Enterprise Search is Dead – long Live Unified Information Access

Or is Content Analytics the new big thing? Search technologies, natural language processing (NLP) and other content analytics are all part of Unified Information Access platforms that promise to be a game changer in the IT world.

“Search” has the ring of “commodity” for many people: “Motorise” a Website or an intranet, add a search bar to a document management system, etc. Nothing new to that. At the same time, enterprises and administrations have started to use search technologies in new and exciting ways, much closer to their core business, getting relevant information to their employees at precise points of business processes. (See some use cases here)

Most employees in today’s Information Society work with business applications that lead them along their main business processes. When they need to make decisions that are more than simple choices in the immediate context of their business process, more often than not, these decisions require information from outside the business application. Pulling together all information relevant to the decision at hand may be a cumbersome process: Consult different business applications, look through documents like contracts, product descriptions, technical documentation, meeting reports, and even email. Innovative search technology, with deep analytical capabilities, allows to pull all the relevant information together easily and rapidly – and even to structure it for the user.Either employees use search explicitly to get at all the relevant information or a Search Based Application is integrated in their business application. In the latter case, it provides the required information – possibly unasked – and continues with the user’s business application at the right point after his or her decision.

In such an environment, enterprise search has become an integral part of an organisation’s Information System, and it serves there to facilitate access to all kinds of data. Search technology permits this unified access without the enormous efforts required by comprehensive enterprise application integration. Search based UIA projects are an order of magnitude faster and cheaper than “classic” IT integration projects. And they help users to find sense in unstructured data sources.

Only Search technology that combines access and analysis of structured and unstructured data can serve as a UIA platform.

Sinequa has been excelling in these categories for quite some time. Add our capacity to deal with enormous volumes of fast changing data, and you get a UIA platform that can carry you into the Big Data era.

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3 thoughts on “Enterprise Search is Dead – long Live Unified Information Access

  1. Very good post! I also believe that we are at the beginning of the story of Search. There is so many content still left unsearchable in enterprises, it is amazing to see what search can do if used extensively across the enterprise.

    • Of course, people still use what used to be called “enterprise search”. But the heat of the action is now on elsewhere. And search doesn’t “just evolve”: its usage changes so much that it changes in nature.
      The problem for many companies is that they start with “simple”, commoditized projects before they realise the potential of search projects of the new kind. This induces some of them to use simplistic, commodity solutions which they subsequently have to replace once their projects become more ambitious. We see quite a few of such projects. It is nice to replace other solutions when people recognise the superior potential we can offer them. But it would be much nicer if we had accompanied them from the start. And they would have been able to progress much faster and with less effort.

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