IBM, Yahoo Partner on Free Enterprise Search for SMBs

IBM and Yahoo are partnering on a free, entry-level search engine that will allow small and midsize companies as well as departments within large enterprises to access data hidden away on corporate file servers and available on the public Web.

Called IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition, the free search package is designed for organizations that want to develop internal search applications but are either unable or unwilling to spend thousands of dollars to deploy commercial search engines, said Marc Andrews, IBM program director of information management strategies, in Armonk, N.Y.

Andrews stressed that OmniFind is not designed as a simple desktop search engine. It can search across corporate file servers, internal business Web sites, and public-facing Web sites, he said. “We wanted to provide for seamless access to enterprise search technology and make it ubiquitous across organizations and enable more companies to take advantage of this technology,” Andrews said.

Before the development of OmniFind, IBM had focused on developing the search technology that is built into enterprise products such as WebSphere Portal, Lotus Notes and the DB2 database, Andrews said.

Since then, IBM has heard from a lot of organizations that wanted access to enterprise search technology but “didn’t necessarily want to make the significant investment required” to get access to it, he said.

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