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Google Search Appliance: Benefits for enterprise content

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Enterprise Search Solutions: The Google Search Appliance (GSA)

Enterprise Search Solutions: The Google Search Appliance (GSA)

As we move into 2010, it may be a great time to evaluate what your team is doing to ensure your organization’s documents and data across the organization are as organized, indexed and searchable (retrievable) as possible for employees, customers and potential customers.  For many years now, companies have been implementing enterprise search solutions across applications and databases and have realized benefits in the form of saved time & resources, increased efficiencies, enhanced conversion rates (leading to revenue impact) and more.

“Enterprises that can manage, index, archive, locate and then react to seemingly overwhelming amounts of data are gaining real competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.” – Jeff Davis, chief executive officer and president at Perficient.

Perficient today announced that we have extended our partnership with  Google to resell and provide consulting services for the Google Search Appliance™ (GSA), an enterprise search solution.

The GSA provides universal search for business, searching internal or website content through one easy search box. The GSA can search Web servers, portals, intranets, fileshares, content management systems, databases, real-time data in business applications and the Web, including Twitter.

Enterprise search solutions: Greatest business benefits

Example implementation of GSA for the enterprise: search results types

Example implementation of GSA for the enterprise: search results types

So whether you need a solution that will index internal data or public Web site data (or both), Google’s is one of the strongest options out there. And if your organization already uses Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, the GSA can index that too.

As you review your company’s current solution or prepare a business case for your company’s investment in GSA or a similar solution, review this list of benefits you can expect, depending on how you customize your solution.

  1. Enhanced usability and conversion on public Web sites: When you give your visitors the option to type in what they are looking for, you are extending to them more control over their experience and allowing them to more quickly and easily obtain the content or product they are looking for. Expect this to help increase the % of visitors who turn into leads or customers (your conversion rate) and also create a more usable experience for visitors – potentially increasing repeat visits.
  2. Internal efficiencies and enhanced communication: With an enterprise search solution applied to internal company applications and databases, employees will benefit significantly from access to information by more easily finding what they need. If you enjoy the transparency, simplicity and quality of results provided by Google.com, you’ll likely find that your company’s internal data can be as usable, relevant and reliable as Google’s. The GSA can provide real-time access to business applications, such as ERP, CRM, or business intelligence systems.
  3. Time cost savings: As a result of its ability to index and return results from enterprise data systems, there is a strong likelihood that database administrators or managers will spend less time creating reports or retrieving special data from the organization’s databases. GSA now has a feature  called “Self-Learning Scorer” in which results become increasingly relevant and precise because as more and more people use search, the GSA analyzes user behavior and activity. The result? Quality of results increases over time automatically, without the need for administrator intervention.
  4. Scalability: It’s a common enterprise “buzz word,” and for good reason. As your company grows, you need your search solutions to effortlessly index a growing database of company or product data. The Google Search Appliance 6 brings unparalleled scale to organizations, delivering the ability to search billions of documents across all of your enterprise content. Have data hosted in different places by department or city? Google’s enterprise search solutions can conduct unified search across multiple GSA instances.
  5. Security of data: This is particularly helpful for healthcare organizations managing large amounts of patient personal information as well as government entities and financial institutions – all faced with security and compliance regulations and data sensitivities. Create document and user-based permissions to data and manage access to data across multiple single sign-on systems and multiple credentials across various systems. The GSA integrates with your existing security and access control systems, providing document-level security.

Google Search Appliance:  Enterprise business features

Perficient’s team of GSA expert consultants has been particularly impressed with Google’s recent enhancements designed specifically for enterprise content.

  • Power your SharePoint search box with the Google Search Appliance to pull more relevant results from across your organization, no matter where the content resides, whether within SharePoint or not. Native integration with SharePoint Connectivity to MS SharePoint is now built into the GSA, with no need to download a separate connector, and crawling content in SharePoint is now 10X faster. Index and search content residing in Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and 2007.
  • Faster ECM Connectivity Improved connectivity to ECM systems such as Documentum and Livelink, which the GSA can now crawl 3-5X faster.
  • Securely connect with any other CMS. Pre-built connectors for Documentum, FileNet, SharePoint, and Livelink are included; the Google Enterprise Partner network offers pre-built connectors for many other systems.
  • Integrate with IBM’s Lotus Notes environments using fast, efficient crawling of Lotus Domino servers.
  • Integrate with LDAP, NTLM, Windows Integrated Authentication, forms-based single sign-on security systems, including Oracle Access Manager and CA SiteMinder, to enable seamless secure searching.

Perficient has been a Google Enterprise Partner™ since 2007, and enterprise search solutions have been an integral piece of our Content Management practice for quite a while now. While we’re excited about recent enhancements to Google’s solutions for enterprises, we also look forward to consulting each business with their own unique needs and customizing a solution through this and other excellent partnerships to drive results. Contact us if you’re interested in discussing this further.

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