In 2002, Google changed the way organizations found information when it first introduced the Google Search Appliance (GSA). Since then, the GSA has powered search results for websites, intranets, extranet portals, and other digital properties.

But, as with all digital technology, change was inevitable. The rising expectations of consumers and employees for better search experiences ultimately have made appliance-based search technology obsolete.

Google discontinued the GSA in 2016 and has made it clear that search appliances are no longer its vision of the future.  The company gave its customers three years to find an upgrade — and for those who are still using GSA, that time is almost up. Google Search Appliance shuts down at the end of the year.

As of this summer, doing nothing is no longer an option. It’s crucial to have a new enterprise search plan in place, now. We’re here to help you do that.

In this post, and its accompanying webinar with our partner Onix, we’ll cover the questions you need to ask in order to find a GSA replacement plan that fits your company’s requirements.  By exploring the most popular alternative to the GSA — the insight engine — our expertise can help you not only replace your “yellow box” but also help you move well beyond the usual capabilities of enterprise search.

Getting Ready To Upgrade Your GSA

Officially, the GSA will stop providing search results later this year.  So, if you are using your GSA – like an intranet, website or other application – you’ll need to act fast to replace it with something even better.

To get started, your company needs to answer the following questions in order to determine the scope of your required solution:

  1. What happens if I don’t migrate?
  2. What is Google offering as an alternative?
  3. Is there an opportunity to get more out of our search technology?
  4. How should I approach this project?

To get some help with the answers, go ahead and read our blog post on the frequently asked questions when taking on a GSA upgrade project:

Blog Post
Frequently Asked Questions about GSA Replacement Projects

The next step is assessing the possible solutions that can be matched with your current and future needs — and for that, you need to look to insight engines.

Insight Engines are the Future

The way we consume information online has changed drastically since Google introduced the GSA.

Think about it: if you’re using a website or intranet search, are you satisfied with a long search results list? Probably not. Amazon and other sites have shown us what’s possible and have trained us to expect contextually relevant recommendations and suggestions to content that could help us.  

Generic keyword-based basic search tools still work, but they stop short of providing recommendations and modern experiences that people now expect. That’s why a new class of search and relevance software called “insight engines” has become available.  

According to Gartner, insight engines “apply relevancy methods to describe, discover, organize and analyze data. This allows existing or synthesized information to be delivered proactively or interactively, and in the context of digital workers, customers or constituents at timely business moments.”

Insight engines essentially bring relevance to every digital interaction.  They help you find information you need in context, based on who you are, what you’re searching for, how you’re interacting with content, and they recommend what you might need next.  The most advanced insight engines use machine learning algorithms in order to continuously learn and adapt based on people’s interactions.

Companies are adopting insight engines rapidly because of the dramatic benefits they bring.  Some ecommerce platforms use search and product recommendations to boost conversion rates, while others have found success in reducing contact center support costs with improved customer self-service.  

With the sunsetting of the Google Search Appliance, you have an opportunity to not just replace your search box, but also up your game with a modern insight engine that will improve employee and customer satisfaction on a continuous basis. If you’re interested in learning more about which industry leaders are currently dominating the insight engine space, make sure to check out the latest release of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines:   

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Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines July 2018

Don’t get left behind as Google discontinues the GSA: upgrading to an insight engine means two steps forward, not one step back.

The GSA Upgrade Plan You Need Today

Choosing to “do nothing” or  to “wait” is not an option if you’re still using the GSA.  But, be careful with the action you take.  Google thinks appliances are a thing of the past, and that should give you caution… especially if you’re considering swapping for another box.  You’ll limit the value of the technology to the business and will find yourself needing to upgrade in the near future anyway.

You need a plan to upgrade your appliance with a solution that can help deliver relevant results and recommendations and position you for the future.  Selecting the right insight engine-based solution that can help you with that should be central to your company moving forward.

For the blueprint you need to transition seamlessly and cost effectively, the search and relevance experts from Onix are hosting an informative, 45-minute webinar next month.

Register for the session to learn:

  • The looming consequences of waiting until it’s too late.
  • The elements of a high-level plan to quickly upgrade your Google Search Appliance.
  • An introduction to an insight-engine based solution that will provide results and recommendations without disruption to your business.

You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and learn some best practices from the experts at Onix.  And, you’ll walk away from this sessions with a viable business case for funding your GSA upgrade strategy.

Register for “Time’s Up: The GSA Expiration Plan You Need Today” on August 1, 2018.