All companies, over time, accumulate a wealth of knowledge about their business and talented employees develop a host of tools for sales, customer support, engineering, accounting and other departments. Many of those tools, such as pitch letters in sales, or solutions in tech support, are re-usable and form a base on which more nuanced tools can be built. As the company grows and the number of such knowledge points increases, the likelihood that they will be widely reused decreases as they become harder to find. At some point, departments begin to use their own on-line storage facilities (servers or network drives) organization and naming conventions, and the information becomes increasingly siloed. As a further complication, these tools are titled to the creator's purpose. Finding a useful tool might be impossible for another user with a different use.
The solution to this problem is enterprise search. Enterprise search can make all these tools available to anyone with the appropriate security and has the added ability of including information from corporate business systems. The search looks inside documents and other files, creating an index that is much more useful than a file-name search. Unfortunately, enterprise search is an expensive solution involving substantial capital expense and considerable IT involvement. The combination has limited use of enterprise search to larger corporations.
SQI has built an enterprise search solution using as many open source components as possible. This keeps the capital costs low. SQI offers consulting services to implement the search for its customers. We can do this efficiently because we do it for many customers and since we wrote most of the glue code, we are able to modify it to take care of local customer condition without a steep learning curve.
The ability to securely search and locate public, private and shared content across the Internet web content, databases, document repositories, and application business objects
Excellent search quality, with the most relevant items for a query spanning diverse sources being shown first
Highly secure crawling, indexing, and searching
Very fast query performance
On-the-fly search results as you type criteria
Ease to administrate and maintain
SQI will customize to crawl your proprietary applications
Can be implemented on SQI server as a SaaS component or on clients server
SQI has developed a process that keeps implementation costs under tight control. The process starts with two projects that create enough specific information that SQI can implement the search quickly and painlessly, and the first project provides the basis for a solid quote for the cost.
The first project, The Knowledge Inventory, is user directed and establishes what information is available, who has control of it and who needs to see it. The second generates the underlying technical specification to guide the implementation and define the security plan.
Like many software initiatives, this one requires some cultural changes for the best results. In most small companies files are stored on a mix of network and local drives. Though provisions can be made to generate an index that includes the drives on individual computers, it increases the expense of the project and, more importantly, requires that all computers be left on all the time for best results. A culture where files are religiously stored on network drives has two major advantages. First, all the company's knowledge assets are findable and available all the time. Second, modestly powered computers can fill most needs in the organization, reducing the capital costs of the company's computing infrastructure.