Enterprise Search Services
Enterprise search has been at the center of Arnold IT’s professional services for many years. The capstone of Arnold IT’s expertise is the October 2004, 450-page study Enterprise Search Report.
This comprehensive study of enterprise search systems contains profiles of 28 enterprise search systems, plus comments about selected open source options. (View a list of search systems included in the Report)
In addition, the report contains some of the management knowledge Arnold IT has developed in its work with a variety of search systems for a wide range of organizations, including commercial firms and not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and start-up companies. (See the table of contents of the Report)
Arnold IT offers its clients a number of different professional services tailored to the needs of each individual installation. In search, one size does not fit all. Vendors and consulting firms with financial relationships with search vendors insist otherwise. Like Lycra disco outfits from 1973, the glitter of the marketing promises frays quickly.
Our services are appropriate for systems professionals, procurement teams with a mix of experience and expertise, investment firms, developers of new search systems, and senior managers who want an outside expert to provide an objective analysis.
Does an organization need an enterprise search system? Are there existing search systems that need to be more widely deployed? Maybe “fixed”?
What is the problem that enterprise search is “supposed” to solve? It is all too easy to confuse an Internet search on Google or Yahoo! with finding information on a specific Web site or on an organization’s network? What if the search system is supposed to provide Internet search and search “behind the firewall”?
These points may seem obvious. Assuming that the answers are “obvious” or dismissed with the comment “We know all this” can cost dearly. A misstep in search can reveal an organization’s most-carefully guarded secrets unintentionally, undermine Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, or provide a litigator with a way to drive a negative lawsuit.
Arnold IT has the experience to help managers answer the basic questions in a clear, factual manner. For example:
- Do we need more or different search? What kind of search: Web search, enterprise search, Intranet search, data mining, natural language systems, stand-alone systems, or a system built into Oracle or SQL Server?
- What are the technical and cost options?
- Which is the optimal option that delivers results at a price we can afford today and tomorrow? Which one can our people operate with the skills they now have?
- How do we license what we need while avoiding “vendor lock in”?
- What are the options for organizing the search project and keeping the project on track?
- Should we just outsource search?
- What steps are needed to ensure appropriate security, authorized access, and confidentiality?
- What are our competitors doing and spending? What’s the upside and downside of their choices?
- Do we use our people, consultants, value-added resellers, or some combination of skills?
- How long does a deployment like ours typically take?
We know that these questions can be difficult to ask and to answer objectively. Arnold IT provides an unbiased, objective resource to assist our clients in framing a search project in a pragmatic way.