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May 23, 2005: Righteous Griping on Enterprise Search

Peter van Dijck and I participated in the Enterprise Search Summit last week in NYC. We both came away feeling the search engine vendors still don't think a whole lot about how their products work for end users. Which is sad.

Search engine vendors should at least provide best bets functionality, especially in an enterprise environment. But many vendors still don't offer this basic tool, and, as Peter found, some don't even know what the term "best bets" means. Read on...

PS Feel free to download my keynote presentation (1.2Mb PPT) on enterprise findability.

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Comment: Madonnalisa Chan (May 28, 2005)

The biggest challenge is that many of the clients are really not demanding that the end user experience is useable. I've even noticed that the administrator side of these applications are lacking in any consistent user experience. What I've noticed through my own experience is that the clients are really just taking whatever the technologies is and implement it in any way. One of my best experiences with Ultraseek (now Verity Enterprise Search) is that you really don't even need the out of the box (UI wizard for
search/search results) you can just take the results as a plain html, xml, or in a web services call and just present the results in any way you'd want. We did this just before I left and it turned out really well. Quite exciting since we were trying to preserve the look and feel throughout the
portal.

Comment: Jeff Werness (Jun 29, 2005)

I've worked with several vendors on both ecommerce and enterprise search and my best experience by far has been with Verity.

In 2003 I presented to their int'l sales and engineering staff on what customers want from search products; it basically came down to helping us account for the human factor. I think they've taken that to heart and really put effort into making it happen. I hope they do more of the same.

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