Copernic Ready to Take On Google In Enterprise Search Product

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-10-26 Print this article Print

Newly-created spin-off Coveo gets down to business with plans to combine desktop search into its enterprise software.

Copernic Technologies Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has spun off its enterprise-search business into a separate company, and already the new company is eyeing Google. Newly formed Coveo Solutions Inc., will focus on providing enterprise search software to businesses, organizations and government. Coveo will lead the marketing, sales and research and development of the renamed Coveo Enterprise Search product that Copernic had launched a year ago under its name.
Also on Wednesday, on the heels of its creation, Coveo will launch an update to the enterprise search software, said Laurent Simoneau, Coveos president and chief executive officer. Version 3.5, among other features, integrates desktop search with organization-wide intranet search.
Such integrated search gained widespread attention earlier this month when Google Inc. released a beta of its desktop search tool that combined hard-drive results with its Web results. Copernics decision to split it product lines into different companies came after executives considered the history of other search players, Simoneau said. Companies such as Inktomi Corp., FAST Search & Transfer ASA and Ask Jeeves Inc., at one time, had tried to straddle both consumers and enterprise customers, only to divest or drop one of the markets. "Its easy to have a strategy of being in both markets at same time, but its an execution challenge," said Simoneau, who formerly was Copernics chief operating officer. "Do we prioritize in the short term the consumer products or invest in the enterprise products?" Click here to read more about how Google plans to expand its enterprise presence. Copernic will continue to focus on its consumer search services and software. Along with its desktop search tool, released in August, Copernic has tools for conducting meta-searches across engines and for tracking and summarizing Web pages. About 30 employees moved into the new company, which has offices in Quebec City and Montreal in Canada and in Palo Alto, Calif. With the new enterprise search release, Coveo will include the Copernic Desktop Search technology so that enterprises can make the tool available to end users. Similar to Googles desktop search beta, results from a users desktop e-mails and files can be combined with results from a companys intranet and the Web, according to Coveo. But unlike Google, Coveos desktop feature does not index Web-browsing history or return advertisements on the results page, Simoneau said. "Desktop search will evolve more and more in separate ways in the consumer and enterprise markets," Simoneau said. Click here to read Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers thoughts on whether Google Desktop Search hurts security. Other news features in Coveo Enterprise Search 3.5 includes support for wildcard search, or the use of characters, and the creation of multiple search interfaces for different departments, subsidiaries or divisions. Coveo Enterprise Search, available only for Windows, is offered in a free version for indexing as many as 5,000 documents. After that, it is available in a perpetual license. Pricing ranges from $3,999 for 10,000 documents to $99,999 for 2 million documents, according to Coveos Web site. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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