The Swiftype Blog / Category: Enterprise Search

A Major Trend in Workplace Productivity for Tech Companies

Over the past 5 years, there has been a proliferation of high-quality SaaS apps that have made our companies more collaborative and efficient. Apps like Dropbox, Box, Zendesk, Marketo, Salesforce, Asana, GitHub, Jira, Gusto and Trello have changed the way businesses operate – enabling our teams to be more agile and complete projects much faster.

Although these apps have helped our businesses in a big way, they have also created an explosion of data that is spread across many silos. This data fragmentation can cause many organizational issues including frustration within teams, duplication of work and overall inefficiency. In fact, Forrester Research says that employees now spend 30% of their time searching for information, answers, and insights to help them do their work. Fortunately, tech companies (like mine) are working to solve this data fragmentation issue and continue pushing our progress forward in the cloud.

So how are we addressing this issue at Swiftype? We’ve leveraged our expertise in search to build an AI-powered Enterprise Search solution that unifies your cloud data sources and enables you to search across all your apps from one place – helping you find what you need and get the most out of your valuable data. Here are 6 things that are changing about enterprise search, making it an ideal solution for your company’s data fragmentation woes.

1 – There will be much more widespread adoption

Historically, only very large companies deployed enterprise search solutions — partially because only large companies had fragmentation issues, but also because enterprise search solutions were so expensive that they were typically the only companies who could afford it. The recent proliferation of SaaS applications means that companies of all sizes are using more tools to get work done and creating content at an unprecedented pace.

Since companies of all sizes are struggling with data fragmentation, it will soon be common for high-growth start-ups and smaller firms to need a solution for content discovery. As the benefits of modern enterprise search become more known, companies will adopt enterprise search solutions to provide an immediate and lasting solution to their data fragmentation issues.

2 – The surface area of work has changed

The surface area of our daily work has changed — we now access information from desktop computers, web browsers, native mobile applications, and even voice-based interfaces like Amazon Echo and Siri. Search on a mobile phone acts differently from search on a desktop computer or from an interface-free device. Swiftype Enterprise Search is accessible from a web app, mobile app, desktop app and add-ins on platforms like Salesforce, Slack, Confluence, etc.

Swiftype Enterprise Search

3 – Much shorter time to value

Since a lot of your company’s data is already in the cloud, it makes sense for your enterprise search solution to live there too. As you might expect, cloud-based enterprise search solutions are much quicker to set up (less than 1 hour) than legacy solutions. This extremely low barrier to implementation means significantly less time and company resources are necessary to roll out a new enterprise search solution.

Over the next few years, you will see more companies implement enterprise search simply because they can realize a majority of the benefits within a day rather than 6 months.

4 – Shared and private content sources

With legacy enterprise search solutions, admin settings were rigid and could take weeks to change. Modern solutions enable companies to manage their search platform with a robust admin dashboard so they can quickly make changes and give their employees access to the relevant content sources for their role.

For example, your sales and engineering teams use different apps to get their work done (Salesforce vs. GitHub) although there is some crossover with apps like G Suite and Dropbox. Swiftype enables you to easily configure your settings so that every employee at your company can search only the content that is relevant to them.

Additionally, enterprise search solutions now enable individual employees to add content that is private and only relevant for them, like Gmail. Integrating shared and private content sources is one of the major upgrades to enterprise search as it moves to the cloud.

5 – Security and file permissions

Security is clearly a major concern with enterprise software and enterprise search is no exception – enterprise search providers must maintain state of the art security. Swiftype is SOC2 compliant and thousands of companies, including Fortune 500s, trust us with their data.

Additionally, modern enterprise search solutions automatically maintain the correct permissions for files so that employees using the solution will not be able to see results for files that they don’t have access to. Maintaining permissions for a data source indexed on an enterprise search solution is not trivial but utilizing technologies like OAuth actually make doing so much easier than in the past.

6 – AI-powered productivity

Finally, enterprise search solutions are taking full advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies. Similar to Google Search, enterprise search solutions recognize misspelled words and understand user intent – recommending search queries as you type. Modern enterprise search solutions return relevant results based on calendar events, emails, and user behavior.

By leveraging a company’s knowledge graph, enterprise search solutions can proactively surface relevant information while you’re working and even when you’re away from your desk. For example, Swiftype learns your work habits and sends you relevant files and information ahead of your meetings and presentations.

