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Fast updates corporate search technology

In a bid to capture a larger piece of the enterprise search market, Fast Search and Transfer has added real-time analysis and management features to its search technology.

Fast Search & Transfer on Monday introduced a new version of its real-time navigation technology for corporate networks, in a bid to capture a bigger piece of the competitive enterprise search market.

The Oslo, Norway-based company updated Fast Data Search with real-time analysis and management features that it says builds on its powerful corporate search technology.

"Fast Data Search is now providing organizations with real-time data analysis and business management tools that allow them to maximize their business objectives and to free up IT resources to concentrate on larger issues," Fast CEO John Lervik said in a statement.

The update, version 3.2, comes shortly after the company sold its Internet search technology to Overture Services for $70 million in cash, along with performance-based incentives of up to $30 million over three years. The deal, which was announced in late February, is expected to close by April.

At the time, Fast said it planned to focus solely on enterprise search technology, which comprised an estimated 75 percent of its business. The company's customers include AT&T, CIGNA, Dell and Reuters.

By narrowing its focus, Fast improved its odds in a highly competitive market. Many companies are racing to provide advanced tools to answer a need for search tools in business environments. Verity, Autonomy, Convera and even Web search giant Google all develop technology that lets companies index, classify, search and retrieve data stored in multiple formats.

Fast sells three corporate search products: Data Search Professional, Data Search Enterprise and Data Search SST, which are 3D scalable to hundreds of terabytes of data and can perform thousands of queries per second. All of the products include two new features, "live analytics" and "business managers control panel." The Live Analytics feature lets employees using a corporate intranet to mine the database for specific information based on the actual data in the search results, rather than pre-defined search criteria.

The business manager's control panel merges the needs of searchers with the business goals of the organization. For example, a manager can set the system to highlight products within search results. In addition, the new tools provide linguistics support for 54 languages and include support for HP-UX and Red Hat Linux Advanced Server.

"Our focus on enterprise search is yielding excellent results for Fast as businesses are sensing accelerating pressure in the exact areas where our unique strengths can help them," Lervik said.