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Enterprise Search News & Analysis

ThoughtSpot Wants to be the Tesla of BI

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BI solutions have been around for decades, but they’ve never really taken root.

Don’t take our word for it. Consider this from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report. Speaking of the BI platforms, the authors wrote: “They were never fully embraced by the majority of business users, managers and analysts, primarily because most considered these too difficult to use for many analytical use cases.”

And in a world where the future belongs to those who leverage information best, this is a problem that few companies can afford to live with.

Needless to say, there are a number of BI vendors who are trying to change that. They range from established players like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and SAS to upstarts like Tableau, Birst and Qlik.

And whether they are making any headway or not, less than 25 percent of today’s enterprise workers report that they have access to the information they need, in spite of $100 billion spent by companies on BI software licenses and even more on IT services.

The software and solution provider(s) who can increase BI penetration are destined to make a mint.

That’s one of the reasons that a team of engineers and entrepreneurs from tech leaders like Facebook, Google, IBM Netezza, Nutanix and others have joined force to build a solution that workers will actually embrace.

Is Your Information Architecture Ready for SharePoint 2013?

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SharePoint Administrators will naturally focus on the infrastructure side of a migration to SharePoint 2013, but migration is also the perfect time to reevaluate your information architecture (IA) and prepare it for this new and improved version of SharePoint.

The Search Landscape Surveyed

2014-14-October-Surveyor.jpgWe've reached an understanding over the last few years around issues related to the low level of enterprise search implementations and the lack of user confidence in search results. A number of surveys published in 2014 have investigated how search is being implemented and some wider issues of managing enterprise information. Let's take a look at the lay of the land.

The Metamorphosis of the Social Enterprise

2014-26-September-Change.jpgThe Social Enterprise is dead … but it hasn’t disappeared. Rather, it has been replaced by a remarkably similar concept: the Digital Workplace. According to Gartner, the Digital Workplace "enables new and more effective ways of working, improves employee engagement and agility, and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies."

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.

Search Moves Up the Corporate Agenda

2014-16-September-Climb.jpgWe're gradually reaching a solid understanding of the state of enterprise search. Findwise started its Findability Survey in 2010 and the 2014 report will have been released by the time you read this. AIIM released its first survey for search implementation today. And while hurdles remain, search's prospects in the enterprise are finally looking up.

Productivity is Not a Soft Cost

There is a huge blind spot when it comes to the management of the time of knowledge workers. Basically, their time is not managed. 

Coveo Offers Free Search for Sitecore Customers #SYMNA

Sitecore clients got more than a bag full of tchotchkes at the company's conference in Las Vegas today as Coveo announced a free version of its enterprise search engine for Sitecore's 4,000 customers.

Officials of the Quebec City, Quebec-based Coveo said the free Sitecore edition will let companies "quickly configure and manage search experiences" on their websites. 

"Search is one of the most powerful drivers of visitor engagement and online conversions,” said JP Provencal, Coveo's senior vice president for alliances. The product will be available to customers by mid-October.

Artificial Intelligence is Resurrecting Enterprise Search

2014-08-Sept-Oleson-Image1.jpgThe future of enterprise search is bright. Recent announcements show enterprise search is taking a number of different forms. Microsoft has been stirring things up in the cloud with Delve -- the next generation Office Graph, based on search-driven discovery of activities and feeds. And some unlikely partnerships have been announced to combine consumer mobile technology with an enterprise injection. I'm ready for an enterprise search that understands me and gives me results based on my interests, location and social distance (i.e., people I work with the most). We've also seen the use of voice for search gain popularity as the lines between work and life blur.

Organization Site Search Is Still Not Working

Until organizations introduce processes that prioritize findability, then site search will continue to fail miserably. 

Enterprise Search Doesn't Fit in a 2-D Box

2014-14-August-Magic.jpgGartner's been getting a bit of attention lately. The Gartner Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant released in July resulted in criticism from Miles Kehoe, Stephen Arnold and Charlie Hull. Nuix heavily criticized the MQ on e-Discovery and Scott Liewehr has reservations about the Forrester Wave on Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. And now the lawsuit.

My own views on the Gartner Search MQ were a little less forthright. However the Search MQ raises issues which are much wider than whether the companies in the top right hand quadrant (Leaders) deserve to be there.

Metrics to Watch When Evaluating Search Performance

2014-08-July-Hide-and-Seek.jpgPeople are dissatisfied with the search applications they are using. This is the result -- without exception -- from surveys of search performance. Search managers charged with improving satisfaction levels face the problem of defining what "satisfaction" actually means. Search performance has to be evaluated on three criteria: technical performance, retrieval performance and impact performance, but it's impossible to bring all three together in some mathematical formula for "satisfaction."

Open Source Search Goes Commercial

In early June the open source search business arguably came of age when Elasticsearch closed on a $70M tranche of Series C investment funding. Elasticsearch is supported by both an open source search community and a commercial search business. In November 2012 the company received $10M in a Series A investment funding which was followed by a further $24M in a Series B funding in February 2013 -- making the total of investment funding now $104M.

Series C funding is usually seen as a substantial level of endorsement of the future of the company by the venture capital investment community. The next level, Series D, is seen as a prelude either to an Initial Public Offering or a trade sale.

Search Has A Future

It is easy to become despondent about the state of enterprise search. Only 11 percent of organizations reported very high satisfaction with search in the latest The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization report, which shows there has been little change over the last eight years. However, from April 29-30, while I was acting as the Chairman of the Enterprise Search Europe 2014 conference in London, despondency was certainly not on the agenda.

The Benefits of a Search Center of Excellence

All the evidence points to enterprise search teams still being significantly under-resourced. Often only a single part-time manager is responsible for an application widely used throughout the organization every day. One solution is to set up a virtual Search Center of Excellence (SCE). This provides the appropriate level of support by having a number of people around the organization contribute their skills and experience.

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