« Want search 'just like Google'? | Main | Exceptions to the 'the search platform you already have' post »

July 25, 2012

What's the least expensive search platform?

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.














TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What's the least expensive search platform?:


As we remember from the "It's not Google unless it says it's Google" the mere presence of the Google icon seemed to make people think the results were better.

So maybe the only upgrade they need is s Google sticker to have on the search results page....
Absolutely correct Runar! we had one customer who only half in jest lamented that if he could license the 'powered by Google' icon, of his search woes would disappear.

Love the HP quote. Sadly, a lot of the larger enterprise search firms have the sales resources to do *you* over...
// Charlie - true. "Buyer beware" is absolutely the truth WRT enterprise search!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.