BIG Data, Collaboration and Search in SharePoint 2013

Search in SharePoint 2013 is going to be a key feature

WorkShares attended Comperio’s seminar ‘BIG Data, Collaboration and Search in SharePoint’ in London recently, with Microsoft and a host of others presenting around the general topic of enterprise search in SharePoint and the challenges today’s organisations are facing.

Comperio are respected as experts on search driven solutions and search enabled business models, who use Microsoft FAST search technologies.This makes them one of the growing organisations who have specialised in a particular area of the behemoth that is now SharePoint, or as we once called it a ‘business applications framework’ several years ago.SharePoint Search, Fast Search

Some interesting independent analyst thoughts also came from MSDM advisors regarding the past, present and future systems that have been put in place to handle the huge information generated and accumulated by businesses. Enterprise search isn’t going away as some would have you believe.

Why should you be interested in FAST technologies?

Well firstly FAST search at present is a enterprise class search technology, that can be used independently or as part of your SharePoint platform to greatly improve the value the information and importantly results that are presented to your users. With the right advice and guidance, the search experience can deliver measurable results and improve the way people interact with information from your internal (and or external) to your business. The search which comes with current versions of SharePoint is all too often left ‘as is’ out of the box. As a consequence it suffers from lack of forethought, management and ‘tweaking’ to deliver the information your users are seeking, often to the detriment overall in the value and adoption of the intranet or site on the whole, as they don’t feel it has sufficient value for them to come back.

For example, how often have you done a search in SharePoint intranet and it returns lots and lots of documents?…great…but what you really wanted was a ‘subject matter expert of a specific topic that isn’t necessarily going to be in a document, that you need to then go on to open, to find the author,  only to discover its out of date and they have left the organisation? Why not return a page where a range of information sourced from different parts of your other systems (think current HR,  CRM and SharePoint perhaps) and results are displayed along with presenting you with key subject matter experts and their contact details? Or why not just present people based information only, so you can interact with them directly, rather than trawling through dozens of documents?

Secondly and crucially as part of the next release of SharePoint (SharePoint 2013), Microsoft announced at the SPC12 conference (SPC12) that FAST search was being included within the SharePoint platform as standard, with no addition license costs. This is a significant improvement over the current capabilities provided by the generic SharePoint search, not to mention a big reduction in license costs.

Search is definitely going to be a key feature in a lot of the future SharePoint based intranet, extranet and public facing websites. For more advice and information about how to make the most of your SharePoint search investments, do get in touch to see if we can help you solve a particular business problem with our range of SharePoint subject matter experts.

By Andrew Walmsley

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