Mondosoft's ride coming to an end?

  • 15-Oct-2007

According to the Danish financial newspaper Børsen, enterprise search vendor Mondosoft is now in liquidation (via Version2). Their best-known product is a SharePoint add-on called "Ontolica," whose free version provides MOSS with the ability to perform wildcard searches.

Hitching a ride with Microsoft may be profitable, but Redmond giveth and Redmond taketh: with the improved capabilities in SharePoint 2007 the advantages of a third-party search engine are less obvious than before. Others have been more prescient (Coveo dissolved their SharePoint-specific offering into their enterprise search product last August), but the success of MOSS2007 and scramble of major vendors to announce their "SharePoint strategy" may have clouded Mondosoft's vision. Mondosoft's investors, however, seem to have been less-than-impressed with the returns, leaving the technology up for grabs.

There is talk of private equity firm JMI Invest acquiring Mondosoft's assets for a sum "in the three-digit millions" of kroner, roughly tens of millions in USD. In an interesting twist, that would put Mondosoft in the company of IT FACTORY, a Danish company specializing in IBM-based SaaS solutions. If this were to materialize, Ontolica might end up making the switch from the Microsoft ecosphere to the IBM Websphere. In the meantime, Mondosoft customers should probably consider their alternatives.

And of course a broader lesson: Mondosoft technology was well regarded, but search is a tough business. Unlike other bouyant technology sectors, sometimes small search vendors do fold (witness the disappearance of Danish compatriot Speed of Mind, or Israeli search vendor Entopia).

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