One of the things I love about being in the enterprise search / information access business is that there is always new blood keeping us old-timers on our toes and maintaining the pressure to innovate. While the competitive landscape is brutal (ask any analyst who has covered it over the past decade!), it apparently doesn’t dissuade entrepreneurs from making their own attempts to tackle the fundamental problems of making information accessible and useful.
Two of the higher profile newcomers to the scene are Attivio and Digital Reef. Attivio seems to be everywhere these days: sending its CTO to giving talks; sponsoring conferences and dinners; and even winning awards. Digital Reef is a bit less gregarious, but they made a lot of press in March when they emerged from stealth mode after two years. Just today, they announced a partnership with FAST, the enterprise search subsidiary of Microsoft.
I’ve interacted with a couple of people at Attivio, and I’ve read some of the Digital Reef blog posts. Both companies intrigue me. But what intrigues me more is that they say almost nothing about their customers. As far as I can tell, Attivio has only announced two customers (Thumbplay.com, Intralinks) and Digital Reef hasn’t announced any. There’s nothing wrong with ramping up (I still remember the early years myself), but I’m struck by the discrepancy between the highly visible marketing and the seemingly invisible customers.
If anyone here knows more about these companies (including representatives from the companies themselves), I’d love to hear your perspectives.