RealTime IT News

IBM's Search Ends With Endeca

IT giant IBM will use technology from search specialist Endeca to help shoppers find notebooks, desktops, workstations and servers at Big Blue's online store.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The deal includes Endeca's InFront offering which considers price, operating systems, model, weight and special features in sorting through offerings. InFront also generates customized promotions that are specific to each customer's shopping session.

"The solution was originally implemented in the notebook area in Q4 last year and was quickly expanded to cover a full range of products across ibm.com," Endeca spokesman Craig VerColen told internetnews.com.

Along with a handful of other top enterprise search vendors, Cambridge, Mass.-based Endeca entered a bid for the contract in the second quarter of last year, VerColen said. He declined to name others who submitted proposals.

The deal represents the first implementation of the company's technology on any of IBM's sites or within the IBM enterprise.

IBM "adds a level of visibility and validation," VerColen said, but it's not the firm's first blue chip customer. In addition, the privately held firm counts financial services giant Putnam, bookseller Barnes & Noble and In-Q-Tel, the tech arm of the CIA, as clients. In all, InFront powers search and navigation on more than 60 e-commerce storefronts.

Endeca, founded in 1999, is coming off a strong year. In 2003 it added 50 new customers and expanded its European presence. The company competes against its Cambridge neighbor iPhrase Technologies, Kanisa and others in the growing field.