Digital Reef recently came out of stealth mode and is now talking to press openly about their solution. I spoke to a few trade press editors about Digital Reef and they wanted to know what made Digital Reef uniquely valuable in a market that seems to have a wide range of solutions for customers to choose from. It is not enough that a vendor is valuable or unique. If competitors offer the same value then the solution may have no real market traction. If a solution is unique but that singular capability offers no real value then customers will not pay for it.
In the world of high-tech there is often confusion because we often use the same terms to mean different things and different terms to mean the same thing. Therefore XYZ vendor may say they provide Enterprise-class search and indexing and are able to scale and provide rapid access to content for users. Therefore when Digital Reef states that they are “Enterprise-class” – it is important to distinguish and articulate what makes them uniquely valuable.
The ability to provide Enterprise-class search and indexing requires two very different core competencies. The first requirement is to build a platform – IT infrastructure – to address the needs of the Enterprise. These include massive amounts of content that is stored on heterogeneous storage that is most likely geographically dispersed. How do you index all of the existing content – which consists of hundreds of terabytes and perhaps even petabytes – while new data is created continuously? How long will it take the solution to catch up? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Ever?
Digital Reef has built a scalable system that works like a grid or cluster – enabling you to add more compute resources to tackle this huge challenge. In other words, they have developed and provide sophisticated infrastructure – applying grow-able grid technology leveraging massive amounts of compute power in a unified fashion to index mountains of content.
The other core competency is to quickly access relevant content. Digital Reef provides this through keyword search and their unique similarity engine – I discussed this in greater depth in my last blog – The Power of Similarity. Their search capability enables you to get results based on context. Consider the sentence – “I’m feeling blue” – which has nothing to do with the actual color but a pure keyword search would be swimming with content that included a myriad of references to the color blue including paints, fabrics, the sky, the ocean, etc.
Digital Reef excels when looking for abstract concepts, metaphors, idioms, specifics, vertical terminology, and word associations. And the magic of all of this is mathematics – complex, reasoned, considered and sophisticated algorithms.
It is the combination of their scalable clustered architecture and similarity engine that makes Digital Reef uniquely valuable.