IBM Aims OmniFind Email Search At Desktop
The recently announced OmniFind Personal Email Search from IBM does for Outlook and Lotus Notes what Google Desktop does, but without phoning home to a remote server.
We like the utility of Google Desktop, but have concerns about the product’s always plugged-in nature. Despite Google’s attestations of privacy, we think other people, especially in an enterprise setting, want the utility of strong email search without the worry of information somehow ending up on a remote server not controlled by the enterprise.
The modest announcement by IBM alphaWorks of their OmniFind Personal Email Search conceals a strong product being released. They are touting it as a semantic search system for email, with several key features.
IBM said this tool matches simple keyword searches against pre-defined concepts, like addresses and phone numbers, and the relationships those concepts have. If the search needs more information from the searcher, it will interact with them to determine intent.
Personal Email Search also supports tagging through an included utility. This allows the user to create new concepts that serves to customize the search. IBM also said these tags may be shared, without compromising the privacy of one’s email.