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February 19, 2009

iQuest: Putting Greater Transparency into the Enterprise

Picture 1 While a theme of the enterprise 2.0 is transparency, often the maze of different platforms, repositories, and metadata structures makes finding the information you need difficult, if not impossible. I recently spoke with Josh Rosenthal, founder and CEO at iQuest, about his experience with one of the top 5 international pharma companies that was struggling with enterprise search and had found it easier to re-invent a needed compound that try to find the existing one somewhere within their terabytes of data.

I have written about iQuest before (most recently - Extending Google Enterprise Search Through iQuest) and want to disclosure that I am a shareholder, but not an employee. It is a company that I have long believed in. Since that post, iQuest has completely revamped their product line to significantly improve its capabilities. Their reengineered software suite builds on the prior capabilities and extends them through a new software platform.

The phrama company we talked about had given up hope of being able to search their multiple terabytes of data in multiple repositories, diverse platforms, and different metadata structures with one tool until they ran a proof-of-concept trial with iQuest. iQuest gave them the capability to better employee a “find within” strategy rather than the ‘build all over again” strategy they had previously used.

Here’s what the company’s Associate Director for Worldwide Document and Collaborations Solutions said about the results of the trial. “I firmly feel iQuest has unique value, and takes an approach to enterprise search that is both novel and truly helpful in improving knowledge worker productivity. I sense that in less than 12 months your flagship product will be truly a breakout and market-changing event.”

iQuest now enables users to discover hidden patterns and relationships within and across large sets of data. In the past, discovering patterns in unstructured data was extremely difficult. iQuest’s approach to pattern recognition and matching combines a propriety data ingestion process with natural language processing, grammatical network analysis and Social Network statistical algorithms to create an accurate and fast data analysis process that delivers strong results across structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

iQuest greatly reduces the amount on manual management than is often found in enterprise search engines. You do not need to set up taxonomies or other data architectures. iQuest now provide a hardware/software solution that allows you to plug and play. Its “Contextual Search” semantic analysis then automatically generates connections and interrelationships across enterprise data repositories. It enables you to leverage the index of your enterprise information without having to build and maintain knowledge models using controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies. 

iQuest leverages existing information repositories (DMS, ECM, CRM, ERP, etc.). It will sit on top of Sharepoint, for example, and find relationship across and within the documents and other data that shows up in a Sharepoint search. It will allow you to connect people and ideas within the documents through its text analytics. iQuest will do the same thing within any enterprise content management system. 

iQuest is designed to help your find what is missing or even did not know existed within your enterprise data. Its Intelligent Discovery™ uncovers thematic contextual links to content or raw information that's typically hidden or unknown, which results in actionable insights. Indexing content to better find information is a core function of search and content management systems. 
Content is ingested “as is.” It will look at dynamic social software content in wiki’s, RSS feeds, and chat. Though iQuest is largely targeted for use within the enterprise, it will also go out on the web and look at relationships between internal and web-based content.

iQuest is also designed for ease of use. It employs a Smart Architecture™ to eliminate the need to modify or add additional layers to the ECMS or existing index structures. This can save resources – people, time. and money. 

Josh writes Patterns, the iQuest blog where discusses the relationships between and among people, ideas, thoughts and words. It has some useful conceptual pieces that go beyond what is happening at iQuest.