Cognitive Search Platform vs. Point Solutions: The Gartner MQ

Attivio, a cognitive search platform provider, is pleased to have been recognized recently by Gartner as a “Visionary” in their inaugural report on “Insight Engines.” The report offers this definition for what an Insight Engine actually does:

"Insight engines apply relevancy methods to describe, discover, organize and analyze data. This
allows existing or synthesized information to be delivered proactively or interactively, and in the
context of digital workers, customers or constituents at timely business moments."

There’s a lot in that definition, isn’t there? As we stand at the dawn of a new technological era – evidenced by innovative and highly cognitive offers that run the gamut from chatbots to self-driving cars – the increasing reliance on foundational capabilities such as natural language processing, machine learning, text analytics, etc, is unavoidable. It will be interesting to see, therefore, how “Insight Engines” are deployed, what problems they solve at scale, and what quantifiable business value they produce. More broadly, it will be interesting to see if “Insight Engines” evolves into own market category, or emerges as a segment of a broader market, such as artificial intelligence.

Since When Do “Engines” Stand on Their Own?

The traditional concept of an “Engine” centers around the idea of being part of a larger solution. One everyday example is that you buy a car, not merely an engine, right? The engine is a key component of the larger product, but it is, inherently, not a packaged offering in and of itself. An engine provides horsepower for something larger to achieve its objective. One of the aspects that makes this report so intriguing, therefore, is that the concept of an insight engine is not deployed as part of another, but is an end in and of itself.

While we expect that few of our large enterprise customers will be surprised to find Attivio included in this report, some of our large-scale OEM partners might be surprised to find that they have not been included in this inaugural report, and we wonder if some of them might consider applying for inclusion next time the report is published. TIBCO, for example, was recently cited by Forrester as being a leader in Enterprise Insight Platform Suites due to its OEM-ing of Attivio.

It will be interesting to see how Gartner describes Insight Engines over time. Will they always stand alone, or will they veer more to the traditional concept of an engine and power something larger than themselves?

What We Know Today About “Insight Engines”

With this report, it seems that Gartner is either ignoring or re-imagining the traditional concept of an engine, as it acknowledges just three reasonably small point solutions as prime examples for what an Insight Engine is. In our experience, none of those point solutions are seen at the high end of the enterprise market, where cognition is a key requirement, so it remains an open question whether insight engines are more suitable for the SMB market. Almost to underscore that point, Gartner acknowledges Attivio as being more suitable for large-scale deployments:

“All reference customers for Attivio indicated that they use its products to search through a significant number and variety of repositories — each indicated the number to be greater than 10.”

While good repository search is important – who hasn’t spun their wheels in SharePoint or Salesforce? – the large enterprise solutions that truly transform productivity deliver business value, by serving answers. And that means they do the backend work of combing through the enterprise information stores. They leverage machine learning and natural language processing to personalize results and offer recommendations. When end users can quickly and easily get highly relevant answers with an easy experience, they engage with the system, and the impact on productivity in impressive. That’s what we call information intelligence: revealing relationships and insights across structured and unstructured silos through contextual enrichment and semantic understanding.

Down to Brass Tacks: How Does Attivio, the Leading Cognitive Search Platform, Influence the Bottom Line?

When it’s done well, a Cognitive Search Platform drives innovation, operational efficiencies, and improved business outcomes. Here are some real-world examples of what I mean by that.

Cisco saved millions in field operations efficiencies with a smart system to gather and recommend the best product content for salespeople as they work with customers. Before Attivio's cognitive search platform was implemented, sales teams spent 15-25% of their time searching for relevant content to move deals forward. There was confusion about where to go to get this information – the public website, SharePoint, Confluence? The new system, Cisco SalesConnect, embeds the Attivio Cognitive Search and Insight Platform to unify product-focused content from multiple systems. Field teams can now find product and customer-focused answers instantly.

One very large bank saw an 87% reduction in false positive alerts, which were consuming the majority of their highly paid analysts’ time. Their eCommunications surveillance analyzes all information sources from across multiple systems and uses machine learning techniques to detect patterns. The finely-tuned and flexible alerting capabilities enable more efficient levels of human interaction.

ThermoFisher Scientific identified tens of millions in new customer opportunities in their first year using the Attivio Cognitive Search Platform. They had grown through acquisition, and had multiple IT systems from the acquired companies. With Attivio, they unified the data from 5 CRM instances, and automated the process of reporting on sales opportunities. This enabled ThermoFisher to uncover new sales opportunities across divisions and product lines.

As long as large enterprises focus on driving innovation and increasing productivity by finding answers from across dozens of repositories, Attivio will be there as the leader in Cognitive Search and Insight.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines 2019
Attivio was recognized for our completeness in vision and ability to execute.