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cart before horseFull disclosure before I begin.  I have known my colleague Don Miller for almost 13 years.  We are SharePoint old-timers and passionate about enterprise search.  You might even say we are obsessive about search.

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mobile search“Jeff, do you have any insight into how people really use Delve?  People are asking me because of the recent announcement…I am confused about whether/how to roll it out, and it seems like a moving target. Can you shed some light on it please?”

I get this kind of email regularly.  Last week, after Microsoft announced a set of updates to Intelligence-powered search, Delve, and Microsoft Graph, I had six emails like this.  Hence this blog post – I’ll lay out the actual news, with some context, plus some observations and tips about how to take advantage of Delve.

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magic intranet searchingWe use search every hour and every day of the week, and it is awesome because it just works.  Every day you use Bing, Amazon, Google or Siri and you never stop to think about why the topic, result or document that you are looking for came back on top.  It just feels so easy - start typing or talking and automatically Google or Bing starts providing you suggestions to whatever your question may be.

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mobile searchToday BA Insight announced a new version of our Visual Refiners application (you can read the announcement here.  The focus of this release is bringing mobile search to Office 365 – so in addition to the core features of Visual Refiners, we’ve added support for:

  • Office 365: Visual Refiners is now available as a SharePoint-hosted add-in, which means it deploys easily in O365 tenants without the need for additional infrastructure.
     
  • Mobile devices:  in addition to being reactive, we have made visual refiners modal – which means that the refinement panel becomes full screen on a mobile device, and controls switch to designed-for-mobile styles for ease of use with limited screen real estate. 
     
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machine learningLast week we announced a new version of our AutoClassifier (you can read the announcement here). This release has many new features and capabilities, including the addition of machine learning into the AutoClassifier.  There is remarkable power in machine learning, and we’re excited to add this to our products.

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AnalyticsToday BA Insight announced a strategic and exclusive partnership with NGAGE Intelligence to develop a Next-Generation Analytics Platform. By the end of Q2, we expect to have a new platform available which will give our customers unparalleled insight into user interaction across multiple systems.  We're leveraging technology from both companies as well as the latest in business intelligence from Microsoft to bring a unique solution to market quickly.

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Tagged in: Legal Smart Analytics

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Predicting the futureIn my previous blog article, I set the stage for this year’s predictions by looking at my predictions for 2015 (the first year I made predictions) and 2016.  My track record definitely improved and I got 8 out of 10 predictions correct last year.  I also declared that I would make 2017’s predictions much more measurable.

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Predicting the futureIt’s that time again. It's become a bit of a tradition to lay out predictions for the coming year at the beginning of January.  For me, it's a relatively recent tradition I started in 2015.  My predictions focus around search, digital workplaces, and market dynamics involving Microsoft.  This year I started by recording a podcast, where I was interviewed about my 2017 predictions (you can listen to it here).

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SharePoint Intranet User AdoptionIn my 12 years working with over 150 enterprise SharePoint customers, I have heard a few common themes as to why SharePoint intranet projects fail. And, if your employees hate your intranet, then they won’t use it, no matter how much training you provide or how many user guides you prepare. At the end of the day, poor user adoption equals failed business opportunities and a failed project.

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SharePoint 2016 Just Got A Whole Lot Less UglyBack in March I did an analysis of “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of SharePoint 2016 (you can see our recorded webinar on this here).   This was just after the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of SharePoint 2016. I went through it in four areas: Infrastructure, User Experience, Compliance, and Hybrid.   There was a lot more Good than anything else, but there were definitely some Ugly points.   Here’s a summary slide from that Webinar...

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Success One of the things I get asked most often is “What Makes Good Enterprise Search”? Every enterprise is different, so there is not a universal solution, but there are things that are common across every successful Enterprise Search project I’ve encountered.

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SharePoint And Intelligent IntranetsThe Microsoft Ignite conference was a whirlwind - vastly broad in the range of content, and full of news.  One of my favorite areas is the Mobile and Intelligent Intranet introduced as a theme in the Future of SharePoint.   At Ignite, Mark Kashman and Adam Harmetz had a great session titled Discover what's new and what's coming to the SharePoint Mobile and Intelligent Intranet.  You can view it on the Microsoft Technical Community site here.

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Intranet -- Love it or hate it?Working at BA Insight I talk to customers and prospects every day about the challenges they face in providing an intranet experience that users really like. I pulled together some notable stats on intranet usage across multiple enterprises, as well as the characteristics of intranets that users either love or hate. Here they are in a new infographic:

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SharePoint And Intelligent IntranetsIntranets may seem like an old concept, but they're having a resurgence.  The number of intranet "renovation" projects is up, and many of these projects are "teardowns" looking to leapfrog into a much better employee experience by starting fresh.  There has been a rash of new products coming on the market touting "ready to use" intranets in the last year, most of which are frameworks from intranet consultants and integrators who know that the appetite for long, custom projects is gone.
What's going on?

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state of enterprise search

During my tenure at BA Insight, which is approaching three years, I have read lots of articles and research reports that illustrate the challenges that enterprises of all sizes are experiencing with users not being able to find and/or access critical information within their organizations. Information that is vital to these users effectively performing their jobs.

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