At Enterprise Search Europe we are privileged to host three exceptional Keynotes from some true search visionaries. Their combined insights promise to deliver a truly holistic overview of the current state of enterprise search - from technology, practitioner, developmental and implementation perspectives.
KEYNOTE: The Future of Search
Paul Doscher, CEO, Lucid Imagination
A passionate believer that enterprise search is the enabling technology for companies to realise true value from their Big Data, Paul Doscher discusses the opportunities and challenges for enterprise search in Europe, and shares his thoughts about what the search industry, both commercial and open source, needs to do to ensure the increased use of search. Should industry players work together on raising the profile of search? Is there a lack of trained developers? Are there promotional activities they could collectively undertake to raise the profile of search without fear of losing market share? And what does the future of the search industry mean for individuals and teams implementing enterprise search in their own organisations?
KEYNOTE: Re-conceiving Enterprise Search
Matt Eichner , General Manager, Global Enterprise Search, Google
Recently-appointed General Manager for Google's global enterprise search business, with responsibilities encompassing Go-To-Market strategy, sales, partnerships, marketing, products and deployments, Matt Eichner gives Google's view on the future of search, how it relates to innovations happening at Google.com, and what it means for the enterprise and the Google Search Appliance model. In this future vision Keynote, Matt explores the role of open source, and how Google views its development, as well as the broader possible mandate for search in organisations as we continue our evolution to knowledge work and collaboration.
The Enterprise Search Landscape: 2012 and Beyond - Big Data and Boolean
Stephen E. Arnold , Managing Director, ArnoldIT.com
In this provocative talk, Stephen E Arnold reviews key developments in enterprise search in 2012. He then looks toward 2013 with particular emphasis on big data, open source search, text analytics, and apps. Enterprise information access is experiencing evolution and revolution. What are the paths forward?
Laura Wilber of solutions provider, Exalead, and presenter of the Enterprise Search Europe session Big Data: Business Value in Record Time gives us her take on turning search technology into business value.
What will you discuss at Enterprise Search Europe, and how will attendees benefit?
Enterprise search is a mature, well-known though still underused technology, and search-based applications are becoming more common every day. However, there's still far too little known about the power of search-based applications for making all types of Big Data meaningful and accessible to ordinary people in real world business contexts.
At Enterprise Search Europe I'll be discussing the use of search technology to extract business value from today's massive flows of machine data, specifically using search-based applications for real-time operational reporting and analytics on machine data.
I hope delegates come away with a sense of how versatile and powerful search technology really is, with an awareness of the pivotal role search technologies can play in solving the new generation of data management challenges; challenges like automated data transformation and unified, real-time information access and analytics.
Name some key enterprise search challenges faced by your clients, and tell us how you are overcoming them?
In a nutshell, one-size-fits-all search is out. Our customers and staff want information access that's personalised to them, their habits, their needs, their workflows and their departments, and they want unified access to data regardless of whether it's inside or outside the firewall. That's why search-based applications have come to play such a large role, satisfying the need to find, explore, understand and use all the info that's relevant in a given context. It's search plus action, in context.
Finally, what do you see as major trends in enterprise search?
Personalisation, contextualisation, and workflow integration.
Matt Mullen, Analyst at The Real Story Group, and presenter of the Enterprise Search Europe session Everything You Need to Know about Search - But Were Afraid to Ask gives us a preview of his presentation, and tells us why recent market forces look set to exercise our minds throughout 2012 and 2013.
What can delegates expect to learn at your Enterprise Search Europe session?
I'll be discussing why enterprise search 'can't be just like Google' - a common cry from search users. To do that, I'll be stripping search back to its basic elements, explaining what they are, why we need them and why implementing them can be tricky.
I'd like everyone attending to take away a good grasp of why search works the way it does, and an understanding of how they can start to meet the challenges that they face in their own business environment. I anticipate that delegates will quickly realise that those challenges are far from purely technological.
What are some of the key search challenges that organisations face, and how are you overcoming them?
For many years search has been seen as the silver bullet to cope with the exponential rise in digital content created and retained in the enterprise. Instead of approaching the How and Why, the solution has been to bolt a big and expensive search tool on top of this chaos, which doesn't produce the promised results. With even greater demands for real-time - or close to real-time - many organisations are taking a fresh look at how they approach their search strategy, and we're helping them to make decisions in the face of Big Data.
What do you see as major trends in enterprise search?
The after-effects of two large and disruptive acquisitions within the enterprise search market in 2011 are likely to continue to exercise customers' minds throughout 2012 and into 2013.
