Tuning search for enterprise use

For Norwegian player Fast Search & Transfer, the money is in enterprise search applications which the vendor says, will enhance information retrieval and even monitor transactions.

A Google or Microsoft it may not be, but Norwegian company Fast Search & Transfer today already powers the search engines behind the Web sites of some of the top global companies, including Dell Computer and IBM.

As more and more digital content is produced, the future of search can only get brighter, Torbjorn Kanestrom, senior vice president of international operations at Fast Search & Transfer told ZDNet Asia, during the Fuji Xerox Doc.U.World 2006 seminar on document management held last week in Singapore.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Fast offers search technology to complement an enterprise's Web business or aid in internal knowledge management, Kanestrom explained. The company's technology can also be incorporated into any enterprise software to enhance information retrieval in those applications.

"Most people will say the operating system of the Internet is Google," said Kanestrom. "[We think] the operating system for the enterprise is Fast."

He noted that businesses gain a competitive advantage using search technologies, for example, to crawl the Internet for the latest news that could affect stock prices. Governments, he added, can index the Web sites of different agencies and aggregate the information into one portal to provide a better interface for their citizens.

Monitoring has now also emerged as another interesting application for search, said Kanestrom. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for instance, built an engine to "search a subset of the Internet [to monitor] illegal trade" transactions, he explained.

Similarly, an "Asian police agency" which he declined to name has adopted online search technology as a tool against child pornography. Fast had developed a technology to analyze images using statistical data and heuristics to determine if a picture is used in an appropriate manner.

Using search to perform enterprise-wide data cleaning is also plausible and "probably the most cost-effective" approach, said Kanestrom. In fact, he added, a Norwegian financial services group bought a search engine to help with its CRM integration.

Fast partners Fuji Xerox
In Singapore, Fast has partnered exclusively with Fuji Xerox to bring its search technology to enterprises based in the island-state. According to Fuji Xerox's solutions marketing manager Kua Pet Ie, the company has been appointed a systems integrator to implement Fast's search technology according to the needs of the client. She noted that the Fuji Xerox is currently talking to several clients in Singapore, including a government agency and an educational institution.

Fast also has presence in other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

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