By now, you’ve probably heard about Google’s plan to retire its Search Appliance product. If you are one of Google’s surprised customers, your brain must be in overdrive thinking about your next steps. There is no need to panic! Take this as an opportunity to evaluate how search is being used at your company today. What value have you gotten out of it? Can you do more?

When you consider your next steps, it is important to realize that search is much more than an appliance or a piece of software you purchase. Search is now ubiquitous. Your customers and employees are expecting a great search experience, nothing less! Great search that delivers results and meets users’ expectations has to be intelligent and you have to run it like a program. Install and forget is a strategy that won’t work if you want to continually enjoy the same Amazon search experience at your workplace.

In this blog post, I will highlight three key things you should consider as you review your search solution, think about its potential, and what you’d like it to do for you in the future.

1. Is search embedded into your workflow?

If you want your customers and employees to use the search solution you put in place, it has to be a natural and seamless part of their workflow. As you review the design of your GSA search solution, it helps to start from the user in order to get the best perspective. Look at the type of queries and content people are searching for; what’s the rate of success (click-through rate) of search results? Identify where people come from and their context when starting their search experience. You’ll quickly realize that the last thing your users want is yet another place they need to go to, to access information.

Intelligent search applications should not exist as stranded entities on their own island. They should be integrated within the applications your users frequently use. A single search technology that connects multiple systems means a unified, frictionless and frustration-free experience for your users. As an example, Coveo offers native integration with market-leading systems such as Salesforce and Sitecore; we also offer flexible UI components that can easily be adapted to your users’ context. When intelligent search lives in the context of a user, queries are no longer necessary, as the technology can now understand user intent and simply show them relevant content as they work.  

2. Are you connecting to all the information sources people need?

Content is everywhere and “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You want your users to have access to the best information, seamlessly, no matter where it resides. With the emergence of cloud and SaaS applications, businesses are leaving the traditional “vendor stacks” for “best-of-breed” solutions resulting in the multiplication of information silos. I am sure you have quite a few new content sources since you purchased your first GSA…

Coveo offers a large library of secure connectors – which can adhere to highly complex security schemas for each and every system indexed – to capture the information at the source. Whether it is stored in the cloud or an on-premises system doesn’t matter.

3. Are you measuring and tuning results for continued success?

Exploring users’ search behavior and how they consume content will give you insights on how to improve your users’ search experience. You’ll have a clearer idea about what you need to do to improve the user experience – whether you need to add a term to the thesaurus, or boost the ranking of a document that sees a great click-through rate, etc. You’ll also be able to measure the ROI of your search investment.

Coveo intelligent search comes with tools that allow you to measure and analyze the usage of your search solutions. Metrics such as query outcomes, query changes, popular documents, or user profiles, etc. are gathered and made available through a Usage Analytics module.

Data captured in usage analytics feeds Coveo machine-learningTM, a machine learning, self-tuning service which uses the community and users’ behavior to learn and tune for the best outcome. Coveo machine-learning  is your “data scientist in a box.” It continually analyzes your users’ behavior and does the heavy lifting to optimize search experiences for you so your team can focus on higher-value activities such as content creation and curation.

What are your thoughts? Are there other factors you’re considering? Leave a comment or contact a Coveo representative for a discussion.