Swiftype Enterprise Search

Swiftype Enterprise Search makes it easy for employees to search across the various apps they use at work — G Suite, Office 365, Dropbox, Box, Slack, Jira, Github, Zendesk and others — from a single search box. Swiftype integrates seamlessly with your company’s current workflows and will boost productivity throughout your organization, from sales to engineering to customer support.

Here’s a quick video (1 min) on Swiftype Enterprise Search. Still think it’s too good to be true? Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself!

4 Ways AI is Impacting the Enterprise

Cheap computing power and storage have recently enabled decades of artificial intelligence (AI) research to be put into practice in various real-world applications. In order to learn, AI algorithms start with a basic structure and then are trained with datasets to create rules for how they should respond to data in the future. AI can unlock hidden insights in large datasets, recognize patterns in words and phrases, and draw on large amounts of information to answer questions. Here are four areas in which AI is impacting the enterprise: cybersecurity, human resources, large-scale document processing, and knowledge management.

Cybersecurity

What’s exciting about AI in the cybersecurity realm is that it enables defense systems to detect malicious attacks that have not been seen before. Hackers are constantly changing their tactics and becoming more sophisticated, so a cybersecurity system that can learn and adapt is definitely a major asset.

One specific way AI is being used in cybersecurity is for malware detection. AI algorithms are trained for this using millions of malicious and benign files. After being trained with a sufficient amount of data, the AI algorithms are then able to automatically identify incoming threats.

Source: MIT

To keep their AI training data up-to-date, companies are continually gathering new information from the web and other private sources to re-train their models. Last year, researchers from MIT and PatternEx announced that their AI platform can predict 85 percent of incoming attacks by continuously incorporating input from human security analysts. Given that the cost of cybercrime is expected to increase to $6 trillion by 2021, it’s paramount that cybersecurity companies continue innovating and improving the self-learning algorithms they use to combat hackers.

For more on AI and cybersecurity, read this article.

Some companies in the space: SparkCognition, Cylance, Darktrace, CrowdStrike, Illumio, Hexadite (acquired by Microsoft)Harvest AI (acquired by Amazon)

 

Human Resources Chatbots

Departments of human resources, especially at larger companies, are constantly fielding questions, onboarding new employees, and working to improve company culture. To reduce the amount of repetitive work they have to do, HR departments can train bots to automatically answer frequently asked questions in internal messaging apps like Slack. After introducing these bots, HR will have more time to work on higher touch problems and new projects.

Beyond just answering FAQs, HR bots can send reminders to employees to fill out forms and continue to follow up with them until they do so. It’s difficult to collect paperwork from large teams so having a bot do the heavy lifting is a big boost to the HR department. In addition to helping answer questions quickly, HR bots can also help onboard new employees by sequentially sending them the information they need to get started. Although HR chatbots may have trouble answering complicated or uncommon questions from employees, they will certainly help reduce tedious work and enable HR to take on new challenges.

For more on HR chatbots, read this article.

Some companies in the space: Talla, ubiHR

 

Large-scale document processing – Automating back office work

Paperwork-intensive industries, like healthcare and insurance, require tons of manual data entry to process their customers’ information. Advances in computer vision technology have made it possible for software to process files that are scanned into computers, even if the file contains handwritten text. Basically, the computer uses a technique called optical character recognition (OCR) to convert an image file into a machine-readable text file.

Source: Microsoft

After the file is converted into structured data, another AI system can review the content of the file and make decisions based on context. These decisions could range from determining where to upload the information in the file to fully processing insurance claims and applications.

For more on how AI can be used to automate the back office, read this article.

Some companies in this space: HyperScience, Captricity, AppZen

 

Knowledge Management through Enterprise Search

Cloud-based apps have enabled our companies to collaborate more efficiently and automate tedious business processes. But as we use more high-quality SaaS apps at work (the average company uses 26), we’re also creating more and more data silos.

Companies that use AI-powered enterprise search solutions are able to unify their fragmented data and boost productivity throughout their organization. Since enterprise search solutions have a comprehensive view of all the data in a company, they are able to make connections between siloed data sources and build a knowledge graph. This knowledge graph improves search results and enables you to search by employee and find all of their recent work.

Additionally, enterprise search platforms that leverage AI are able to proactively surface relevant information while you’re working and even when you’re away from your desk. For example, enterprise search solutions will actually process that you have an upcoming meeting, learn some context around the meeting, and send you the documents you need to prepare.

