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Corporate Wide Search

This is the classic enterprise search scenario, fully implemented within few organizations. Despite this, those organizations who have well-tuned corporate-wide search systems report substantial benefits.

Why are there so few deployments?

  • Corporate-wide search makes many individuals within the organization more efficient. However, the investment is often difficult to justify, because it is tough to measure, in terms of cost reduction or revenue gain. often, no person or department has overall responsibility for it, and it does not solve immediate problems, or directly address current points of pain
  • It is also hard to achieve. The majority of companies who have attempted to implement corporate-wide search, have subsequently thrown in the towel.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF CORPORATE-WIDE SEARCH

The principle defining characteristics of corporate-wide search are:

  • Multiple, heterogenous data sets, which must be accessed in a way that preserves the document-level security ACLs imposed by host repositories
  • Multiple use-cases, among a range of search users from different departments

Off-the-shelf solutions simply do not work in this environment, and instead, it is necessary to apply implementation effort, together with an appropriate indexing technology (although most of the leading search products are capable of providing the necessary functionality).

The following aspects of corporate-wide search are usually underestimated in their difficulty.

  • Securely connecting to sophisticated repositories is seldom achieved, plug-and-play. This is not the fault of connector software, it is simply a consequence of few repositories being implemented in exactly the way that the authors of the connector software assumed
  • Normalization of data. The heterogenous nature of corporate data makes life hard for ranking algorithms. How can a one paragraph news snippet be compared for relevancy with a 500-page technical manual? Through normalization, a pre-index content processing task, this effect can be substantially mitigated
  • Metadata normalization and enrichment. Corporate documents typically do not carry complete, accurate metadata.  Yet metadata is the key to an efficient user experience, as it provides the basis for search navigation and alternative results sorting methods

In addition to these, it is usually necessary to take query processing seriously. This is particularly useful for customizing the base search system to the needs of specific user communities.

Bottom line, corporate-wide search excellence can be achieved and delivers strategic benefits to those organizations who succeed in its implementation.

Search Technologies specializes in this type of platform-based search application.

Contact us to discuss your corporate wide search initiatives and how we can help.