The term Big Data is the re-recognition that enterprises hold vast quantities of data that could be much more readily exploited. Every vendor appears to have developed a story in an attempt to claim ownership of the idea and in an effort to encourage investment in better, faster storage or enterprise search technology. Beneath the surface of these two mega-trends, other forces are rapidly reshaping the enterprise search marketplace.
Gerard Bredenoord, Director/Owner of Knowledge Innovations Ltd, previews his session Global Jigsaw: The Evolution of Linklaters' Global Search Tool, and names some key challenges faced by companies seeking to implement enterprise search technologies today.
What will you be discussing at Enterprise Search Europe?
I'll be looking at the implementation of a global free text search solution at Linklaters, the Magic Circle law firm; discussing the journey of a search implementation right up to the go-live date, as well as the precautions that can be taken to reduce risk of project failure. Many projects fail long before the go-live date and I hope my session will help other implementers address risks and identify challenges much earlier.
Name some key challenges faced by an organisation's implementation of enterprise search, and how they could be overcome.
The challenges - There are many providers selling search solutions, yet the answer will never be to just install and point the solution at the content. Understanding that it's a hard journey that combines technology, content, people and process is essential, as well as ensuring that companies invest in the complete solution rather than a single technology.
Investing in search is not a technology decision but a strategic direction. As the technology advances and the speed of change increases, it will become increasingly difficult for an organisation to fully invest in the required resources and supporting behaviours. In addition, as more players come to market it becomes harder to understand which solutions are best suited for a specific business use and, more importantly, which are NOT suitable.
Finally, understanding the symbiotic relationship between searching, finding and browsing solutions is essential.
Overcoming those challenges - Silver bullets do not exist; we need more realistic presentations to management, and more time to reflect on the impact of technology decisions. Sadly, this seems unlikely. I am depending on the economic down-turn to encourage senior management to pay more attention to where money is being invested, and what the returns will be.
As search reaches maturity as a business solution we'll have access to greater experience in a wider range of business environments. Consolidating these views creates a better understanding of what works and what doesn't, increasing the probability of choosing the most appropriate solution.
Finally, addressing the relationship between search and browse is a healthy way to clarify the business problems we seek to solve.
Iain Fletcher, VP of search engine specialists, Search Technologies, previews his session Data Quality: The Missing Ingredient for Enterprise Search, and examines what we can learn from user dissatisfaction surveys.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation.
I’ve been working with search engines, full-time, for almost 20 years. Buying, selling, evangelising, implementing and marketing them. At Search Technologies we work with customers who understand that optimising their use of search engines creates business advantage. Our customers range from Global 100 corporations, to major publishers and Government agencies. We also work with start-ups and 16pxer businesses, where search effectiveness is critical to the business model.
What will delegates learn from your Enterprise Search Europe presentation?
Over the past decade, and despite massive investment in search software algorithms by some of the world's premier software companies, user surveys continue to show a high level of dissatisfaction with enterprise search.
I’ll be addressing some of the key reasons for this, drawing on both third party surveys and my own experiences. With access to a database recording how more than 40,000 consultant-days of implementation services have been helping customers to make search work better, I think that some of the results will surprise people and cause them to adjust the planning of their search implementations going forward.
My aim is for delegates to take away down-to-earth, pragmatic advice about how to make search systems work more effectively, whatever search engine they have chosen to use. I’ll also be providing guidance about how search engines can be more strategically positioned within an organisation.
Damon Fordham provides an insight into the challenges they faced and explains how Enterprise Search Europe delegates will benefit from 3i’s experiences.
Tell us what you’ll be discussing at next week’s Enterprise Search Europe
I’ll be talking about our project to deliver an enterprise class search service to all our staff. I want to share the insights we gained, from both the technical and human perspective, and will be looking at how knowledge management and business intelligence projects enhanced the scope of search at 3i. Delegates will hear how we developed and ran the project - from making the case for investment, to user reaction, the benefits we have realised, and what it means for 3i in the future.
Name some of the key challenges that organisations face when implementing enterprise search.
I think it’s really about the accessibility of information where ever you are. Search plays a big part in this, especially as we are covering a lot of ground with different teams and their respective needs. It’s not uncommon for someone to get a call at five in the morning from a colleague who needs some information; with the right business intelligence, systems and knowledge management practices, search can make this unnecessary.
What do you see as major trends in enterprise search?
There’s lots of talk around the cloud and search, like any other technology, is part of that. But, as the hardware needs can be expensive, being able to forget about on-premise upgrades, patching, and hardware lifecycles and focus on search and its results is the important part. Profiling is important too, not necessarily the whole Big Brother thing, but being able to make some useful assumptions about your audience can make a real difference.