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Intelligent Enterprise 2009 Editors' Choice Awards

Intelligent Enterprise names 'The Dozen' most influential vendors in enterprise IT for 2009. Plus, we highlight 36 'Companies to Watch' in five categories.

2009 Intelligent Enterprise Editor's choice: Companies to Watch

COMPANIES TO WATCH: INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Autonomy. This leading player has gone well beyond a robust, cross-media enterprise search platform to address records management, e-mail archiving, e-Discovery and even process management. In short, Autonomy is putting search into broader business contexts.

Calais. This natural-language-processing Web service automatically tags huge volumes of content within seconds, adding metadata for people, places, organizations, facts and events so publishers can make archives searchable, improve tagging consistency and aggregate and deliver new information products and services. The API is easily integrated/mashed and the Open Calais Web Service will apply tags to up to 40,000 documents per day at no charge.

Coral8. Blending business intelligence with its complex event processing technology, Coral 8 introduced an upgraded product suite in 2008 that monitors streaming information – market data, trade data, clickstream data, point-of-sale data and so on – as well as the reference data typical of data warehouses. The approach improves how users view and understand real-time actions by adding the context of historical patterns.

EnterpriseDB. In a tough economy, open-source database players will find the crack in the market door opening wider. MySQL may be ensconced in the LAMP stack, but no player is doing more to boost enterprise acceptability than EnterpriseDB, offering support and strong contributions around PostgreSQL.

Greenplum. With Oracle and Microsoft joining the data warehouse appliance crowd in '08, competition will surely narrow. Greenplum has the advantage of a good head start and petabyte-scale systems to its credit. It's also still innovating, most notably with its drive to employ the performance-enhancing MapReduce approach.

HP. This giant seemed to be in a BI holding pattern for much of 2008, but then, it did have the considerable distraction of the EDS acquisition. It's clear that BI and data warehousing are pet projects for HP CEO (and Teradata veteran) Mark Hurd, as evidenced by his putting a former Teradata protégé in charge late last year. We expect more action on this front in 2009.

Informatica. An independent that has held its own in the face of fierce competition from IBM and Oracle, Informatica has continued to innovate with its push into real-time data services and data integration for cloud computing options including SaaS. Look for more forays into operational data integration outside of the context of BI.

Initiate Systems. Garbage in, garbage out. This old maxim is behind the steady adoption of master data management (MDM) systems that ensure consistent and reliable data. Initiate Systems is an MDM leader, and its strong customer base in health care and insurance should ensure continued innovation as the company branches into the high-tech, manufacturing and retail markets.

Interwoven. This company unraveled in the wake of the dot-com bust, but a new team has stitched everything back together over the last two years. By staying focused on two core markets: large-scale Web content management, and document management and compliance for legal and professional firms, Interwoven has been pleasing customers and profiting. The lesson? Stick to your knitting!

Kalido. The only thing you can count on in business is change, so Kalido has done well as a pioneer of flexible modeling with its Kalido Information Engine. In 2008, Kalido took another step beyond static approaches to data warehouse development with the Business Information Modeler, a tool that lets analysts sit down with business constituents to discuss information delivery (and changes thereto) in visual terms they can easily understand.

Nuxeo. Already the leading open-source enterprise content management vendor in Europe, Nuxeo now has its sights set on the big US market. Expect to see its fast growth, strong community support and steady pace of innovation continue.

Siperian. Master data management is steadily gaining traction as a must-have technology. Siperian is an MDM leader, setting the standards for data acquisition, cleansing and deduplication, in addition to management of data relationships, hierarchies, models and reference data. What's more, the company is breaking into new markets including manufacturing and retail.

Sybase. Column-store databases offer clear performance advantages over relational databases in analytic applications, and SybaseIQ is the incumbent with more than 1,000 customers. The company responded to upstart competitors last year with an IQ-based appliance and a real-time loading solution for low-latency reporting and decision support.

Talend. An open source alternative seems to exist for every enterprise software niche. In the data integration and ETL space, the leader is Talend. Solid tools and plentiful connectors are complemented by an extensive list of BI and data warehousing partners.

Vertica. Vertica has opened many eyes to the advantages of column-store databases, and it has been an aggressive innovator in releasing appliance- and cloud-based options. With its advanced compression technology and visionary leadership, this company is making waves.

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