Verity Outlines Inktomi Integration Path

Verity's president talks about how the company will integrate recently-acquired Inktomi technology.

Verity Inc. will release the first products of its acquisition of Inktomi Corp.s enterprise software business later this month when its expected to ship a Federated Connector, linking Veritys K2 search and knowledge management platform with Inktomis UltraSeek search product.

"K2 customers will be able to access from the UltraSeek server in an instantaneous way," explained Anthony Bettencourt, Veritys president, in an interview with eWEEK Tuesday.

Verity acquired Inktomis enterprise search business for $25 million in cash in November. Inktomi sold its Web search business to Yahoo Inc. last month.

After federated search, the next move to integrate Inktomi technology will likely happen by July, when Verity will integrate the Quiver workflow engine it acquired from Inktomi, Bettencourt said, in Sunnyvale, Calif.

"That will give our users an easier way to set up how documents are classified," Bettencourt said.

Less clear is when Verity will make use of the XML Toolkit it acquired from Inktomi. Bettencourt said Verity might add that technology, which would allow for the searching of structured and unstructured data, within a year. But the marketplace is still not demanding it.

"A lot of discussions are taking place about combining structured and unstructured data for searching, but customers arent ready to buy yet," he said. "I think its probably still about 24 months out. Maybe because of the economy, people arent ready for such an undertaking.

"Theres still a wall between the content management system and the data warehouse."

Verity will also have to be careful not to compete directly with Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., which are both planning to add XML extensions to their respective relational database technologies to combine structured and unstructured data repositories, Bettencourt said.

"We dont want to be in the gunsights of Oracle and Microsoft," he said. "We want to focus on knowledge-enabling CRM and other applications."

Bettencourt said Verity added 43 Inktomi employees and 2,500 customers worth approximately $22 million a year. Verity will continue to support existing Inktomi products in addition to integrating them into Verity products.

After charges associated with the deal are written off this quarter, Bettencourt said he expects the Inktomi business to be cash-flow positive and accretive to Veritys earnings.