Open Search Initiative Gains New Partners To Give Business Intelligence A Boost - InformationWeek
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11/7/2006
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Open Search Initiative Gains New Partners To Give Business Intelligence A Boost

With the addition of Fast, a scalable enterprise search engine, and Inxight, a provider of enterprise software used in information discovery, business intelligence can be made more useful to more workers.

Fast Search & Transfer and Inxight Software Inc. on Tuesday said they will participate in Business Objects' Open Search Initiative, a collaborative effort to bring together partners in text analytics, enterprise search, and consulting.

In adding Fast, a scalable enterprise search engine, and Inxight, a provider of enterprise software used in information discovery, Business Objects seeks to improve its business intelligence offerings by dramatically broadening the use of data and intelligence typically used in large organizations.

"We all have a common goal of opening up information to a new broad set of users," says Rob Lancaster, Fast's VP of channel development. "The whole idea is to simplify access for the user. It's indicative of a trend -- the convergence of business intelligence and other information, both structured and unstructured."

By combining Fast's Enterprise Search Platform with BusinessObjects XI Release 2 technology, BI content can be used more widely in many organizations, Lancaster says. The combination can help workers find actionable information from such disparate sources as reports, dashboards, scorecards, and analysis.

"Enabling BI systems to analyze a wider range of data and information to provide context around metrics is a natural extension," said Bjorn Olstad, CTO of Fast, in a statement.

Lancaster notes that BI often hasn't been useful to a broad spectrum of users in organizations; the new collaborative effort, however, is an effort to solve that problem. By combining partners in Business Objects' Open Search Initiative, both structured (typically represented by rows and columns in databases) and unstructured data (e-mails, memos, news reports) can be merged in a common data warehouse.

Inxight's approach is different from Fast's, but it likewise contributes a new and expanded dimension to the Open Search Initiative. With the ability to use unstructured text through its text analytics platform, Inxight can combine that data with structured data. The automatic detection of people, companies, places, relations and events, for instance, lets users explore a wide range of relationships and trends. The result can lead to the discovery of new revenue opportunities, improved customer service, competitive gains, and market advantage, according to Inxight.

"Business Objects views search and text analytics as a natural extension for traditional business intelligence solutions," said Wyatt Mullin, VP of global ISV channels at Business Objects, in a statement.

Other partners in Business Objects Open Search Initiative include Attensity, BearingPoint, Clarabridge, ClearForest, Endeca, FAST, IBM, and Oracle.

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