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4 posts from August 2008

August 22, 2008

Interpreting Your Search Activity Reports

Earley & Associates, Inc. sponsors monthly conference calls organized for the Taxonomy Community of Practice, open to any practitioner interested in learning more taxonomy development, content management, search, and more.

Miles Kehoe, President of New Idea Engineering, Inc., participated in the call on September 3 and spoke about the role of your search engine in taxonomies and business intelligence.

Contact Earley & Associates to access the call replay.

August 14, 2008

Search Vendor Pricing Models: Top Techniques for "Right Sizing" the Final Invoice

Do you remember your Dad telling you not to fill up on the free bread at the restaurant because "that's how they get you!" ?  We're generally a bit more trusting than your dear old dad, but we are still talking about software sales here, so being a bit more educated couldn't hurt.  Like any industry, some vendors are very creative when it comes to their pricing models.  Of course if you're reading this and you happen to work for a vendor, we're not talking about your employer, we're obviously talking about those other guys.

Many vendors make a guess about how much money you can probably spend, regardless of what you tell them.  Then they make their initial bid based on their own estimate  If you see the number and pass out, they offer smelling salts in the form of "special discounts" they just remembered you might be eligible for, and they chide themselves for not having thought of this before.  Preserving the deal at a lower margin is usually better than having you walk out the door. (An aside: if you look for "flinch test" on the net, most of the content tells the sales guy how to deal with your response so they can maintain their price! Check out the posts on  sales2.com and on eyesonsales.com!)

But there's a flip side: what if they show you the initial number and you don't pass out? Then you passed their "flinch test", but to the vendor, this might mean they left money on the table.  This is where the creative models come in so darn handy! ("You do want undercoating with that, right?")

Read on for our cheat sheet of creative search engine pricing "metrics" ...

Continue reading "Search Vendor Pricing Models: Top Techniques for "Right Sizing" the Final Invoice" »

August 12, 2008

Dummies Books Take On Search

[book: Search Engine Optimization for Dummies] [book: Google AdWords for Dummies] [book: Google AdSense for Dummies] Does this signal the end of days?  The fine folks with the friendly yellow books have taken on search engines and their related advertising in a big way!

Actually we're fans of the Dummies books, for example they cut through a lot of the hype back in the early days of XML.  This time around they are offering titles on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and using Google's AdWords and AdSense.

August 04, 2008

Enterprise Search Dead? Or just misunderstood?

Search experts including Steve Arnold in his Beyond Search blog and Leslie Owens of Forrester Research have written the obituary for 'enterprise search', that monolithic 'one size fits all, everywhere' scheme that leading search vendors have pushed for years.  Others, including Tony Byrne, publisher of CMS Watch, differ.

While there's no question that all of the major vendors were pushing this flawed model - along with the magic beans of single-shot relevancy, I don't think we've ever really seen a full-blown, 100%, all-encompassing 'enterprise search' implementation of the sort that Steve, Leslie, and the other analysts have pronounced dead.

What we see in successful implementations is what we'd have to call distributed search. Most companies have anywhere from 2 to 5 search solutions, typically from several vendors. The public web site may use a Google Search Appliance; the Intranet uses FAST and/or SharePoint; Corporate Legal uses Autonomy's Zantaz; and Customer Support may use InQuira. And of course each of the divisions and web sites throughout the company will have Endeca, DieselPoint, a few Lucene/Solr sites, and maybe an old Perl script written in 1998.

The real trick is to glue these technologies together not into a single giant searchable index, but to combine them together logically so the user does not need to know where to look for specific content.  We, like many others, call this Federated Search, and have written about it any number of times in our newsletter.

Continue reading "Enterprise Search Dead? Or just misunderstood?" »