Computers don’t understand language the same way humans do. Whether you write, tweet or post a statement like “I’m afraid I’m going to blow it,” computers often take it literally.

So if you’re a company that depends on information gleaned from technology for customer service, reputation management, to identify threats and the like, you’d better have access to good semantic technology.

What’s the alternative? Lost customer service opportunities, taking unnecessary risks, avoiding disaster and failing to glean readily available insights from content found on web pages, documents, presentations, white papers and the like.

Solving a Problem

Not only that, but there’s wasted time to consider as well. Enterprise workers can’t find information in company content anywhere nearly as easily as consumers can using search engines like Google and Bing. Instead they have to wander through hundreds or thousands of query results to find the right bit of text.

While it has traditionally been hard for companies to decide if they want to leverage semantic or text analytics technologies to solve their problems and capitalize on their content, it looks like later this year they’ll be able to go to a single vendor.

That’s because, earlier today, Expert System, which provides semantic technology for the effective management of unstructured information, announced that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire TEMIS, a provider of text analytics solutions.

The combined capabilities of both vendors stand to offer organizations in homeland security, pharma and healthcare, media and publishing, among others, an unprecedented opportunity to leverage systems that understand content. Not only that, but enterprise information management and customer experience management users, irrespective of industry, stand to benefit as well.

Leadership Position?

According to Expert System CEO Stefano Spaggiari, the acquisition of TEMIS, positions his company to become an industry leader. “Scale makes a difference,” he wrote in a post geared toward company customers and employees.

He added that the engineering and professional services capabilities Expert System will have once companies are merged will “have no equivalent in the market.” Spaggiari cited an expanded global presence as a differentiator as well. Expert Systems is headquartered in Barrington, Illinois. TEMIS is headquartered in France.

Analysts like Gartner already held Expert System in high regard, but as a niche player. Its capabilities will be broadened by those offered by TEMIS which among its products, offers Luxid, a Content Enrichment Platform that uses Web Services to access the textual content of documents stored in ECM repositories and systematically extracts information that is relevant to a given domain.

It stores that information as metadata in the standard metadata hosting mechanisms of ECM systems like SharePoint columns, EMC Documentum attributes, Alfresco aspects, etc.

Analysts Respond

“The acquisition of TEMIS by Expert Systems is very timely because much (~85 percent) of relevant business information is contained in an organization’s documents, reports, presentations, emails and posts / and comments on the website,” said Natalie Petouhoff, VP and principal analyst, Constellation Research

 She went on to explain that to really make use of all that data, companies need a way to use structured and unstructured data.

“The Expert System/TEMIS combination could provide organizations with a way to obtain real-time insights and therefore make better decisions, especially in customer service, customer success management, risk mitigation and reputation management using semantic technology based on artificial intelligence algorithms,” she explained.

R Ray Wang, principal analyst, founder and chairman at Constellation Research, points to TEMIS’ strong machine learning assets as a big win for Expert System. “It’s not just TEMIS’ strong patented portfolio that Expert System is gaining, but also the expertise of its employees. Technology is only part of it,” he said.

And while Expert System will still have giants like IBM, SAS and Oracle to contend with, their big data based solutions around competitive intelligence, voice-of-customer and scientific discovery may not stand in the shadows for long.