In case you haven’t been paying attention lately, the Enterprise Search industry has become highly competitive. Big players are facing competition from relative upstarts, and there are so many players now that companies with an existing solution may begin to ask questions. What does the Enterprise Search industry look like now? Is my current publishing/search solution the best one available today? This second question is very important because the solutions other companies have implemented may not be the best one for your organization.
In this blog post, the first of a 4-part series based on the results of a comprehensive survey conducted by independent technology research firm Vanson Bourne, we’ll look at the Enterprise Search market, explore how each solution measures up.
Industry Solutions and Perceptions
Solutions Being Used
An interesting finding from the Vanson Bourne study is that no single solution dominates the market for publishing and enterprise search software. With over 11 players, products from large vendors like HP Autonomy and Oracle® Endeca have the most market share, with 29%, and 23% respectively. Surprisingly, a fifth of organizations (21%) still use a homegrown solution.
Rocket Folio and NXT make up 10% of the market, with Sphinx (9%), Apache Solr (7%), and dtSearch (6%) having smaller shares. The study show that on average, respondents’ organizations are using two different solutions, suggesting a single company-wide solution is not currently a reality for most. This could be due to a lack of communication between divisions and business units, or because no single solution meets all of a company’s needs.
To understand each solutions strengths and weaknesses, the survey asked users of the various solutions to state their level of satisfaction across three categories: product cost, ability to deliver content, and how up-to-date their existing software is.
Surprisingly, the survey findings uncovered that there is a reverse trend–users of the solutions with the most market share are less likely to consider their solution “very good.” Despite having a lower number of users than some others, Rocket users report higher perception scores. For example, Rocket Folio/NXT solutions are the most likely to be seen as totally up-to-date across all different solutions; 50% of users say their solution is up-to-date.
When looking specifically at Rocket Folio/NXT users
- 40% say its ability to deliver content is extremely good, compared to 17% on average
- 37% say that their software is very reasonably priced, compared to 15% on average
- 50% say that their software is totally up-to-date, compared to 16% on average
In comparison to the other solutions, regarding their ability to deliver content, their cost, and how up-to-date they are, Folio and NXT perform well. Competitors such as dtSearch and Apache Solr are rated similarly. Not surprisingly, homegrown solutions fare worst of all.
Pricing of search solutions
For companies considering one of these solutions, annual cost and licensing options are major factors. Use of free search and publishing solutions is very rare–only 7% of respondents claim to source these solutions through free-of-charge internal or external means. There is also a difference between licensing models for paid solutions, with 54% of respondents paying primarily via annual subscription, but with a large 39% minority buying a one-off license.
The cost of search within an organization
According to the survey results, the average annual cost for information search and retrieval approached $500,000 in 2013. This may even be a low estimate; technical decision-makers report a higher cost than their non-technical counterparts, possibly as a result of maintenance costs of which the non-technical decision-maker maybe be unaware.
In our next post, we’ll explore the major features of enterprise search solutions that influence adoption and a successful implementation.
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