Enterprising

Armed with a Big Data Offering and a Brooklyn Office, Q-Sensei Eyes America

But can they crack the competitive enterprise search market? Time will tell.
ute rother Armed with a Big Data Offering and a Brooklyn Office, Q Sensei Eyes America

Ms. Rother. (Lalisio.com)

Enterprise search is a tough market. But with the release of an upgraded search platform tailored to cash in on big data, plus a snazzy new Brooklyn office, Q-Sensei has big plans and even bigger ambitions.

Created in 2007 from the merger of a German and an American company, Q-Sensei’s primary product is an enterprise software platform, designed to help businesses sort through their vast amounts of internal clutter. But despite picking up a couple of industry awards, the company has largely flown under the radar. Enterprise work just isn’t as flashy as consumer offerings, and besides, Europe has been the team’s focus thus far. 

But now the company is making moves here in the states. Q-Sensei has just released a new version of its technology, somewhat predictably dubbed Enterprise v2.0. The new-and-improved offering incorporates ontology-based data processing, which is meant to make it faster and easier for businesses to develop new search applications.

CEO Ute Rother explained the changes to Betabeat: “We have developed an extremely fast and flexible system to process data, even big data.” The search engine not only serves up results, but also determines possible filtering opportunities, “so people can, in a very personalized way, very quickly drill down and get away from the clutter and get the items they’re most interested in.” Ms. Rother also drew attention to the technology’s ability to calculate related items in real time. All that allows companies to get a contextual view of all their own data, whether statistical data or project emails.

The company is betting on this next-gen search engine as its competitive advantage, billing it as a big data solution. And Q-Sensei is certainly going to need some sort of angle, because enterprise search has plenty of incumbents. For the open-source-inclined, there’s Apache SOLR/Lucene. Then there’s Autonomy, purchased last year by HP for a cool $12 billion, and Endeca, which Oracle picked up for just over $1 billion.

To crack the market, Q-Sensei isn’t limiting its focus to a particular niche–Ms. Rother insists the company’s technology has universal enterprise applications. Rather, her team’s strategy revolves around partnerships. “Our focus is to team up with IT service providers or solutions providers, and then we offer our high speed data processing and advanced search capabilities to sell to their customers or to integrate into their existing solutions so that they become even more valuable,” Ms. Rother explained.

One of those partners is a New York based firm called AudioVisual Preservation Solutions, which consults on exactly what you’d expect from its name. The two companies are currently working on a test project for a major news organization, though Ms. Rother refused to name names. She also hinted at two more soon-to-be-announced deals, though again, no names.

The plan is to establish an American foothold as quickly as possible through this kind of work. To that end, the company recently opened a new office in downtown Brooklyn. It wasn’t just the much-discussed startup-friendly vibe that attracted them, but also the fact that, as Ms. Rother told us, New York is a “hub for data rich-companies,” exactly the market their technology is designed to serve

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