Global leader: Brett Matson, CEO
Local leader: Stuart Beil, general manager
Core activity: Search engine technology and services
Revenue: Not disclosed
Key customers: Westpac, Australian Securities Exchange, CareerOne, ABC, universities, state and federal government departments
Employees: Not disclosed
Readers may remember Odyssey Development’s ISYS, a text indexing and search tool that won numerous customers around the world in the pre-Google ‘90s.
Funnelback is another enterprise search contender, a company spawned from the Panoptic enterprise search engine jointly developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian National University.
Funnelback left its academic nest in late 2005 and is now flying impressively.
CEO Brett Matson says the company has won several new customers in the past year including the Queensland Government, Geoscience Australia and recruitment website CareerOne. The company’s technology also powers search facilities on Telstra’s websites.
The jewel in the crown is the Australian Government Online Service, which Matson says has selected Funnelback to “allow people to search the content across all Commonwealth Government websites through australia.gov.au”.
The company’s technology will be asked to “deliver more personalised search results based on a person’s audience type (eg farmer, student, pensioner) as well as their geographic location (eg local council, state government), and will provide high-quality search over a government services directory, government forms and FAQs. The new portal is due to go live in early 2009.
The company has also released version 8 of its eponymous search product. The revision can now seek out and index content from sources such as Lotus Notes or EMC’s Documentum document management system.
A significant event for the company has been the arrival of Dr David Hawking as full-time chief scientist. Hawking was instrumental in the development of Funnelback’s technology, but until July 2008 worked part-time while on secondment from CSIRO.Simon Sharwood
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