Looking for a new enterprise search platform? Considered the least expensive alternative?
Consider its benefits:
- It costs only a fraction of what you paid for your current platform
- You're already familiar with its interface
- It doesn't take a great deal of time to bring up
The only real downside is that it will take more time managing it - checking up on user queries, tuning it to work well, and creating and tracking bests bets and behavior-based taxonomy terms.
What platform am I talking about? It's the one you're using now.
"But wait," you say. "It sucks. Users are unhappy, management is ready to toss it out, and I may lose my job just by hinting that we should keep this crummy platform that can't even recognize our CEO's name!"
Think back to when your existing platform was new. Everyone had such high hopes for it because the then-incumbent platform it was replacing was just awful. When did it lose the magic?
Organizations purchase a new search platform is purchased after a long and costly evaluation. The demo looked great, the code was written, and new search rolled out to great fanfare. But after the initial buzz, users think the new search is about the same as before. A few queries work better, and a few works less effectively, but it's different. Maybe it will get better. Sadly, it rarely does.
We often hear from companies who are looking for a new search platform because their current platform just isn't working. Usually, by the time they call us, they've already made the decision to replace the current platform; it's too late to save the relationship.
In some of my talks at ESS and KMWorld, and in our webinars, I've made that claim that, beyond a certain level of functionality, just about any search platform can present pretty good results in a 'Google-like' way. I really do believe that; and I when I hear that an organization wants to replace its search platform without even trying to fix it, I feel like there was a lost opportunity.
I remember a quote I head when I was a young Systems Engineer at HP: "If you don't have resources to do it right, what makes you think you'll have the resources to do it over?"
Think about it - and if your relationship with your search platform is on the rocks, think about seeing a specialist.