 

Deploy AI-powered productivity at your company with Swiftype Enterprise Search

For more on how enterprise search can help your company, visit the Swiftype website or read this blog post from our CTO highlighting the benefits of deploying enterprise search. If you’re ready to try enterprise search, you can sign up for a free trial here.

Swiftype Enterprise Search Expands Connector Platform to Include Evernote

Evernote is a valuable tool that helps keep employee productivity on track. People use Evernote for a variety of reasons, such as:

•    taking notes on a meeting, research or even lunchtime epiphanies
•    capturing audio and video from meetings and presentations
•    writing documents – articles, notes, etc. with colleagues
•    saving business cards digitally
•    and much more!

Most individuals and teams choose Evernote because of its dynamic content storage ability. Collecting meeting notes in any format – text, handwritten, video, and audio form – then being able to access them from any device ensures that ideas or knowledge are never lost.  However, if you have a lot of notebooks set up, it can get confusing to find exactly which note is in which notebook, as you can’t search across notebooks.

For the 200 million people who use Evernote to keep track of their daily work, with carefully crafted notebooks, collections of web clippings, or creating a digital version of the popular bullet journal, Evernote search just got a whole lot better.  

Swiftype Enterprise Search Meets You Where You Work
At Swiftype, our employees use Evernote quite a bit to keep track of ideas and notes. Given the incredible amount of content created and stored in Evernote, it was an obvious choice to expand and include the Evernote connector on our Enterprise Search platform. The Evernote connector for Swiftype Enterprise Search makes it seamless to find content across multiple cloud applications at once. By connecting Evernote to Swiftype, users can access project notes, ideas, drafts and more from a single search experience, regardless of the notebook it lives in.

The connector makes Evernote content visible and accessible from any supported interface, including our browser extension, mobile app, and macOS app. Swiftype’s commitment to meeting people where they work continues with our Evernote connector, allowing users to search across even more data sources without having to leave the application they’re already working in.

What You Can Expect from Swiftype for Evernote:

  • All collected ideas in one place. Part of Evernote’s convenience is in that individuals and teams can collect their thoughts and ideas in Evernote no matter where they are or which device they are using. But they also use a plethora of other apps to get their daily work done, like Dropbox for file storage, Salesforce for managing customer relationships, Confluence for documentation, and many more. Swiftype’s integrated Enterprise Search Solution helps employees access the Evernote ideas they have stored from any of the applications they work in, ensuring that no knowledge is ever lost.
  • Improved relevance to find Evernote content. While Evernote already lets users search over their notebooks, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good unless they remember exactly which notebook each idea is stored in. Integrating Evernote with Swiftype lets users enter a query into a single search box and find content from any Evernote notebooks, alongside content in any other connected cloud apps.
  • Global collaboration across shared notes and notebooks. Team members using the Evernote connector automatically gain access to any notes that have been shared with them. Swiftype Enterprise Search adopts native permissions from Evernote to give users access to only the content they should be able to see. 

Get Started!
We’re excited to welcome Evernote ‘to the family’ of our Enterprise Search connectors. It’s simple to set up. With just a few clicks, your entire library of cloud content is accessible right alongside your Evernote workflow. Visit us to learn more and sign up for a free trial.

From CTO to CTO: Why your company needs enterprise search

In my last post about how AI-Powered Enterprise Search can make your company more productive, I covered some of the features of our cloud-based enterprise search solution and their implications for companies of all sizes. In this post, I will focus on some important trends in B2B/enterprise software as well as a few technology-related problems that businesses are facing today. As part of my analysis, I will again reference my talk at the Silicon Valley Enterprise Search and Analytics Meetup. After we walk through the following problems and trends, you’ll have a better understanding of enterprise search and how it can benefit your company.

1 – Proliferation of high-quality cloud-based apps

Over the past five years, there has been a proliferation of high-quality SaaS apps and productivity tools. Because many of these tools solved real business pain points and were relatively cheap, they received widespread adoption. These apps have greatly improved productivity and collaboration, but have also introduced a data fragmentation problem that is pushing back on that progress—causing frustration within teams, duplication of work, and overall inefficiency.

In my talk I addressed this growing problem:

“So, what we’re seeing is a huge spread of specialized cloud-based data sources where you have customer data, productivity data and sources that are individualized to users.”

