Stephen E. Arnold: Free Pressures Fee Business Intelligence Bottom Feeders

Commercial Intelligence
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Business Intelligence: Free Pressures For Fee Solutions

I read “KB Crawl sort la tête de l’eau,” published by 01Business. The hook for the article is that KB Crawl, a company harvesting Internet content for business intelligence analyses, has emerged from bankruptcy. Good news for KB Crawl, whose parent company is reported to be KB Intelligence.

The write up contained related interesting information.

First, the article points out that business intelligence services like KB Crawl are perceived as costs, not revenue producers. If this is accurate, the same problem may be holding back once promising US vendors like Digital Reasoning and Ikanow, among others.

Second, the article seems to suggest that for fee business intelligence services are in direct competition with free services like Google. Although Google’s focus on ads continues to have an impact on the relevance of the Google results, users may be comfortable with information provided by free services. Will the same preference for free impact the US business intelligence sector?

Third, the article identifies a vendor (Ixxo) as facing some financial headwinds, writing:

D’autres éditeurs du secteur connaissent des difficultés, comme Ixxo, éditeur de la solution Squido.

But the most useful information in the story is the list of companies that compete with KB Crawl. Some of the firms are:

  • AMI Software.  This company has roots in enterprise search and touts 1500 customers
  • Data Observer. The company is a tie up between Asapspot and Data-Deliver. The firm offers “an all-encompassing Internet monitoring and e-reputation services company.”
  • Digimind. The firm makes sense of social media.
  • Eplica. A possible reference to a San Diego employment services firm.
  • iScop. Unknown.
  • Ixxo. The firm “develops innovative software applications to boost business responsiveness when faced with unstructured data.”
  • Pikko. A visualization company.
  • Qwam. Another “content intelligence” company.
  • SindUp. The company offers a monitoring platform for strategic and e reputation information.
  • Spotter. A company that provides the “power to understand.”
  • Synthesio. The company says, “We help brands and agencies find valuable social insights to drive real business value.”
  • TrendyBuzz. The company lets a client measure “Internet visibility units.”

My view is that 01Busienss may be identifying a fundamental problem in the for fee business intelligence, open source harvesting, and competitive intelligence sector.

Information about business and competitive intelligence that I see in my TRAX Overflight service is mostly of the “power of positive thinking” variety. Companies like Palantir capture attention because the firms are able to raise astounding amounts of funding. Less visible are the financial pressures on the companies trying to generate revenue with systems aimed at commercial enterprises.

If the 01Business article is on the money, what US vendors are like to have their heads under water in 2014? Use the comments section of this blog to identify the stragglers in the North American market.

Stephen E Arnold, December 14, 2013

Phi Beta Iota: Among the persistent mottos of Robert Steele and OSS.Net, Inc. (now out of business) is this one: “Information costs money, intelligence makes money.” Neither government nor private sector information and intelligence enterprises have been willing to alter their approaches to focus on that fundamental distinction. The cited firms are bottom feeders.  They do not produce intelligence as decision-support, they simply restructure information. Google chose to take the low road, and is about to “surprise” the inattentive world by suddenly monetizing (charging for) all the “free” features that it has deliberately cluttered with hidden toll booths. Google-Lock will replace grid-lock as the term of art.  There is no sign that the Autonomous Internet or Open Source Everything movements will take off anytime soon, nor do we have a clear picture of how the BRICS plan to take their non-Western system both immune to corruption and useful to the five billion poor.

See Also:

Autonomous Internet Roadmap

Berto Jongman: BRICS Creating Own Internet — Routing Around the US-UK

Open Source Everything List


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