Semanta is starting the New Year with the release of a working prototype of its new data-governance tool; a tool which extracts and utilises seven years of our experience on the market. Given the size of this change and its timing, we thought we'd put together a short review of 2015 and our thoughts about the outlook for 2016.
New customers, new partners, new countries
Semanta has several new (big or interesting) customers attracted by our growing network of partners. Our product is now used in several new countries
The Cloud is attractive
Semanta launched its cloud (in a working beta version). The interest from our customers in sourcing their solution from it was higher in 2015 than ever before and the further development of the cloud is our key priority.
Data Governance is the key topic
Emerging technologies, the scale of processed data and the legal aspects of data privacy are becoming ever stronger drivers for the adoption of data governance. The key question is no longer whether Data Governance is actually needed but how to get it actually started and weave into the fabric of an existing organisation.
“Start small - think big” works well
Semanta started offering the option of small / medium size projects so we could show how our DG solutions work. Customers can now try the new systems at a reasonable price and then consider how to continue. This approach brought a multiple increase in the number of our customers.
Connectors are essential
When a description of the information in DWH's, reporting platforms, ERP and other systems is propagated into the DG tool, they become much more useful to business users and the investment put into them can be leveraged many times. Semanta launched connectors for SAP and Microstrategy and improved all its other connectors (PowerDesigner, Erwin, Teradata, Oracle, …).
Everybody is unique: The level of customisation required by customers on our projects is still surprisingly high. They need to be able to build connectors to their in-house software and customise our default templates as well as many other things. Semanta is acknowledging this need with its new product - see below.
The intuitive approach: Customers are accustomed to the user-friendliness of Google or Facebook and browsing Encyclopaedia seems complicated to them. That's why Semanta has launched a minimalistic version of Encyclopaedia with a simplified navigation system that can be customised and extended as needed. A considerable effort will be put into continuing this, this year, vis a vis our Encyclopaedia product. On top of that, the navigation scheme of our new product has been completely redesigned. Our aim is to provide the sort of intuitive user-experience our customers are used to.
One picture is worth a thousand words: We are visual, we want to see it, we want to feel it and we want to understand it. In 2015 we worked to bring our customers new ways to visualise the information world and the relationships between data and we learned that this part is critical for end-user adoption. This year we plan to bring brand new diagramming, charting and impact visualisation features.
Time is of the essence: We all like fast responses, we're used to it, time is money and our customers don't have the time to wait. We looked at the challenge of response time within our existing DG tools and felt that it needed to become quicker. We intend that our new product, see below, will really raise the bar and be able to handle millions of entries quickly and simply.
Team & partners
Semanta wants to continue its current working system; a small team of outstanding experts, focused intently on the knowledge management & data-governance domains, aiming to provide a high-performance, user-friendly tool for these domains. Our partners will remain the primary sales channel and we hope that our growing network of sales and/or technical partners will continue to deliver our software tools to customers with the excellence and success they've demonstrated over the last year.
Encycloplaedia is our flag-ship, the key software product which we deliver to customers to support their knowledge management & data-governance use-cases. We are planning at least 3 new releases of Encyclopaedia this year, all of which will tackle the challenges mentioned above.
“SEMANTA” as the new product of Semanta
“Less is more” is a motto first adopted by Mies Van der Rohe to describe his minimalist approach to architecture. Last year we decided to take the same approach. We reviewed our 7 year long history of use cases, requirements, issues and distilled them down into a completely new software product called Semanta.
We've kept the most widely-used features from Ency, such as search but gotten rid of all the complicated inconsistencies. We've streamlined the over-complex user interface, redesigned the configuration options to make it a better fit to real world requirements and written a brand-new backend, from scratch, so it'll meet the scale and performance requirements we expect to see in the coming years.