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ISYS - Taking the Next Step

Sydney, Australia - 24 April 2001 - ISYS Search Software announces a strategic two-year accelerated growth initiative founded on the launch today of ISYS Version 6, a new European subsidiary, and the burgeoning Australian and US operations.

ISYS, state of the art knowledge management software, is designed to create a single interface to a heterogeneous software environment. On the web or over the network, ISYS gives users the ability to search, access, collate and share structured, semi-structured and unstructured knowledge from global and personal e-mail folders, word processing documents, spreadsheets, SQL databases, PDFs, internet sites and Lotus Notes data quickly and efficiently.

In the last twelve months ISYS has tripled the development team in Australia with the intention of renovating and extending the software to prepare for a dramatic a new phase of growth, both geographically and in terms of revenue.

To facilitate this expansion strategy, the ISYS engine was streamlined to simplify language support. ISYS products are able to search all European and Asian languages independently or in conjunction with English terms. "With our expanding global goals, this proves to be a huge advantage," says Sophia Lee, Group Marketing Manager. "The ability to search Spanish and English or Korean and English places us in an excellent position to take advantage of the opportunities available in markets such as the EEC and Asia. We have several companies in San Francisco that are already signing up for Version 6 just so they can maximize the potential of knowledge sharing with their Hong Kong offices."

In preparation for the ISYS Search Software enhancements, ISYS Development opened an office in Great Britain in November 2000, after securing a substantial funding investment from the company shareholders. To date, the British operation has not needed to draw on this funding and it is now anticipated that it will not need to do so. Within three months of being opened, the office is funding itself and the initial rapid growth is expected to continue throughout the balance of the year.

A major part of the language-handling overhaul culminated in the release of the first Asian language version of ISYS as well. Conquering the challenges associated with supporting multi-byte languages, ISYS has released two Asian User Interfaces - Simplified Chinese, which is designed for the Hong Kong and Taiwan markets and Korean.

Over the last few months, ISYS has established a network of eight distributors throughout Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. "Asia is the great unknown," says Managing Director, Ian Davies. "We've entered into agreements with these distributors and we've partnered with them for the language conversions but at the end of the day Asia remains a bit of a wild card. At the moment we are discussing corporate licences with the Korean CIA and Hyundai."

The recent European and Asian market developments combined with today's release of the new software, places ISYS Search Software in a strong position to embark on the revenue growth initiative. "We now have a good team in the Australia and the US on which to found growth," said Ian Davies. "It took a long time to establish a profitable operation in America and after ten years in the US we have learnt a lot about international expansion and operations. The US is now our major revenue centre, but it took a few years to become established. What took years in the US has taken months in the UK."

While this is due to experience, ISYS has also refined and targeted its approach to the various markets available. ISYS is applicable to almost any industry when it comes to handling large bodies of information however ISYS has started to consistently focus on key markets.

These include the legal, recruitment, law enforcement and government markets as well as large corporations. "ISYS has a wide variety of uses, but we have found we have particular success in these industries," said Sophia Lee. "The difference is that these sectors have a specific need and therefore we are better able to tailor the solution. In the UK, we went in with these specific target groups and the results are streaming in."

As part of the strategy, ISYS will embark on an aggressive recruitment and marketing campaign to support all three offices. ISYS Development plans to immediately double the global sales force and early projections indicate that the UK operation should be contributing 25% of revenue within twelve months. The shareholder funds will be expended on providing aggressive marketing support in both Europe and the US, with the intention of growing both revenue bases as rapidly as possible.

The overall objective is to establish ISYS as the product of choice in these target markets around the world. Ultimately this will take more than two years to achieve but this growth phase is designed as a scaling process to position ISYS for such an achievement.

With the new technology, a strong distribution network and a tightly focused target market, ISYS Search Software has an impressively solid base on which to build.

ISYS Version 6 showcases a stylish new user interface (UI), with XML search and retrieval, native UNIX, Oracle and Lotus Notes, Rich SQL results display, multiple language support and a radically improved performance in terms of speed and capacity.

