Sensis eyes enterprise search

Sensis' wireless content delivery ambitions will extend beyond the consumer space and into the entperise with a new corporate directory search product to be unveiled next month.

Sensis' interactive division general manager Robert Rath told Computerworld the company is already doing "a lot of B2B work" and is actively taking a services approach to corporate and SME customers which "now have more sophisticated software".

"Corporate directory search and Sensis1234 will allow the option of putting the corporate directory access online," Rath said, adding the company needs to be more proactive in this arena.

"Sensis is moving into marketing services like customer matching and search marketing and now another channel to reach customers is via e-mail and SMS marketing," he said. "This enables the use of technology to measure the success rate of marketing campaigns."

Next month Sensis will launch its SMS search service whereby people can use their mobile phone to lodge a query and have local results returned to them, also via SMS.

Sensis' wireless general manager Sebastian Baldwin said SMS search will debut "the world's first location-aware search engine".

Baldwin said Sensis would like to see applications which can help businesses, like traffic rerouting, integrated into the search.

"Merchant matching is coming into play and we want to get into that space," Baldwin said.

Volantis is being used for the middleware, which Sensis is "integrating now" with application development being done locally.

Sensis' wireless and location product manager Emily Freeman said the technology potentially allows access to the corporate directory via SMS.

"For now, Sensis doesn't have an enterprise solution the opportunity is there for those applications to be developed," Freeman said.

Frost and Sullivan senior research analyst Foad Fadaghi said the enterprise search market is "still very nascent" both globally and locally and is being driven by the realization by many companies that the Google search interface is one they would like to "bring inside the enterprise".

"There are a lot of options out there [for] searching a repository of enterprise data like searching the internet," Fadaghi said, adding the companies in Australia pushing enterprise search appliances and software are "still small".

Fadaghi said there is no evidence to suggest enterprise search is a big market but "it's not a negative future".

"There needs to be a lot more awareness to create need in the market for it to send well," he said. "Other vendors may applaud the move if it can stimulate the market. A lot of duplication of work occurs so being able to access things that have been done before that can reduce that."

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