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3 posts from November 2008

November 14, 2008

Market Trends in Embedded Search

Are you trying to find an embedded search solution that meets your users’ needs and your specific application requirements?  Have you tried to embed search into your application, but found it difficult and expensive to customize and integrate? Have you already embedded a solution only to find that it lacks the performance and functionality your customers are demanding? Would you like to learn about how you can cost-effectively give your customers access to search that has been architected for ISVs, offers value-added features, and scales?

View a brief video interview about the webinar with Miles Kehoe.

If so, we’d like to invite you to join our webinar, “12 Leading Insights on Embedded Search for ISVs.” Learn about:
•    Major Market Trends for Embedded Search
•    Key Challenges Facing ISVs with Embedded Search
•    5 Most Important Embedded Search Requirements
•    What Works and What Doesn’t
•    Overview of Exalead CloudView OEM Edition
•    Eric Rogge, Senior Director of Marketing, Exalead

Featured Speakers
•    Ranjeet Vidwans, VP of OEM, Exalead
•    Miles Kehoe, President, New Idea Engineering

•    Friday, December 5, 2008 at 11am PST

To register for the webinar, please click here.

To download the Exalead whitepaper "The ISV Challenge: Satisfying the Demand for Better Search,” 

November 09, 2008

Some Good News in Tech Support

With all the complaints about customer service these days, we wanted to give a shout out to FAST Tech Support for a recent set of positive interactions.  Very professional, very patient, and they were able to "track the sun" by reassigning the call to various call centers around the world to continue working the issues beyond local business hours until everything was resolved, real team effort.  Ironically we had attempted to do this back at Verity in the early 1990s, but back then the technology wasn't quite up to it.

Come to think of it, we've also had some good interactions with some other companies' tech support and customer service folks recently, also worth a mention: AT&T (voice line), Verizon (in-store wireless card), GoDaddy, Dell (on-site service), GE (on-site service), Apple (in-store iMac and iPhone), HP (new HP tablet) and Tivo; HP is still working with with us on the new tablet, but they've made some progress and I'd give them an "A" for effort, and to be fair this is a brand new product.  Lest you think we live in some alternate universe, rest assured we've had less pleasant experiences with a few other household names lately, but calling those folks out in public is not our style!

And thinking about this a bit more, some higher level points come to mind:

1: As technology products get more and more complex, all products will have issues; zero problems is not a reasonable expectation when you're living on the crest of a technology wave.  But having a reputable company to call when the tech hits a glitch, and having the option of speaking to an actually being when none of the automated tools can handle it, is what sets these companies apart.  The open community support model can also work, albeit in a different way, if there's a critical mass of people, but not all technologies have this critical mass of energetic expertise.

2: We've noticed that many of the companies we've had good interactions with do conduct customer satisfaction surveys, either on an ongoing bassis, or after a specific tech support or customer service issue.  They seem to actually care about customer service.  To his credit, Bob Bramley had started a similar program back at Verity in the early 90's, which I inherited after he left.

3: Miles tells an anecdote about IBM customer service back in the day, also being content if something minor occasionally went wrong, seeing it as an opportunity for prompt and positive customer interaction, to help solidify customer loyalty.  This is still true today.  I've suggested Dell to many friends and colleagues because of their onsite support options, which do cost extra, but which are well worth it.

Yes, staffing with humans is more expensive then not doing so, but advanced technology really needs it.  And it's fine to try offering automated service as a first line of defense, if it's done well, and if there is clearly an escape hatch to talk to an actual person if the customer wants.  And if you already knew all this, forgive the platitudes.

So again, kudos to FAST, AT&T, Verizon, GoDaddy, HP, Dell, Apple, Tivo and GE for giving customer service a good name.

November 06, 2008

Call for papers for Enterprise Search Summit East 2008

Michelle Manafy of InfoToday and the Managing Director of E-Content Magazine has sent out a call for speakers for the Enterprise Search Summit in New York City in May 2009. The deadline is coming up November 10, and we've been negligent in getting the request our sooner.

The ESS NY show is always a great event - great speakers, great venue, and a great way to meet and talk shop with hundreds of people who are facing the challenge of making search work. If you have an idea for a presentation, or want to share your success with others, submit your idea electronically before Monday the 10th.

Her note follows:

 - - - - - - - - - -

Call for Speakers

Enterprise Search Summit: Enabling Information Access

[Deadline for Submissions November 10, 2008]


We are now accepting proposals to speak at the Enterprise Search Summit East 2009, which will be held May 12-13 in New York. (Pre-conference sessions May 11). Proposals are now being accepted at  http://www.enterprisesearchsummit.com/2009/CallForSpeakers.shtml

The deadline for submitting proposals is November 10, 2008.


We seek dynamic speakers who can talk knowledgeably about detailed aspects of how to implement and maximize search within an organization. Search can no longer be viewed as a stand-alone application. It is increasingly part of everything we do and has become the de facto gateway to information in the enterprise. This year’s Summit will examine the ways to leverage search tools, information architecture, classification, and other strategies and technologies to enable information access.


Ours is a well-informed, tech-savvy audience, so proposals should be specific and detailed. Consider topic such as:


·         Search as the gateway to enterprise information

·         Integrating search into other enterprise systems

·         Customizing your search solution/ Task-specific search

·         Compliance, records management, and eDiscovery with effective search

·         Migrating your search engine

·         Social search and social tagging strategies & solutions

·         Search-enabled decision making

·         Business intelligence, data mining

·         Optimizing your interface

·         Navigational tools—context, facets, entity extraction, clustering, and visualization

·         Emerging trends, the future of search

·         Improving human-computer interaction/ Good interaction design

·         Overcoming information overload

·         Categorization techniques

·         Specific strategies for enhancing an existing solution


If you represent a company that has an enterprise search software product, your best bet to be on our program is to collaborate with a customer to submit a case study to be presented by them, following the guidelines above and on the website.


Thank you. I look forward to receiving your proposals.


Michelle Manafy

Enterprise Search Summit Conference Chair

Editorial Director, Enterprise Group, Information Today, Inc.


Do it now!