30 posts categorized "SharePoint"

May 31, 2016

The Findwise Enterprise Search and Findability Survey 2016 is open for business

Would you find it helpful to benchmark your Enterprise Search operations against hundreds of corporations, organizations and government agencies worldwide? Before you answer, would you find that information useful enough that you’re spend a few minutes answering a survey about your enterprise search practices? It seems like a pretty good deal to me to have real-world data from people just like yourself worldwide.

This survey, the results of which are useful, insightful, and actionable for search managers everywhere, provides the insight into many of the critical areas of search.

Findwise, the Swedish company with offices there and in Denmark, Norway Poland, Norway and London, is gathering data now for the 2016 version of their annual Enterprise Search and Findability Survey at http://bit.ly/1sY9qiE.

What sorts of things will you learn?

Past surveys give insight into the difference between companies will happy search users versus those whose employees prefer to avoid using internal search. One particularly interesting finding last year was that there are three levels of ‘search maturity’, identifiable by how search is implemented across content.

The least mature search organizations, roughly 25% of respondents, have search for specific repositories (siloes), but they generally treat search as ‘fire and forget’, and once installed, there is no ongoing oversight.

More mature search organizations that represent about 60% of respondents, have one search for all silos; but maintaining and improving search technology has very little staff attention.

The remaining 15% of organizations answering the survey invest in search technology and staff, and continuously attempt to improve search and findability. These organizations often have multiple search instances tailored for specific users and repositories.

One of my favorite findings a few years back was that a majority of enterprises have “one or less” full time staff responsible for search; and yet a similar majority of employees reported that search just didn’t work. The good news? Subsequent surveys have shown that staffing search with as few as 2 FTEs improves overall search satisfactions; and 3 FTEs seem to strongly improve overall satisfaction. And even more good news: Over the years, the trend in enterprise search shows that more and more organizations are taking search and findability seriously.

You can participate in the 2016 Findwise Enterprise Search and Findability Survey in just 10 or 15 minutes and you’ll be among the first to know what this year brings. Again, you’ll find the 2016 survey at http://bit.ly/1sY9qiE.

December 18, 2012

Last call for submiting papers to ESS NY

This Friday, December 21, is the last day for submitting papers and workshops to ESS in NY in May 21-22. See the information site at the Enterprise Search Summit Call for Speakers page.

If you work with enterprise search technologies (or supporting technologies), chances are the things you've learned would be valuable to other folks. If you have an in-depth topic, write it up as a 3 hour workshop; if you have a success story, or lessons learned you can share, submit a talk for a 30-45 minute session.

I have to say, this conference has enjoyed a multi-year run in terms of quality of talks and excellent Spring weather.. see you in May?



April 10, 2012

SharePoint Saturday Silicon Valley June 2 2012

I'm happy to announce a 'first ever' event: SharePoint Saturday will finally come to Silicon Valley in less than two months. We're been working behind the scenes for a few months now with some really enthusiastic people to secure sponsors, a facility, and some great speakers with valuable insights on SharePoint.

For those of you who follow search but may not know about SharePoint Saturday, it is an organization that holds events held in dozens of cities around the world. It brings together SharePoint experts in every aspect of SharePoint, from development to administration to power users - and yes, even to search. And, for attendees, it's always free to attend. To find an event near you, check the main SharePoint Saturday web site for updates and background.

I'd like to thank the people who we have been working with to get this first-ever event for Silicon Valley, all of whom are volunteering their time to make it possible. Christian Buckley of Axceler has provided great suggestions drawing on his deep experience with SharePoint and in organizing SharePoint Saturday events; Ken Lo from Kattelo has helped us locally organize a team and gather great speakers from around the country; Kelley Tyburski of Avepoint who ran last year's SharePoint Saturday in Sacramento; Jerry Pierre of SLAC, who has volunteered to help in selection of topics and in keeping us on track; and our own Chris Fernandez who we asked to get the event organized and manage all those pesky details. And of course I'd like to thank our sponsors, without whom this event could not be happening.

Between now and the June 2nd event, I'm sure you'll be hearing more about the event; you'll find #spssv on Twitter. And if you're in the area, register now and plan on attending. 

/s/ Miles


March 28, 2012

SharePoint 2010 Search Center Improvement

Our friends over at Arcovis are hosting a SharePoint Shoptalk webinar Thursday 3/29 that SP search admins and business line managers should attend. 

"5 Little things you can do to make a big impact on your SharePoint Search Center" will address steps that you can take to improve search in SharePint. Paul Olenick is the speaker, and he certainly knows his stuff.

Register here.

March 22, 2012

The sorry state of FAST training

Suppose your company uses SharePoint 2010. Suppose your company uses FAST Search for SharePoint as well. Where would you go for training?

Today I decided to see where we could get training for one of our new guys. My first stop was the old FAST University, which now directs you to Microsoft Learning at


There, you can read about all of the classes, except that when you click Register, you find a page with class schedules for January and February of.. 2012. None after that. If you log in, you find a few classes for people with advanced Microsoft certifications, but nothing helpful.

