Verity, iPhrase Hone Search Intelligence

Verity Inc. and iPhrase Technologies Inc. announced last week search tools that promise to make searches more intelligent.

Verity Inc. and iPhrase Technologies Inc. each announced last week search tools that promise to make searches more intelligent and to deliver a search experience tailored to individual users.

Verity, of Sunnyvale, Calif., released Ultraseek 5.1, the first major upgrade to the Ultraseek product since Verity acquired it from Inktomi Corp. last year. Meanwhile, iPhrase, based in Cambridge, Mass., released Version 4.5 of its One Step natural language search product.

Veritys Ultraseek 5.1 offers an improved GUI, known as Layout Manager, that gives administrators more control over the products look and feel and the ability to set search options such as results display, default collections, categories, passage-based summaries and spell suggest. Verity is adding Reporting Manager to Ultraseek 5.1. The tool lets administrators generate usage analysis reports on search processes and patterns, including top search queries, queries yielding no results, top requested documents and trends.

Ultraseek 5.1 supports searching documents in new file formats, including in StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice 1.0. Among new optimization features is the ability to create search result titles for documents that have no title or a template title not relevant to a documents content. Version 5.1 can group search results by site, directory, folder or other logical arrangement to improve navigation and highlight query terms in documents in multiple file formats.

iPhrases OneStep 4.5 also features optimization capabilities for interpreting and enhancing queries to ensure users get the best possible results, company officials said. Like Ultraseek 5.1, the tool can be personalized for different user types, based on the intent of a query. For user-facing applications, this can create cross-sell and upsell opportunities and customer service elevation, officials said. Theres also improved reporting capabilities on users interactions, a Web-based management console and a unified content architecture that can associate structured content with related unstructured content. Ultraseek 5.1 and OneStep 4.5 are available now and free to current customers.

Countrywide Home Loans Inc., of Calabasas, Calif., is deploying OneStep 4.5 for its public Web site and corporate intranet. "Not only can business and marketing users almost fully control what results are presented and in what form, but [they] can do so at very fine granularity based on the excellent intelligence provided by the analytics engine," said Larry Gentry, first vice president at Countrywide. "The ability to combine that intelligence with other analytics data from our e-business channel gives us new insights into how to improve the user experience and the returns from our sites."