Search Technology Vendors Evolve To Meet Customer Needs

Search Technology Vendors Evolve To Meet Customer Needs

Fast Search & Transfer, a leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, has announced that industry analyst group Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) has positioned FAST in the Leaders quadrant of its newly released 2004 Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant Report. This is the first year that FAST has been positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant report1 on the Enterprise Search market.

Gartner, the premier research and advisory firm for bottom-line, business-oriented analysis and in-depth knowledge of trends and developments in technology, reviewed 21 vendors for this annual report of search technology providers. To determine the positions in the Magic Quadrant, Gartner used a set of criteria to measure each vendor’s ability to serve an organization’s search needs, including its financial strength, prior success in the enterprise arena, pricing flexibility and appeal, as well as service leverage.

According to Gartner, Inc., leaders are vendors who are performing well today, have a clear vision of market direction and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market. The Magic Quadrant analysis places specific vendors within one of four segments: “Leaders,” “Visionaries,” “Challengers,” and “Niche Players.”

“We are very pleased that FAST has been positioned in the leader quadrant of Gartner’s 2004 Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant report,” commented John M. Lervik, FAST’s chief executive officer. “We believe that our success is firmly rooted in the fact that FAST offers our partners and customers an innovative technology that enables them to create substantial new revenues and realize cost savings through mission-critical search applications. The combination of our increasingly positive financial performance, exceptionally strong technology and product offerings, as well as a rapidly growing client and partner base leaves FAST well-positioned for continued market leadership.”

“In the past year, our search technology has further evolved, enabling businesses to effectively aggregate, index, and extract tremendous value from data collections existing on their enterprise and the Web,” said Ali Riaz, FAST’s chief operating officer. “The FAST Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP(TM)) has also provided all the technology needed for organizations to create new, specialized search-dependent solutions, called Search Derivative Applications (SDAs) for a growing number of unique business requirements, including Brand and Content Management, Fraud Detection, Market Intelligence, and Compliance.”

Running on low-cost, high-performance servers, the precision- engineered FAST ESP enables organizations to efficiently gain a 360-degree view of relevant structured data stored in databases, as well as the unstructured data of documents, emails, presentations, Web pages, and more. Whether data exists in multiple databases and applications, on corporate intranets, or on the Web, FAST ESP provides unlimited access and scalability in data volume, number of users, and freshness of data. It also enables organizations to draw one complete, accurate, secure, and intelligent view of all the information they need to advance the fortunes of the enterprise.

“We believe our positioning in this year’s Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant report demonstrates our continued commitment to search innovation, which impacts businesses on a global scale,” stated Bjorn Olstad, FAST’s chief technology officer. “At FAST, our goal is to supply businesses and users with the technology and user experience they require. To accomplish this, we have married a no-technical-boundaries approach to our search platform, FAST ESP, with a clear understanding of real-world requirements, including extraordinary performance, precise accuracy, brand reach, and high ROI.”

FAST ESP is offered through the FAST Data Search(TM) suite of enterprise search solutions, which includes FAST Data Search(TM) for Site Search; FAST Data Search(TM) for Compliance; FAST Data Search(TM) for eCommerce; FAST Data Search(TM) for Intranets; FAST Data Search(TM) for eDirectories; and FAST Data Search(TM) 360. The FAST Data Search product suite supplies a complete information retrieval solution ideal for key vertical markets and applications including e-Commerce and Internet Portals, Financial Services; Government; Life Sciences; Media and Publishing; and Telecom.

Obtain a complimentary copy of Gartner’s 2004 Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant.

To view a complimentary copy of Gartner’s 2004 Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant report, register on FAST’s Web site at http://www.fast.no/gartner_report.

About FAST

FAST creates the real-time search and filter technology solutions that are behind the scenes at the world’s best known companies with the most demanding search problems. FAST’s flexible and scalable integrated technology platform elevates the search capabilities of enterprise customers and connects people to the relevant information they seek regardless of medium. This drives revenues and reduces total cost of ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure. FAST’s powerful enterprise search technology solutions are used by a wide range of global customers and partners, including AT&T, Cardinal Health, CareerBuilder.com, Chordiant, CIGNA, CNET, Dell, Fidelity Investments, FirstGov.gov (GSA), Freeserve, IBM, Knight Ridder, LexisNexis, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), and Vodafone.

FAST is a Norwegian based company publicly traded under the ticker symbol ‘FAST’ on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States and Japan. Additionally, the FAST Group has business partners and customers in a number of other locations, such as Brazil, Canada and Australia.

For further information, visit http://www.fastsearch.com.

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted May 2004 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission, which permission should not be deemed to be an endorsement of any company or product depicted in the quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is Gartner, Inc.’s opinion and is an analytical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It measures vendors against Gartner defined criteria for a marketplace. The positioning of vendors within a Magic Quadrant is based on the complex interplay of many factors. Gartner does not advise enterprises to select only those firms in the “Leaders” quadrant. In some situations, firms in the Visionary, Challenger, or Niche Player quadrants may be the right matches for an enterprise’s requirements. Well-informed vendor selection decisions should rely on more than a Magic Quadrant. Gartner research is intended to be one of many information sources including other published information and direct analyst interaction. Gartner, Inc. expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, of fitness of this research for a particular purpose.

For more information, call 781/304-2495 or visit http://www.fast.no.

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