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Martin White News & Analysis

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.

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.

Enterprise Search Best Bets - Looking For a Sure Thing

During a presentation I gave to the Search track of the IntraTeam event in Copenhagen last month I caused some consternation by suggesting that Best Bets for a search application were a well meaning, but totally misguided approach to improving search performance.

Why do companies invest time and effort for less than ideal results?

Making the Case for Search Training and Support

searchtraining.jpgIf search is so easy, why is there a new book over 200 pages long on Google Search Secrets? 

 

Some Free Advice for Search Vendors

Some Free Advice for Search VendorsOver the last few years there has been a very significant increase in the awareness of the value of search. It may not yet have translated into an equally significant increase in sales of search products, whether proprietary or open source, but this could be the best year yet for search if vendors heed some advice.

CMSWire's Top Contributors 2013 - Martin White

Martin White

You should not underestimate the power of search. And by search, we really mean find. 

Without providing ready access to information, businesses are basically making their employees work with one arm tied behind their back, with blindfolds on. Martin White has been championing search as a business critical application on our site for a few years now, but in practice since his schooldays.

Search Continues to Be Business Critical in 2014

A year ago I suggested that search would become business critical in 2013, and I think my forecast was in line with reality. Certainly the Findwise 2013 Search and Findability Report indicated that more organizations were working on a search strategy in 2013, and that compared with the 2012 report, businesses displayed a greater degree of commitment to getting the best out of investment in search applications.

Intranet Search: More Than Just a Search Box

Social Business, Intranet Search Has to be More Than Just a Search BoxI’ve just come back from another highly successful KMWorld conference in Washington where over 900 people seemed more than happy to be entombed in the subterranean conference suites of the Renaissance Hotel for four days. With no specific intranet track this year, presentations on intranets popped up in the Knowledge Management (KM), SharePoint and Enterprise Search tracks.

In the conversations I had there with intranet managers, a common theme stood out: the under-appreciated value of search in intranets.

Wanted: Information Specialists for Search Management Roles

Thumbnail image for shutterstock_89947684.jpgThe search world faces many challenges but one of the greatest is convincing businesses of the need for information specialists.

Search as a Decision Support System

Social Business, Search as a Decision Support SystemWhen we measure the value of search only through criteria like speed we miss out on the bigger picture.

Search is Getting Smarter All the Time

Social Business, Enterprise Search, Search is Getting Smarter All the TimeThere is a tendency to be critical of the fact that the core technology dates back to the work of Gerard Salton in the mid-1960s, and that therefore search is broken and is going nowhere. The same could be said of the internal combustion engine so long as you ignore the level of sophistication in Formula 1 and Indy cars. 

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