Vivisimo Spruces Up Social Search with Discovery

The company enhances the social collaboration technologies in its Velocity search platform for businesses.

Vivisimo steered itself into the next generation of enterprise search in October 2007 with its Velocity 6.0 platform, which included social tagging, bookmarking and networking tools to improve the user experience on traditionally one-dimensional Web sites.
Since then, the businesses Vivisimo sells to have spoken and have told the software maker that they want their users to be able not only to better classify data by topics and themes, but to collaborate to share search results.
Rebecca Thompson, vice president of marketing for Vivisimo, said the Velocity Discovery Module takes the social search dimension from Velocity 6.0, which let individual users rate a search result and comment on whether they found it useful or not, to a new level through group collaboration.
For example, the module's new autoclassification feature uncovers important data that managers may have lost. With this feature, entire document sets can be automatically classified into categories, which can be edited.
Vivisimo has layered clustering capabilities on top of the search platform to make this possible. Administrators can configure the number of cluster levels, as well as criteria for the percentage of documents that should be related in order to create a cluster label. Admins can then add new category labels and expand the terms that should be associated with that query.
Thompson said this feature came after users expressed concern that the social tagging features introduced in Velocity 6.0 only let users tag each document one by one.

"When we gave users the ability to search things and tag them, it seemed to many customers that it would take too long and they needed a way to jumpstart that," she said. Autoclassification opens up whole categories to users for the next new feature in the module: express tagging, which tags large groups of search results for sharing. For example, if a user creates a category called "mobile," he or she can express tag that and make the tag a permanent category.

The new add-on also includes native document exporting to let searchers take search results, including Word documents, Adobe PDFs or Web pages, put them into a ZIP file and export them out in their native format. This saves users the hassle of converting documents into preferred formats.
The Discovery Module, which Thompson stressed is not to be confused with e-discovery products used for litigation purposes, comes at a time when companies are looking to upgrade from their traditionally poor proprietary enterprise search tools.

By equipping its Velocity 6.0 search platform with such knowledge discovery tools, Vivisimo aims to differentiate its products from enterprise search products from Google, Microsoft, Autonomy and others.

The Discovery Module only works with the Velocity 6.0 platform. Vivisimo will charge Velocity 6.0 customers $10,000 for the add-on, which will be publicly available in mid-July.