I called the number where it suggested I could contact FAST University; and a very nice person directed me to the Microsoft Learning site (note: the title on the page I was looking at said 'Microsoft Learning' but apparently that is really the old FAST site at mzinga.)

On the real Microsoft Learning portal - microsoft.com/learning - I did a search for 'fast search' only to find:


I went back to search for simply 'search' and did find a single class with FAST Search in the title - sadly, one offered August of 2011 - 6 months ago. 

After a call back to the nice person on the other Microsoft Learning page at mzinga, she told me there are no more FAST classes (meaning FAST ESP, I guess); and that for Fast Search for SharePoint classes, I need to find a partner. Go back to the (real) Microsoft Learning site, search for 'class locator' to find a partner. Use care: if you click on the class description, you'll see the date first published, not the date of any classes: to get that, you need to click on 'instructor lead'. 

So yes, there were three training providers here in Silicon Valley. And one claims to have classroom training for next week! But when I called them (at 1:15PM) an answering service picked up and told me that because I called 'outside of normal business hours' he's have to have them call me back. Nothing yet, day after. Maybe an early Easter holiday?

Second training partner: went to their web site - no phone number, but a 'Live Chat'. "Sorry, no operators are available; you'll be connected to the next one free'. An hour later, nada. I left.

Final partner - ONLC - picked up the phone; confirms that they teach the class, but will need a few more students to register before they can confirm it will happen. If it does happen, they teach it remotely. I can go into San Jose at their center, or even take it from here in our offices. Cool. But they can't find four students in the US to take it?

Kudos to ONLC; but it's a shame to see how far down the line training is for Microsoft with respect to FAST Search for SharePoint. Luckily, there are a number of good former FGAST ESP partners - including us - who can help you with what you need, be it training, remote support, or even appdev.

What do you do for Microsoft search training?






November 08, 2011

Are you spending too much on enterprise search?

If your organization uses enterprise search, or if you are in the market for a new search platform, you may want to attend our webinar next week "Are you spending too much for search?". The one hour session will address:

  • What do users expect?
  • Why not just use Google?
  • How much search do you need?
  • Is an RFI a waste of time?   

Date: Wednesday, November 16 2011

Time: 11AM Pacific Standard Time / 1900 UTC

Register today!

October 25, 2011

What search platform is best? Workshop at KMWorld

Next week in Washington DC, InfoToday runs their Fall enterprise search conferences - KM World, Enterprise Search Summit, SharePoint Symposium, and Taxonomy Boot Camp.. whew! Monday - Halloween Day! - I am giving a workshop at the conferences with the somewhat vague title 'Enterprise Search Technologies'.

What I'll be talking about is an overview of the platform vendors, with some detail on strengths and weaknesses of the vendors; and a drill down into what you need to do before you call the vendors (if you value your time).

You can still sign up for the workshop for $295US or the entire conference for a bit more; see you in DC in a week!


August 22, 2011

Searching for Sarah at SharePoint Conference 2011

Just noticed one of the most interesting sessions at last May's Enterprise Search Summit is coming to the October Microsoft SharePoint Conference! We blogged about it back in May.

Basically, Booz & Company did an evaluation of SharePoint 2010 search - FAST Search for SharePoint as I recall - versus the Google Search Appliance they had been using. At one point, the search business owner was trying to find the last name of a woman she had met in the firm; and when she searched for 'Sarah', hoping to find her in the directory, the GSA returned 60 men in the result list. Can you guess why? A hint: metadata (check the earlier article, or come to SPC 2011 to find out).

Now in fact, we think the GSA could have been tuned to emulate this OOB behavior by SharePoint; but this is a reminder that not every search platform works great in every environment. Buyer beware!

Ever had a similar experience? Let us know about it!


July 27, 2011

Great 'site documentation' toolkit for SharePoint

As in much of the IT world, when you build a new system or farm, you need to document everything for posterity - and to save potentially hours of effort when things stop working in the future. SharePoint 2010 is no different.

Doc_kit I just learned of a tool that will document your SharePoint farm(s) for you, greatly easing the problem most of us will face at one point or another. From the folks at Acceleratio Ltd based in Croatia but with  US sales and support, the folks who created the Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint understand both the problem - and their audience. Pricing is available per farm ($299 US) or, for consulting firms that maintain multiple farms for their users, for $499.

There is a 30 day free evaluation/download; and using the claim code 'summer2011' you can get 50% of the purchase price through the end of August.

Normally we would have posted this on SearchComponentsOnline.com, another site we run; but it's pretty new, and not as many people know to look there for free and low cost tools for those interested in enterprise search.


July 07, 2011

Webinar: Customizing the SharePoint Advanced Search Page

Sorry for the late notice - I just discovered it myself today.

Josh Noble, SurfRay consultant and author of Pro SharePoint 2010 Search, will give a webinar on Customizing the Advance Search Page on July 8 at 11AM Pacific, 2PM Eastern. If you're in Europe, it's worth staying up for!

Josh gave a related talk at SharePoint Saturday Sacramento a couple of weeks ago, and he really had some great tips and techniques. Register for the webinar now.