It’s likely that your company has been adversely affected by siloed data sources in the cloud. And since, according to Okta, about 50% of apps used by your company are not issued by IT, the fragmentation that you can see at an organizational level is only part of the problem. Fortunately, enterprise search enables you to directly address your organization’s data fragmentation problem by unifying your cloud data sources (both company-wide and private), so you can search across all your files from a single platform.

2 – The problem of data fragmentation amplifies across a company

When one employee (Employee A) can’t find the information they need to get their work done, this discovery problem will actually not just affect Employee A’s productivity. Employee A’s logical next course of action is to seek help from another coworker (Employee B). If Employee B can’t find the file, then they will go ask another coworker for help (Employee C). So, as you can see, data fragmentation has this amplifying effect across your company. Here are some additional thoughts:

“Just to kind of give you an idea of some of the more pathological cases that we run across, there’s the obvious inefficiency of not being able to find a particular thing that you’re looking for. So maybe you go looking for a particular document, say it’s a contract for a customer. You look for it in Salesforce, but it’s not attached to their account or their opportunity. Then you say, “Okay, well, it’s probably in Box.” And you go look in Box, then you go look in Dropbox, and it’s not in the usual folders that you go to there.

This is kind of the point, to me, that makes the problem really amplify. And it’s when you go start pinging coworkers. Because it’s one thing for the inefficiency to hit one individual person, but it gets really bad when you start asking other people. Because I know the folks in our company, if I go ask them something, they’re probably like, “I think I know where that is.” And then lo and behold, they probably go repeat all these steps that I just did. They’re thinking, “I know where that is, I’m going to go search in Salesforce, and if it’s not there I’m going to go search in Dropbox.” And really start amplifying this issue across the company.”

3 – The hidden costs of poor internal search add up over time

According to Forrester Research, employees spend 30% of their time searching for information, answers and insights to help them do their work. If your company has 100 employees, your cost of searching each year is 62,400 hours which equates to $2,400,000 if you’re paying your employees an average of $80k.

“And I think, it’s hard to conceptualize, because it’s 30 seconds or a minute here or there. But over the course of a week or a year, when you look at a percentage of, say, an employee’s salary, and you look at that across an entire organization, it’s very substantial. And so it’s something that has become a very, very important problem for us to solve.”

Implementing a cloud-based enterprise search solution is almost a no-brainer because it’s much cheaper than a legacy solution and you can start alleviating your internal search problem immediately. Depending on the size of your company, enterprise search will pay for itself, literally 100+ times over.

4 – Take advantage of AI-powered productivity

AI has lots of potential use cases for the enterprise – from HR chatbots (Talla) to cybersecurity solutions (SparkCognition, Cylance) to document processing (HyperScience). Similarly, there’s opportunity to apply AI in the realm of enterprise search. Swiftype Enterprise Search learns from user behavior and returns results based on calendar events and email conversations.

Additionally, Swiftype proactively surfaces relevant information while you’re working and when you’re away from your desk. For example, say you have a meeting coming up soon. Swiftype will actually process that you have an upcoming meeting, learn some context around the meeting and send you the documents you need to prepare.

“So we’re taking what’s on your calendar, what you’ve been browsing, what other queries you have you done recently, and using that as additional context to the query.  This lets our algorithms better understand what is actually relevant to your search.”

5 – Implementation and security concerns

One of the most significant changes that the cloud has brought about for enterprise software is the amount of time it takes to implement new solutions. Because Swiftype Enterprise Search is cloud-based and includes a pre-built connector framework for many of the apps you already use, you can actually begin implementation in a matter of minutes.

As for security, Swiftype is SOC2 compliant and thousands of companies, including many Fortune 500s, trust us with their data. Additionally, when you connect your data sources to Swiftype, we maintain the correct permissions so that your employees will not see files they don’t have access to in their Swiftype search experience.

“We think that by focusing on cloud sources, and having purposeful connectors for those cloud sources, we can have a very, very fast time to value. So we do get people set up initially, really within a matter of minutes.

And what I mean by that is, essentially people can sign up for Swiftype, jump into the application, start connecting their sources. And we’ll talk a little about how that works. But really, we do lean on the fact that we are integrating with cloud sources. So a lot of the things that exist today, and not only exist today but are leaned on really heavily, like OAuth for authorization flows, is how we build our product. And we built it from that standpoint from the beginning.”

