FAST Lassos Unstructured Data

Less than a year after its last technology upgrade, Fast Search & Transfer
(FAST) Tuesday introduced a new enterprise search platform (ESP) to help
companies retrieve and analyze information from many sources.

The framework supports specialized applications for structured data, such as databases and XML, and unstructured data, which includes documents, e-mails, presentations and Web pages.

Large companies are increasingly trying to manage the exploding volume of
unstructured data, which, according to research firms, can account for
approximately three-quarters of the information in an enterprise’s systems.

“Search has become a vital component of IT infrastructures and we have seen
a great need for true enterprise wide search solutions,” Peter Gorman, a
FAST spokesman, told internetnews.com.

FAST’s product packages can be used for a variety of needs — from returning
the right information to users of a high-traffic e-commerce site, to allowing
a financial services firm to find e-mails, transaction records and documents
required by regulators.

The company’s new offering has been tested by a number of high-profile
firms, including Dell, IBM, Charles Schwab, FirstGov.gov and Vodafone.

FAST, which is based in Norway, but has U.S. operations in Massachusetts,
sells direct and through a partner network. The new ESP, which also includes
a feature that gives organizations a single, complete overview of their
data, starts at $120,000.

FAST competes with Autonomy Systems , Convera , Verity and others in the enterprise search space.

But the company has been making a real push in the sector since it sold its Web
search unit to Overture in a deal worth up to $100 million in February. The
deal gave FAST a warchest for development and honed its focus.

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