The yearly magic quadrant for Information Access Technology from Gartner has become an important way to evaluate the vendors in Enterprise Search business. The result is presented in a matrix measuring the different players by ability to execute (product, overall viability, customer experience etc.) and the completeness of their vision (offering strategy, innovation etc.). The vendors are then positioned as niche players (a rather crowded spot), visionaries, challengers and leaders.
For the last couple of years the upper right corner, which includes the leaders, has been a yearly fight between FAST Search & Transfer, Autonomy, Verity (which was bought by Autonomy in 2005) and Endeca.
However, the magic quadrant for 2007 shows that there is a substantial change in the market and two new leaders as well as two new large vendors on the challenging spot are represented.
A quick overview;
Placed in the upper right corner Autonomy is still placed as the leading vendor (which it has been after the acquisition of Verity in late 2005). FAST Search & Transfer has been suffering from the recent staff reduction, which has made the critics fear for its ability to stay as innovative as it has been famous for. However, FAST Search & Transfer still has a completeness of vision stronger than Autonomy, according to the report.
One of the most interesting changes has been made by IBM, which has made a move from the spot as a challenger right up to a leading position. As upcoming challengers Google (enterprise editions and desktop search), Microsoft (especially Share Point and desktop) and Oracle are worth keeping an eye on.
Endeca is still a competitor for the upper right corner of leaders and has been joined by ZyLab, which definitely will be worth reading about in the information provided here under products and technology.
The Gartner report is, as always, filled with details interesting for critics as well as future investors and the industry. This year’s report shows that the movement in this market is faster than ever and the competition is getting tougher each year. If you have a spare hour for the 20 pages I recommend you to read it all.