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The Magazine

Issue 10

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E-magazine
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Blog

Spencer Green
Chairman, GDS International

Sales and the 'Talent Magnet'

A lot is written about being a ‘Talent Magnet’, either as a company, or as President. It’s all good practice – listen, mentor, reward, provide clear goals and career maps. Good practice for the employer, but what about the employee?
25 May 2011

Maurizio Carli EMEA Managing Director, Google Enterprise

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Searching for success

The invention of the telephone in 1876 marked a major step forward in sharing information. It connected people and helped individuals find information quickly and easily. Fast forward 132 years and you can type a query into a browser and have it answered in less then a second. Yet, many people still struggle to find information when at work. Clearly something is not working as it should.

The success of internet search is well documented - consumers are accustomed to finding what they need online almost instantly through simple interfaces that deliver highly relevant results across text, pdf’s, images and video. Systems to retrieve business rather information have been around for a number of years, and many IT departments in pursuit of the promise have invested millions of pounds in content management systems and high end search products.  However, statistics show that  users spend 25% of their time finding information and 60% of the average corporation’s intellectual property is stuck in email. So what's gone wrong?

Enterprise   search is not new. Designing, deploying and maintaining applications for businesses has traditionally been hard work. Essentially, search is about matching the request of the searcher with the intent of the author. Unfortunately, much of the complexity of the science involved not only reaches end users, but has also become a burden of navigating proprietary systems, intricate commands and non-intuitive interfaces. Systems have been designed from the inside out; often for and by professionals, with little thought given to the so called user experience. As a consequence, many search applications have become difficult to implement and use, resulting in failed implementations and alienating users. In the end, no matter how expensive or intelligent the technology, if users don't adopt it then it is tantamount to failure.

"Employees no longer waste so much time searching for the documents they need and there has been a 25% reduction in calls to the support department."

Sean McAndrew, Business Systems Analyst, Taylor Woodrow

At Google, we envision a workplace where technology is more than useful, it's virtually invisible. Complexity and frustration should be the exception not the rule. User access to business information will be assured, simple, and be universal in the type of information it covers. Breaking down the silos of information residing within content management, document management and other enterprise systems is very achievable. Successful search is a question of putting all the power and complexity behind a simple, intuitive interface which delivers fast results, ubiquitous access, and high relevancy. It's also about behind-the-scenes features like personalisation, security, biasing and reporting. However, they should remain just that for users - behind the scenes.

Of course, any enterprise technology has its challenges. As the sheer volume of information grows, the infrastructure required to maintain successful search across growing quantities and formats of data can mean a management headache for IT. Again, this is when we believe that simple is better - it’s now possible to search across up to 10 million documents from a single search appliance. For the IT department, that means a simplified architecture and technology that grows with your business.

"The Google Search Appliance’s administrative and indexing capabilities along with its consistent delivery of relevant results made it a simple choice for us."
Sébastien Olive, Project Manager, BP

We think that information access is a fundamental business problem for any size organisation in any industry - in the today’s economy information access is at the core of competitiveness. At Google we've strived to build search solutions for behind the firewall that deliver the same promise as internet search. We shouldn't expect employees to be information scientists in the workplace - search should just work. That way, the business wins, users win and most of all the IT department realises that it doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or frustrating to achieve what they have wanted from the beginning.

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