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3 posts from October 2009

October 30, 2009

Request for other enterprise search professionals

I recently spoke with someone who is looking for people who work for companies with large Autonomy implementations.  I Figured since you folks who do read our blog may well meet his ideal specifications, so I'm posting his note here. Feel free to contact him directly.

I am looking to set up 30min to an hour telephone consultation calls  for one of our clients with enterprise search product users who work with a private company that purchases $500k or more of licenses a year or individuals who have an opinion on new beta products being introduced by enterprise search companies.

You can reach him directly at:


Appreciate it if you'd mention our blog if you get in touch with him. Thanks!


October 18, 2009

From the SharePoint 2009 Conference

"The time has come", the walrus said "to talk of many things..."

With apologies to Lewis Carroll, we begin our week at SharePoint 2009, the official coming out party for SharePoint 2010, and the public announcement of things rumored for months here and there in the enterprise search community: what will search look like once SharePoint 2010 and 'Office 14'  officially hit the street?

We intend to blog on SharePoint's two distinct search products this week: how they compare, where they differ, and where they work together. But those of you who know us also know we strive to be the 'Switzerland of search consulting firms', so we'll enhance our reporting of the facts with our analysis of the capabilities, for better or worse.

I'll also be using twitter this week to post things as they happen. You can follow me '#miles_kehoe' over on Twitter. But you can also follow my posts on #searhdev as well, since SearchDev covers me and others who also follow enterprise search. Stay tuned!

October 16, 2009

Search is getting better

A few years back I was often amazed how bad search was on web sites of some of the largest companies in the world. Some examples from personal experience:

  • I needed support on a laptop computer. Searching that vendor's site using the model number I copied from the back of the laptop produced 'no hits'. Trust me, I didn't make up the bizarre sequence of letters and numbers; it's their product. But not according to their search engine
  • Browsing for news at a major financial publisher's site, I suddenly found a result list full of content from file shares in their employee's 'My Documents' folder, including some marked 'confidential'. Not any more!
  • On some social and professional networking sites, I'd often go looking for old friends. Don't you hate when you look for "Jacob Smyth" (even with quotes!) and you find "John Smith" and "Jennifer Smitherman"? Me too.

But things seem to be getting better., The laptop manufacturer actually includes their product numbers on both the main site and the support site. The financial site no longer has any 'My Documents" content - that I can find; and networking sites seem to be getting better about suggesting friends by name.

But there is so much more to do! Go out of your way as you create your search application:

  • Impress the user by recognizing what she is looking for. If it's a name in your corporate directory, bring up the person's profile - name, email address, phone number. If it's a division name, bring up the divisions' web site as the first hit. Be psychic!
  • Use facets or guided navigation to lead the user to an answer. Amaze him with detail he may not have known.
  • Let the user provide feedback, and act on it! And when you do hear from a user, respond with an answer, and a time frame if you will be making a change that will address the feedback.

Sure, these things take time and cost money. But in the long run, isn't it cheaper than buying a new search engine and starting over from scratch?