SearchYourCloud: Expanding The Realm Of Search

The science of Internet search is a world unto itself. The marketplace leader, Google, with over 70% share, and other major players such as Bing and Yahoo, expend $100’s of millions, if not billions, in the research and development for their software Internet engines.

However, the popularity, scope and scale of their use and the associated advertising revenues tend to blind us to the actual size of the search universe. We are essentially blinded by the light of the big, public search engines.

Universal public search is essentially the search of the publicly addressable URLs and some other published data. A recent estimate is that Google, for example, accesses only about 1% of the data in computer data bases, in existence.

Where is the other 99% of these data resources: in private and personal data bases not accessible by the Internet.

The importance of these facts are reinforced by our view that big data will increasingly come from the edge, i.e. the mobile smartphone, versus the core (e.g., public databases).

These data sources are essentially locked away in: private data storage resources such as Box or Dropbox accounts, IaaS provider or carrier cloud storage offerings, private clouds, e.g., iCloud, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and other files.

These non-public domains have varying degrees of importance and merit varying degrees of security. In light of the fact that public engines only encompass a single digit fraction of user data, it is a natural evolution that search science would begin to look at ways to reach the other 99%.

SearchYourCloud (“SYC”), after a five-year development period is about to formally announce their product, a major extension of the capabilities of enterprise search.

Simon Bain, company CEO, says to IT departments, “Stop fighting the cloud. It’s a battle you’re going to lose. Users will use Dropbox, Box. Put a wrapper on it.”

SYC seeks to provide a highly secure search tool that enables search of virtually all types of information within enterprises. The concept is that public search, e.g., Google, enables search of information that is on the web and in other published sources. However, companies and individuals have vast amounts of information, data and other material that is dispersed among files, emails and a scattering of other sources that are increasingly being stored in various types of clouds.

Making all of this information searchable in a secure way is the company’s mission. Its software platform creates an index and enables a full-text search of documents that have been stored in user clouds. Security is preserved through encryption of data between the user device and servers, and through the fact that the keys are not in a key store and the user names and data do not reside on the SYC servers. As Bain states, “It’s not our stuff and we don’t have a right to other people’s information.”

The company plans to sell the service through corporate licenses with a per user charge. The system can be accessed from all devices. To date, it can search documents that have been placed in a number of cloud-type storage systems, most notably Dropbox and Box, with plugins for Exchange and Sharepoint. It will be extended to support Google Drive and SkyDrive and others.

The system allows a user to save a file, in encrypted form, within the user’s existing cloud, for example on Dropbox. The system also contains device management features and, for example, allows files to be wiped if a device containing them is lost or stolen.

The company has secured one patent on its software and has three applications pending. It recently announced it was joining with SAP in the HANA Startup Focus Program. Exposure to SAP’s extensive client base should accelerate SYC’s go to market efforts.

* Photo by Niabot (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons