NSW Government dumps Google appliance for Funnelback

ACT-based search engine technology company Funnelback has snared another NSW Government contract as it continues the quest to be used by the majority of agencies around the country.

The search offering will be used by website nsw.gov.au to improve its search results and track who is coming to the site. The deal was signed earlier this month.

According to Funnelback managing director, Brett Matson, the state government was previously using a Google appliance but was not happy with the way Google ranked its pages.

“They wanted more control over how the search results were ranked. When you buy a Google appliance, it rates the documents according to Google’s algorithms and in this case it wasn’t working the way the NSW Government wanted,” he said.

According to the NSW tenders website, Funnelback has a whole-of-government contract for the provision of ICT services until 26 February, 2012.

The NSW Government is using the search function for real-time sensing of spikes in query topics, and contextual navigation to allow users to focus their queries.

“It’s too early to tell but we do know it’s working better due to our ability to tune the search ranking," Matson said. "What we do is quantitative measurements on the search quality before and after tuning.”

He also said Funnelback provides a hosted Cloud service for customers. Rather than giving customers an appliance to set up in their own data centre, it hosts the search engine on its servers in the Funnelback data centre.

Funnelback also provides search engine functions to the Queensland Government.

The search offering was developed by CSIRO and the Australian National University and sold to open source content management company Squiz in July 2009.

On the international front, Funnelback has signed deals in the United Kingdom with customers such as Digital UK and the London School of Economics.

The NSW Department of Services, Technology and Administration was contacted for comment but did not respond at time of writing.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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