iPhrase steps out with new search software

IPhrase Technologies Inc. has unveiled the latest version of its One Step search and navigation software Monday, promising users the ability to rapidly search a broader range of documents with result relevancy of 95 percent.

One Step 3.5 is the fifth version of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company's flagship product, which already boasts corporate clients such as Gateway Inc., Terra Lycos SA and Yahoo Inc.

Corporate clients can use the software to drive more traffic to their sites by providing customers with self-help search capabilities, said Tony Frazier, iPhrase's vice president of product management.

"We found that search navigation is critical because it drives adoption of companies' online channels," Frazier said.

The newest version of the search software offers broader support for product catalogs and document repositories, the company said. For example, the software can process over 30 queries per second on a company catalog with 50,000 individual items, iPhrase said.

One Step 3.5 also provides more comprehensive analytic reports, identifying trends in user requests and gaps between queries and content. Companies often use these reports to better tune their software's search capabilities, according to Frazier.

But the most significant advantage in the latest version of the software is its relevancy, the company said. One Step 3.5 offers an 85 percent result relevancy as soon as it's installed, according to iPhrase, and 95 percent relevancy after the software has been tuned to fit the company's needs.

One Step offers high search result relevancy rates due to its ability to perform natural language processing, translate questions into a precise query and render results in a synthesized fashion, Frazier said.

Pricing for the software varies, but licenses run in the US$100,000 to US$150,000 range, Frazier said, while deployment runs around $50,000 to $100,000.

IPhrase plans to release One Step 4.0 in late September, offering search capabilities for a more extensive range of content.

Stan Hjartberg, executive producer for Lycos Finance, said that he is impressed with the product's ability to process queries and provide users with relevant results. Lycos deployed the 3.0 version of One Step on its finance site about two months ago. Before that, the site had a basic search engine with no natural language processing, Hjartberg said.

"It's remarkable how complex the system has to be to produce results on that level," he said. "It's exceeded my expectations."

Hjartberg said that Lycos plans to collect six months of user data and then expand the number of databases the search engine can access.

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