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21.10.2021 | News What companies should consider when introducing an enterprise search solution

Search specialist IntraFind explains eight central success factors for the implementation of a company-wide search.

With a professional enterprise search solution, companies can efficiently access their constantly growing pool of data, documents, and texts. By facilitating access to information, they gain a significant competitive advantage. However, the introduction of such a solution is a project that also carries with it challenges - and should therefore be well thought out. Search specialist IntraFind explains eight points that need to be considered.

1. Consider all user groups and stakeholders. Companies should from the very beginning have different search scenarios for the different user groups in mind. For example, there are power users who use the search every day and who may even set up their search dashboard as their home page in the browser. Other users, on the other hand, will use the search less often. It is also important to cover department-specific differences. As an important stakeholder, the works council with its issues should also be involved at an early stage.

2. Don't forget external sources. Companies should ensure that all data sources relevant to employees are covered. External sources such as social media platforms or the services of providers of specialist information can also be useful.

3. Don't underestimate complexity. The more data sources are integrated, the more complex the technical side of the project becomes. The various data silos must be connected and indexing and search access to their content must be fast, rights-checked and updatable. This requires an appropriate planning.

4. Start small. It is therefore best for companies to implement the solution on a small scale and initially connect only a few data sources. The file system is particularly suitable for this. A considerable amount of company knowledge usually lies hidden here and a high-performance search already creates a great added value for many employees. The companies can then gather experience and expand the solution step by step to other data sources.

5. Market the project internally. To support a successful go-live, companies should actively promote the new solution. This can be done through advertisements and explanatory videos on the intranet or articles in internal newsletters and videos, but also through competitions in which users must try out certain search functions. The best search is useless if it is not used by employees.

6. Install peer users. In addition to IT support, it is also advisable to appoint a "peer user" per department who is available as a direct contact person for initial questions from colleagues who may not be particularly familiar with IT. These peer users can ensure that the users quickly get to know the options and potential of the new solution "hands on". In this way they make an important contribution to user acceptance and satisfaction.

7. Set up a "Search Competence Center". In addition, the introduction of a company-wide "Search Competence Center" has proven to be a good idea. In many cases, a single person is sufficient to take care of the technical administration. For example, by centrally analyzing search queries that do not return any hits and entering synonyms if necessary, the "search wheel" does not have to be reinvented in every department.

8. Include national subsidiaries. Another thing that should not be forgotten are the potential specific requirements of international locations. On the one hand, the search interfaces should of course be offered in the respective languages. On the other hand, travel scenarios must also be taken into account. For example, a German-speaking user logging on in the Japanese site with his computer should see the German search UI.

“When introducing an enterprise search solution, the users should always be in the focus“, summarizes Franz Kögl, CEO of IntraFind Software AG. "The better companies know their users and the more they know about their daily work, the better they can estimate the requirements they have for the new enterprise search engine. The increased search efficiency, faster response times and expanded access to the company's knowledge base then provide measurable financial benefits as well as a quick return on investment from the search solution.”

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