After missing what seems to have been an uninformative press conference anyway, I hooked up later with the Business Objects folks on the phone. I say that it was probably uninformative because in the short call, it was pointed out to me that they really weren’t at liberty to say much anyway. Here are a couple of tidbits I picked up even so.
- Business Objects’ text mining partnerships have been more demo/sales-cycle than actual sales up until now. That said, they have a few deals each with Attensity and Inxight (but not with ClearForest, which pulled in its horns prior to being acquired by Reuters). I still think they’re the leading BI vendor in integrating with text mining, SAS perhaps aside (who if nothing else have a lot of fun using text mining for data cleaning). The working Inxight partnership, by the way, was all about the specific app of email compliance, with the demo being based on the publicly available Enron corpus.
- Inxight’s visualization technology is in the form of an SDK anyway. So integrating it into BOBJ’s product line should be straightforward. Note: Through the Excelsius acquisition, BOBJ has been trying to gain competitive advantage in the cool-visualization area.
- Inxight’s “federation” capability for search is pretty primitive (my term and opinion of course, not theirs). It takes in search result sets from various sources, then clusters and/or refilters them. What it does NOT do is the much harder task of taking actual relevancy rankings from various engines and somehow arbitrating between them. Nor, I’m guessing, does it even assign higher or lower weights to various corpuses or anything like that. Thus, it does not sound terribly competitive with the distributed search capabilities built into any state-of-the-art enterprise search engine.