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Gone are the days where customers could be supported by posting a phone number and email address, and then letting support representatives drive resolution directly. Customer portals are an expected and necessary tool in the war chest of effective support organizations. The effectiveness of these portals can go a long way in increasing representative efficiency and reducing the overall volume of issues. 

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Search out of the box

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft offered a significant increase in Search functionality that might suggest that it is the ultimate Enterprise Search solution. Companies like to think about SharePoint 2013 Search as a “working out of the box” solution, rather than a platform.

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AIIM Survey

The AIIM Industry Watch Survey titled, “Connecting and Optimizing SharePoint – Important Strategy Choices” was recently released. It surveyed 422 AIIM members about their adoption of SharePoint. The stats and key findings reported by AIIM correlate with our research. There is a need and want within organizations to enhance SharePoint further to become a true search-driven intranet portal.

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In the final part of this series, I'll introduce and discuss the User Experience pillar. This is the easiest of the four pillars for everyone to understand because it relates to the topics involving the search user interface (UI). The user interface is what your users interact with, so it's really important that it provides a great experience from a usability and visual perspective.

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Due to the popularity of Google in the consumer world, many bring that as the analogy of what they are looking for in the enterprise. Beyond the more than 3,000 engineers that Google has working on their Search algorithms, ranking, and relevancy of results, there are many other ways that you simply cannot compare Google to your internal Intranet search. 

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It seems that hybrid is everywhere these days. As I write this, SPTechCon is happening in Austin http://www.sptechcon.com. Arpan Shah of Microsoft just did a keynote in which he emphasized successful hybrid scenarios in which people are unaware where documents or data are being stored. Hybrid was featured in sessions by my friends Christina Wheeler, Christian Buckley, Ben Curry, and Jason Himmelstein. Hybrid was also a theme in the "SharePoint at the Crossroads" panel which included BA Insight's own Joel Oleson, along with other famous SharePoint experts.

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According to a recent IDC survey, unstructured content such as email, videos, and documents accounts for 90% of all digital information. Gaining value from this content should be an organizational goal, but few companies are actually obtaining the value that they should from this content – which is just sitting there waiting to be delivered.

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It is estimated that only 35% of customers are running SharePoint 2013. A majority are still running SharePoint 2010, and others are still running even earlier versions of SharePoint (Forrester Research 2014 Global Usage Survey).

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In the first part of my blog on the Information Enrichment pillar, I discussed how autoclassification can be a power tool in providing your users a more meaningful search experience by tagging content with the right set of terms to drive findability and relevancy. In this follow up blog, I'll discuss metadata expansion, which is another form of information enrichment.

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This is the traditional time of year for us 'experts' to look ahead and make predictions, as well as look back on whether last year’s predictions were on track or not. I'm new to this habit, so I can't report on whether my crystal ball has been working or not….but no time to start like the present. 

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When I talk to SharePoint Administrators about metadata, a typical use case is that of a user uploading a document to a library.  As part of the upload process, the user is asked to populate several fields which classify the document with attributes like Department, Product, Security Level, and the like. 

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Let’s face it, the vast majority of organizations have poor metadata. Don’t worry, you’re not to blame. Creating metadata is challenging and cumbersome. However, without metadata chances are content is not being found within your organization, resulting in wasted time, which equates to decreased productivity.

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Enterprise search doesn't always have the best reputation inside many organizations. Often, this is due to several factors:

  • The content that people are looking for is located in some repository or application that is not accessible by the corporate search engine
  • The most timely and relevant information is not in the first set of results that come back from the search engine
  • Related documents are not automatically linked together for easy access and reference
  • Key details about the content of the results documents are not surfaced to help identify what is important
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A recent AIIM Survey sponsored by BA Insight titled, “SEARCH AND DISCOVERY – EXPLOITING KNOWLEDGE, MINIMIZING RISK” exemplifies the importance of enterprise search and points out where many of the gaps are.  As an example, 71% of organizations polled say that search is vital or essential to their business, yet only 18% have cross repository search capabilities.

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Graph-based search has emerged as a major break-through in search technology. It goes beyond simple keyword matching to take into account entities and relationships between entities for increased relevancy. Although graph search in SharePoint today is reserved to Office 365 and Delve, you achieve similar results with SharePoint on-premise under the right circumstances. This blog post will walk you through identifying these circumstances and offer you techniques to run graph-like searches with SharePoint 2013.

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