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SaaS-Based Search in Decline

Posted on 11.05.2007

CMS Watch has found that the software-as-a-services (SAAS) model for enterprise search has faltered, as hosted players fail to make inroads into enterprise-wide scenarios and appliance vendors increasingly address the kind of simpler scenarios typically fulfilled by hosted services. This analysis stems from CMS Watch's 2008 "Enterprise Search Report," released today, which evaluates 18 major enterprise search offerings. The report was released today at the KMWorld 2007 Enterprise Search Summit.

CMS Watch finds at least three reasons for the decline of SaaS search.

  • SaaS offerings have been limited largely to website search scenarios -- an important use case, but not as high-value as multi-repository enterprise search, which depends heavily on the kind of internal WAN access and onsite software connectors that SaaS vendors simply cannot provide today.
  • The dramatic rise of search appliance vendors (especially Google) has cut into demand for simple, web-oriented solutions of the type offered by SaaS vendors.
  • Google's own hosted search offering, although targeted at the SMB market, has likely dampened enthusiasm among potential competitors.

"This doesn't mean you should avoid going the SaaS route," argues report's lead author, Adriaan Bloem. "Just sign on with your eyes open and make sure you understand the provider's future plans and focus."


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