ClearForest Corp. (http://www.clearforest.com), a provider of textual analytic solutions, has been working to make its platform more enterprise-ready and accessible to third-party application developers, and it has just announced its product roadmap and strategic direction for 2005. In March, ClearForest will introduce version 6.1 of its ClearForest Text Analytics Suite, which offers a partner-ready architecture, improved capabilities, and extended platform support. The enhanced suite is designed for building unified business intelligence solutions across a wide range of industries. The company experienced impressive adoption in several key vertical markets in 2004 and a 50-percent growth in revenue. With its new platform, ClearForest plans to build on its growing adoption in the business intelligence (BI) sector and, by forging relationships with enterprise partners over the next 10 months, create new vertical market opportunities.
The ClearForest platform offers a complete suite of information extraction and analysis tools that help companies turn unstructured textual content into usable business intelligence. "Combining the capabilities of text-analytics with business intelligence solutions is key to expanding the traditional view of enterprise data," said Randy Clark, vice president of marketing at ClearForest. "Unstructured content is where the voice of the customer, supplier, and industry influencer lies. We are beginning to see increased focus on unstructured content across a wide range of industries as leaders recognize the importance of gaining access to this voice."
Henry Morris, vice president of applications and information access at IDC, commented: "This move should spur compelling applications that require access to structured data along with contextually relevant unstructured data. The need for unified access is being recognized by an increasing number of businesses in a wide range of industries."
The ClearForest platform, which consists of three components, Tags, Industry Modules, and Analytics, can be used as a stand-alone analytics application enabling specific queries, visual analytics, and reports, or be fully integrated within an existing BI system—and now with 6.1 it is partner-ready for integration solutions.
In addition to the basic concepts identified by ClearForest Tags in unstructured text, such as person, company, or location, ClearForest's industry modules identify entities unique to a particular vertical industry—and their relationships to one another. Industry-specific applications that are available immediately with release 6.1 include:
- Quality Early Warning
- Federal Intelligence
- Corporate and People Profiles
ClearForest plans to partner to provide industry-specific solutions for other markets including:
- Consumer Packaged Goods
Ed Hutchinson, ClearForest's director of marketing, explained: "There are clear opportunities here. We just need to connect with the right partners to reach other vertical areas."
The new version 6.1 also offers a number of technology enhancements, including improved extraction capabilities, scalability, new integration capabilities (with RDBMS systems and BI applications), and analytics enhancements, such as a Microsoft Excel add-in. Server support has now been extended to Oracle databases, to UNIX operating systems including Solaris and Linux, and to Intel Itanium 64-bit processors.
ClearForest boasts some big-name customers for its products, including Boeing, Dow Chemical, NASD, and the Sandia National Laboratories. Among large commercial publishers, it services Reuters, Dow Jones, Elsevier Science, and Thomson Financial. Marc Krellenstein, chief technology officer at Elsevier, offered this assessment: "ClearForest's text analytics platform helps bridge the long-standing gap between text and analytics. As a publisher with a wide range of high-value content, Elsevier believes ClearForest offers superior tools for extracting the maximum value out of what we publish and presenting it to users in the ways they want to see it."
There are a number of tough competitors in the text analytics market, including Inxight, SAS, SPSS, Convera, and Endeca. But as Hutchinson explained, "We're not trying to be grandiose. We just want to be a platform that plays well with others and gets good partners."
For additional information on ClearForest:
"ClearForest Upgrades Text Analytics Platform," by Paula J. Hane, Aug. 16, 2004: http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=16391
"ClearForest ClearTags: EContent Decision Maker Review," by Sheri R. Lanza, EContent, June 2004: http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/ArticleReader.aspx?ArticleID=6602
"The high cost of not finding information," by Susan Feldman, KMWorld, March 2004: http://www.kmworld.com/publications/magazine/index.cfm?
"ClearForest Upgrades Its Flagship Intelligence Product," by Paula J. Hane, Oct. 27, 2003: http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=16591