Convergence and collisions in Enterprise Search

At the end of next month I'll be at Enterprise Search Europe (I'm on the programme committee and help with the open source track) and the opening keynote this year is from Dale Roberts, author of the book Decision Sourcing. Dale will be talking about how Social, Big Data, Analytics and Enterprise Search are on a ...Continue reading

G-Cloud and open file formats, a cautionary tale

We're lucky enough to have our services available on the G-Cloud, a new initiative by the UK Government's Cabinet Office with the aim of breaking the sometimes monopolistic practices of 'big IT' when supplying government clients. We've recently had a couple of contracts procured via the G-Cloud iii framework and one of the requirements is to report whenever a client is invoiced. This is done via a website called Management Information Systems Onli...Continue reading

Phony wars: the battle between Solr and Elasticsearch

The most well known open source search engine, Apache Lucene/Solr, has a rival in Elasticsearch, also based on Apache Lucene. Or maybe it doesn't. I'm not convinced that there's an actual battle going on here, above and beyond the fact that the commercial companies formed to support each technology (Lucidworks and Elasticsearch [...Continue reading

New Year predictions: further search storms ahead!

2012 has been a fascinating and stormy year for those of us in the search business. We've seen a raft of further acquisitions of commercial closed source search companies by bigger players, some convinced that what used to be called Enterprise Search is now a solution to Big Data (like Stephen Arnold we wonder what will succeed Big Data as the next marketing term - I love his phrase "In a quest for revenue, the vendo...Continue reading

Autonomy & HP – a technology viewpoint

I'm not going to comment on the various financial aspects of the recent news about HP's write-down of the value of its Autonomy acquisition - others are able to do this far better than me - but I would urge anyone interested to re-read the documents Oracle released earlier this year. However, I am going to write about the IDOL technology itself (I'd ...Continue reading

Following the money….all the way to open source search.

There's an old saying that to find out what's really going on, you have to "follow the money". In the search industry two recent events have pointed the way: firstly, Attivio raised $34 million in new funding. Attivio produce a solution based on their own Active Intelligence Engine (yes, it's still just a search e...Continue reading

Flax partners with open source support specialists Sirius Corporation

We're very happy to announce we've partnered with Sirius Corporation. Sirius are the leading U.K. provider of managed services, support and training for open source software with an impressive and growing list of clients including Canonical, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Met Office. We've recently carried out a major project for which Sir...Continue reading

Big Data – It's not always big and it's not always clever

There's been a recent flurry of activity from search vendors (and those larger companies that have been buying them) around the theme of Big Data, which has become the fashionable marketing term for a sheaf of technologies including search, machine learning, Map Reduce and for scalability in general. If anyone impertinently asks why co...Continue reading

Mixed reactions as HP buys Autonomy

The blogotweetosphere has been positively buzzing since last night's announcement that Hewlett Packard will be buying Autonomy for £7.1bn, while divesting itself of its PC business. Many commentators have put a positive spin on this, pointing to Autonomy's meteoric rise from a small office in Cambridge to the behemoth it is today....Continue reading

Economic Trends in Enterprise Search Solutions – unsustainable pricing in a changing market?

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 n...Continue reading