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Copernic Is on a Roll with Enterprise Search
by
Posted On June 14, 2004
Last fall, Copernic officially launched Copernic Enterprise Search, its first enterprise search product, specifically targeting the needs of the small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME) and departments of larger enterprises, and offering it as a free download for searches of up to 5,000 documents, with incremental pricing for larger document sets (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=16607). The market seeding strategy has apparently paid off, with the company now reporting more than 1,700 customer deployments. This week, it is introducing version 3.0 of Copernic Enterprise Search, which features extended connectivity, enhanced security, improved performance, and enhanced usability.

Martin Bouchard, president and CEO of Copernic, says that such customer response indicates "that enterprises of all sizes and in all industries are looking for a search solution that meets these requirements, and proof that Copernic Enterprise Search meets a need that has not yet been fulfilled by existing solutions."

Copernic Enterprise Search uses advanced linguistic and statistical technologies to identify the key concepts and sentences of indexed documents and then provides relevancy-ranked results. The results ranking can be fine-tuned by altering the weight of different ranking factors. It automatically indexes new and updated documents on-the-fly.

The user interface has been improved, and includes a redesigned advanced search page. A new browsing mode allows quick access to cached results. Users can search for documents created in Word, PDF, HTML, Excel, PowerPoint, and for e-mail messages, and user-specified Web pages. View as HTML is now available for every file format (with query highlighting), which means a user doesn't have to wait for programs like Acrobat to load. Users can also install a search toolbar in their browsers.

Specific enhancements and performance improvements in version 3.0 include the following:

  • Improved XML support
  • Open file-conversion system that supports virtually any file format and integrates with external tools (e.g., categorization engines, named-entity extractors)
  • Indexing performances improved by 25 percent
  • HTTP crawling performances improved by 10 percent
  • Index compaction speed improved by 200 percent
  • Scales to 7 million documents

According to Eric Negler, director of U.S. sales for Copernic, the company recently participated in a structured evaluation with three other vendors to compete for a contract with a major telecom company. The test consisted of 100 queries across a 14,000 document set. Copernic presented the requested items within the first 3 results, on average. The other vendors-Google, Verity, and iPhrase-reportedly didn't even come close to this accuracy in retrieval. In addition, cost was deemed to be a key factor in awarding the contract to Copernic. Negler said Copernic's cost in an ROI study was about $3.50 per user, while the vendor being replaced in this implementation for 10,000 salespeople on an intranet, cost about $30 per user.

Copernic is a privately held company with offices in Quebec, Montreal, and Palo Alto. It plans to open an office in Boston in August. The company was founded in 1996 and Bouchard says it has been profitable since 1999. Its customers include HP, Credit Lyonnais, InfoSpace, APCO Worldwide, France Telecom, and Engineering.com. Copernic also claims 30 million users for its consumer metasearch product, Copernic Agent.

Copernic is primed for growth, pleased with the success of its market strategies, and confident in the capabilities of its improved product. It is expanding its direct sales force, opening new offices, and building a network of resellers. It is currently beta testing a desktop search product that should launch by September. Bouchard said that its differentiators in the marketplace are the product's simple deployment, power and scalability, security, adherence to industry standards, and low cost per user.

[Note: Try Copernic Enterprise Search on Information Today, Inc.'s Enterprise Search Center.]


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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