IBM recently announced the opening of a new Search Technology Department in Haifa. The new lab joins the ranks of the IBM Haifa Research Lab, the IBM Haifa Development Lab, and the IBM Software Lab in Rehovot as the most recent addition to the cluster of IBM Haifa Labs.
The IBM Haifa Research Lab has long served as IBM's center of competence for search-related R&D. The Haifa Lab's Juru search engine already has a proven track record. In 2001, it was selected for use in WebSphere Portal, and later dubbed the Portal Search Engine. After undergoing major enhancements, Juru is being used for the new Lotus Workplace and has proven itself as a critical component of all Lotus software built on the WebShere Portal platform. As such, it caught the eye of Ambuj Goyal, general manager of Lotus Software for IBM, who decided that Juru become a component owned and developed by Lotus and that its developers become part of IBM's Software Group.
The new department will report to IBM's Software Group and provide a focal point to address the text search and analytic needs of Lotus software. Development will focus on further advancing the Juru search technology and working to enhance Lotus's search capabilities within its products. The development team, headed by Aya Soffer, will continue to work closely with IBM Haifa's Information Retrieval group.
"The opening of the new Search Department really highlights the maturity and accomplishments of in the area of information retrieval," states Soffer. "Our metamorphosis will help us better understand our customers' needs." The move to a development lab enables Soffer and her team to become a more integral part of the IBM's solutions and contribute to the future of the company's search technologies.
The department will also serve as a channel for including the results of the current Haifa Research Lab activities of the into IBM products. This will help researchers blueprint long-term future plans with a clear path towards the meeting the demands placed on of IBM's search solutions.
Soffer noted, "For the Haifa Lab, watching Juru grow from a research project into a product with dedicated development group here in Haifa is an R&D dream come true."