The Added Value of Enterprise Search

The following post was published by Jeff Schultz of vdR Group, our technology partner who helped to develop our core solution, a9 Global Search. The insights here should be of great value to anyone considering their options when seeking to adopt enterprise search as part of their information management strategy.

Original post:

Enterprise Search Engine Alcove9Many companies are incorporating enterprise search into their information management strategy. This trend is of no surprise given the volume of data scattered within most businesses. One particular company we’ve worked with has multiple Oracle database tables of critical safety documentation. This information resides in silos of disconnected locations making it impossible to access in a timely manner. Since their business is predicated on quick response times, it is imperative that they have a sound solution. In this case, efficient access to critical information saves lives by lowering people’s exposure to hazardous materials. This is an extreme example yet it still rings true, as does the fact that a typical knowledge worker spends an average of 15-35% of their time searching for information only to come up empty ½ of the time.

The value of enterprise search is absolutely being realized. As a result, its use within corporations is rising rapidly. At the same time, providers of CAD, PDM, PLM, ECM, and ERP business applications are feeling market pressures to further differentiate themselves from the competition. Providing enterprise search as a much needed solution and highly valued capability is clearly a great way to do it.

The question is, how do they do it? How do application providers tackle the challenge of incorporate enterprise search as a value add? It can be a tough question to answer. Some dip their toe in, while others make large time and money investments to develop enterprise search capabilities – many of which are only able to find data that originated from their own applications. There is a different and much more effective way for enterprise software developers to provide their customers with;

  • find, sort, categorize, display and access to all relevant data quickly and efficiently in any database or repository no matter where it originated
  • the ability to keep all of their data where it is and avoid costly, time consuming data migrations
  • the capability to search deep within the content of their data to include title block info, labels, x-refs, pmi, and more
  • a single login to access multiple data locations and find previously “unsearchable” data
  • virtual profile cards to understand ‘where used’ and ‘composed of’ details about parts and components
  • the ability to promote design reuse within their company to greatly reduce redundant replication
  • annotation, mark-up, and viewing of CAD models without needing the native CAD license
  • secure data, audit trails and ITAR compliance

All of the above and more can be achieved by embedding existing and proven enterprise search capabilities into the core of a provider’s software offering. By embedding a solution like Alcove9, software providers can increase the value of their solutions to their clients and widen the gap of benefits vs. of ownership. Unified Information Access (UIA) also makes their app a customer’s company-wide go to search standard – no matter what the data is or where it originated from; even if it was developed in a competitive offering to that of the app provider.

What business applications do you feel could be of greater benefit to customers by having enterprise search?

Learn more about our enterprise search solution, a9 Global Search, or contact us to discuss how we can help your organization.

Sam Abu-Hamdan

About Sam Abu-Hamdan

Alcove9 President Sam Abu-Hamdan has fulfilled consultancy and leadership roles in the design and analysis field for more than 15 years, specializing in PLM and CAD/CAM where he defined processes and best practices for global manufacturing customers. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in the area of error detection and recovery in automated manufacturing assembly cells.
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