This week I was passed a link to a European Commission report on the Enterprise Search market, which I’ve just finished ploughing through (it’s 123 pages and not exactly light reading). It provides an overview of the history of the market and some current trends, but sadly misses out almost completely the rapidly growing open source sector. The authors say “…open source solutions have been disregarded because they do not seem yet to be a real alternative for company use…” – a point of view both I and our satisfied clients would disagree with. The report does at least acknowledge that “open source components are frequently used and integrated in some commercial solutions”.
However there are some very interesting numbers in the latter part of the report. For example, we hear that an Exalead customer, the automotive logistics specialist Gefco, paid 700,000 Euros for the solution built for them to track around 100,000 events a day regarding 1 million vehicles. Appendix 2 has a list of various search vendors and associated costs: for example “The average selling price for the [Autonomy] IDOL tool is $375,000″ and “The price for the Oracle Secure Enterprise Search is $34,500 per processor and $70 per referenced user (with a minimum of 100 users).”
I would question whether these prices are sustainable given that alternative solutions based on proven, scalable open source software are now available at a fraction of the cost. Perhaps the authors of the report should have considered more deeply how this might impact the enterprise search market.