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Blue Coat Implemented Google Search Appliance (GSA) for Support Portal

Successfully leveraging search for better access to resources and a unified user experience

Blue Coat logo"Integrating the Google Search Appliance into our customer support portal not only offers a rich, unified search experience, but also provides us the administrative functionality to continually tune this experience to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

- Steve Desaulnier, Knowledge Management Specialist, Blue Coat


BACKGROUND

Blue Coat Systems, Inc. is a leading enterprise security company in the rapidly changing cybersecurity industry. Over 15,000 customers worldwide trust Blue Coat to keep their applications, services, devices, data sources and content safe. The company offers an integrated portfolio of hardware, software and cloud-based offerings for protecting web connectivity, combating advanced threats, and responding to security breaches. The company’s Customer Support Portal (Blue Touch Online) provides a variety of product resources to customers, partners, and internal users.

CHALLENGE

Blue Coat was migrating to Salesforce.com to centralize multiple business needs including housing the knowledge base. As part of this project they decided to update the support portal and required a solution to replicate and improve upon the existing search functionality. The new search experience would integrate a variety of resources including product documentation, knowledge base articles, security advisories, technical briefs, WebGuides, training material, and customer forum threads, many of which resided in unique content stores.

In addition, Blue Coat needed to manage access to content based on unique groups and improve search relevancy thereby empowering customers and partners to help themselves as well as increase productivity of internal staff.

SOLUTION

Blue Coat portal using GSABlue Coat decided to replace their support portal and implement the Google Search Appliance (GSA) to drive the search infrastructure. Search Technologies was chosen to architect and integrate the GSA based on the company’s deep expertise in search engines.

As part of this implementation, Search Technologies connected the GSA to multiple content repositories to provide back-end query processing, making the appliance transparent to the user.

Search Technologies worked diligently to refine an open source Salesforce.com connector so that documents in the knowledge base could be retrieved through the GSA. For the user, queries are sent from the search bar on the support portal with corresponding results sent through the Drupal content management system (CMS) for presentation.  

RESULTS

Blue Coat’s implementation of the GSA successfully went into production in October 2014 as part of a new support site and on-site search bar. Search Technologies increased search relevancy by modifying the crawl rules so content would not be indexed twice, thereby avoiding duplicates in the results. This reduced the number of duplicates by a factor of ten.

Two GSAs were configured, one supporting the production environment and second for test and failover support, ensuring that mission critical information was always available. Search Technologies grouped content into a variety of collections thereby allowing the front end to manage the content by role and relevancy including access level and other product specific collections. 

As a result of this GSA implementation, content is no longer siloed and a single unified search experience is available directly from the support website, greatly improving access and the user experience.

 

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