The ISYS range is all based on the core ISYS engine. This version 6 release encompasses ISYS:desktop for standalone and networks and ISYS:web for intranet and Internet sites. The ISYS:sdk (Software Developers' Kit) is also due for release at the end of the month.

Version 6 of ISYS has been substantially re-engineered to optimise performance. ISYS maintains a reputation for being lightening fast. "But we can't rest on our laurels," says Ian Davies. "We are constantly looking for improvement. The great thing about this release is that while we've added copious features to the product, the engineering overhaul has reduced memory footprint, increased index capacity and halved the indexing and load time. That doesn't often happen with a new release."

The new version is faster and smaller than ever. As an example, SQL indexing speed has been increased by a factor of 8 in some cases; the maximum index size is 6 times that of previously and the memory footprint is half the size.

Strong XML support is a strategic necessity for a world-class knowledge management product. "Traditionally, when large volumes of data are stored in XML, accessing and interacting with the data is very cumbersome and the aim is to load it into another tool before you can do anything with it," says Ian Davies. "Now, archiving in XML, or delays in transferring the data, has no negative effects on its usage. With ISYS, you can search and access XML data and even view it richly, in a format you design yourself." Because ISYS recognizes the XML documents as structured, searching occurs within the context of XML 'records'.

ISYS:desktop Version 6 takes a radical departure from Version 5 in look and feel, with a brand new UI. The new UI makes ISYS even easier to navigate and use. "The challenge was to renovate and extend the UI, without sacrificing the many benefits of the existing one," said Ian Davies. "And we're very happy with the results." Version 6 has a whole new range of wizards for easy set up of the data and one step indexing of the 'My Documents' directory. The result lists are customisable with twelve options including single click sorting, rules at a glance and fast start queries. The new interface is also designed to clearly differentiate between basic operating requirements and advanced user sections.

ISYS:desktop Version 6 also provides search and retrieval of knowledge embedded in e-mail attachments. "This is a great new feature and something that our users, particularly recruiters, are very excited about," says Sophia Lee.

ISYS:web Version 6 encompasses all the engine enhancements of ISYS:desktop, including format support and indexing speed. ISYS:web is designed to act as a web server as well as dynamically convert legacy data to HTML on-the-fly. With Version 6 of ISYS:web, ISYS presents a far more robust and competitive web server with remote administration via the browser, PHP scripting support, Server Side Includes (SSI) support, the ability to execute CGI and ISAPI server extensions and NT security support.

"ISYS:web has been an excellent web-based search and display tool for many years," said Ian Davies. "Now it becomes really competitive as a web server as well."

Rich SQL is another significant new feature. Rich SQL presents databases through a template, designed by the user, displaying the records in a manner appropriate to the knowledge and thereby maximizing data comprehension. "Database support is crucial for our larger customers who store a vast amount of corporate information this way," said Ian Davies. "In terms of user comprehension, the Rich SQL support is vital." Version 6 also provides an HTML Editing Suite for creating and previewing Rich SQL templates. Add background pictures, define and layout fields, turn hit highlighting on and off, or change the colour - the presentation is all in the hands of the user.

"Positioning ISYS for midrange platform support, one of the most important new features for us is native UNIX, Oracle and Lotus Notes support," says Ian Davies. "We've been able to access these formats in Version 5, however, access has been optimised with Version 6. Our UNIX access is now via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which has the added bonus of being an extremely common protocol and therefore provides admittance to additional operating systems, such as OS/400 or MVS."

ISYS Search Software's ultimate goal is to position ISYS as the product of choice, worldwide, in its sector of the knowledge management software industry. Success in terms of the rapid establishment of a self-supporting European operation and the development of a viable Asian distribution network has provided a strong foundation on which to base the next phase of the company's growth. This, combined with the release of version 6, places ISYS in the best possible position to embark on a rapid recruitment plan and marketing support programme worldwide.

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