for revenues reached into the fuzzy domain of knowledge management. The company purchased the Ultraseek search system in a tactical move to have a lower-cost option for prospects and respond to potential customers’ price resistance. Verity was one of the first search vendors to emphasize consulting and engineering services as a major source of revenue. Since Verity became part of Autonomy, the company’s brand identity has diffused. [2013/12/10]




  1. Xenky Search Vendor Profile: Convera : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - October 9, 2013

    […] can access the Convera profile at If you want to argue about one of the comments in this draft profile, use the comments section to […]

  2. Xenky Search Vendor Profile: Entopia : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - October 15, 2013

    […] I have posted a profile of the now offline enterprise search vendor Entopia. You can access the write up at […]

  3. Search Boundaries. Explode. : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 14, 2013

    […] of search and content processing vendors that make interesting case studies. You can find these at I think there are some marketing lessons in most of the write ups. I did […]

  4. MarkLogic: Data Management and : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 23, 2013

    […] MarkLogic has rolled through three of four presidents in the last few years. Dave Kellogg departed, and I mostly lost track of who followed him. At the time of his departure MarkLogic was in the $60 million estimated revenues. Will the management turmoil kick in again? Will the company continue to expand its features and functions as Verity did prior to its initial public offering? Are there parallels between the trajectories of Convera, Delphes, Entopia, and Verity and MarkLogic. For some case analyses, check out […]

  5. A Novelist Helps Explain Search Software Erosion : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 29, 2013

    […] can find the cases at Like search functionality, the marketing departments of the profiled firms have described systems […]

  6. Verity 2005 Profile Now Available : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - December 10, 2013

    […] You can access the index page for the free profiles at […]

  7. Quote to Note: NLP and Recipes for Success and Failure : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - December 11, 2013

    […] only in relatively minor details. (For examples of the similarity, review the reports at Xenky’s Vendor Profiles […]

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  9. Fulcrum Technologies Report Available: A New Xenky Profile : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - December 19, 2013

    […] from its founding to its becoming a property of OpenText. You can access the free profile on the Xenky vendor profile page. Other free search vendor profiles are available […]

  10. Where Enterprise Search Was, And Where It Is - - January 15, 2014

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  11. Start Up Flops: No Search Vendor Examples : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - January 21, 2014

    […] These three characteristics contribute to the quiet and often noisy failures of search and content processing systems. Search is so disappointing that marketers find it easy to over promise and the systems then under deliver. Some of the lessons about actual companies that have failed in the search sector appear in the Xenky profiles. […]

  12. A New Knowledge Evangelist on the Pulpit : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - January 22, 2014

    […] Berry’s new responsibilities include leading research programs, thought leadership, publications, and social evangelism. They all center around bringing knowledge management to the forefront of organization’s enterprise planning. Berry’s role echoes an approach Fulcrum Technologies, founded in the early 1980s in Ottawa, took. Enterprise search appears to be following the traditional pattern of Groundhog Day, see what we mean in Fulcrum’s profile. […]

  13. Fast Search Founder Slowed Down, Then Stopped : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - February 10, 2014

    […] the consequences may be increasingly severe. You can find case studies of search vendors at There is no charge for these reports. Many describe enterprise search solutions that struggled […]

  14. Innovation: Bring Cash : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - February 21, 2014

    […] my series of search vendor profiles, a surprising trend is evident. In the search and content processing sector, innovation has […]

  15. Valuable TeraText Report Now Available : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - March 3, 2014

    […] you are not familiar with the Vendor Profile series, you owe it to yourself to check out this free resource. Arnold brings his formidable […]

  16. HP: Deconstructing IDOL : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - March 12, 2014

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  17. Elasticsearch: 70:30 Odds as the Next Big Thing in Search : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - March 28, 2014

    […] Elasticsearch report will become number 13 in the series available at Why am I making a high value report available without charge? The same reason I am making four […]

  18. New Age Management and Search Vendors : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - March 30, 2014

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  19. IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - July 1, 2014

    […] you want free Arnold reports, just navigate to You can even look for brief profiles without charge in Beyond […]

  20. Google and Findability without the Complexity : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - July 28, 2014

    […] stasis of enterprise search in the past six years. If you scan the free search vendor profiles at, explanations of the benefits and functions of search from the 1980s are also applicable today. […]

  21. Enterprise Search: Confusing Going to Weeds with Being Weeds : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 30, 2014

    […] of big time enterprise information applications. For details, read the free vendor profiles at or, if you can find them, read one of my books such as The New Landscape of […]

  22. 10 Reasons Why Enterprise Search Vendors Face Sales Friction : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 4, 2015

    […] out the profiles of failed vendors at These are case examples of how search tuna salad became business health […]

  23. Startling Revelation: Content Is Crap : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search - November 5, 2015

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