See how Swiftype can help your company

Want to learn more about Swiftype Enterprise Search? Visit our website for more information and sign up for a free trial.

Swiftype Podcast: Our CTO shares his thoughts on Google sunsetting their Site Search and Search Appliance Products

We’re thrilled to present our new Swiftype Podcast! The Swiftype Podcast features informative content encompassing the latest in Site Search and Enterprise Search technology and their applications for your business. Stay tuned for upcoming episodes, and we hope you enjoy.

Today, our host Josue Vital is joined by our co-founder and CTO, Quin Hoxie, to discuss the sunsetting of both Google Site Search (GSS) and Google Search Appliance (GSA). Quin, a veteran in the search industry, shares his thoughts on the pros and cons of GSS and GSA and some alternatives for companies looking to replace Google’s products.

Here are some key takeaways from this podcast episode:

Google Site Search

  • With Google search solutions, you don’t have the ability to tune search relevance
  • Previous GSS users were using it because Google Custom Search was not a viable solution, largely because Custom Search is supported by ads
  • Switching to Swiftype Site Search from GSS is seamless and doing so will give you more control over your website’s search functionality

Google Search Appliance

  • Replacing GSA with your own solution will be challenging and require lots of engineering resources
  • Swiftype Enterprise Search is a cloud-based solution that has a pre-built connector framework for apps like G Suite, Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Salesforce and GitHub that makes migrating from GSA quick and secure

From CTO to CTO: How AI Powered Enterprise Search makes your company more productive

How AI Powered Enterprise Search makes your company more productive

AI and cloud-based technologies are changing the face of the modern enterprise, enabling companies to collaborate more effectively and take on new initiatives that were previously not possible. At Swiftype, we’ve taken our learnings from pioneering hosted site search and used that expertise to build an AI-Powered Enterprise Search solution.

Over the past few months, we’ve generated quite a bit of interest in our next generation enterprise search solution, particularly because it features powerful tech and delivers exceptional ROI. Recently, I spoke at the Silicon Valley Enterprise Search and Analytics Meetup about the many benefits of implementing cloud-based enterprise search within an organization. Here are 7 key takeaways from my talk.

1 – Single point of access for data in your apps, whether it’s in a shared or individual source

“You have customer data [in Salesforce], you have productivity data [in G Drive, Jira and Box], and then you have apps like Evernote, that are individual to a user but still very relevant to their workday. And honestly, if their enterprise search solution is missing [their individual content], then it’s a little bit of a blind spot for them. They may go searching for something that they’re not sure was last saved in Google Drive, Dropbox or in Evernote.  A single point of access to that data is crucial for an organization and an employee.”

2 – Cutting down on duplication of work to improve employee satisfaction

“I would say, of all the different kinds of issues that we solve, probably the most disheartening one is when someone goes out and creates some masterpiece of work. They’re working on a project, maybe it’s a document, they spend days crafting it, and then they go turn it in to their boss, and their boss says, “Oh, we already have this. So-and-so did this a month ago. Did you not find that?””

3 – Enterprise search that proactively surfaces relevant files and information while you work

“And the passive aspect of this is one of the most interesting things that we’ve seen with the product. [They’re] probably some of the best anecdotes that I’ve heard from our customers. My favorite one is a customer upsell story.  A  customer had gone over their limits on a current plan and their sales rep was planning to talk to the customer about an upsell.  The sales rep went into the customer’s Account record in Salesforce to find their email address and started typing up an email in their … They were using, I think, the Google apps and Gmail web client. This pops out and shows them a recent support ticket from that day, where that customer had written in about some issue they were having.”

“So they stopped what they were doing, went and talked to the support team, made sure that that issue got resolved, before they sent an email trying to charge them more money. To me, stories like that are pretty amazing, because again, it’s entirely passive. That interaction wouldn’t have happened. They would have sent the email before the issue was resolved.”

4 – Leverage your enterprise knowledge graph and make useful connections between your siloed data sources

“It’s based on what we call our knowledge graph, which I think is a concept that people are [getting] increasingly familiar with. But essentially what we do is, as we are ingesting content from all these different sources that companies are connecting to, we are analyzing it for different entities that exist in them. And what we do is essentially build up a graph of all the entities and relationships within your organization. And it’s become … Again, one of the most interesting things we have in terms of the view of this data, there aren’t many systems out there, aside from enterprise search, that have such a comprehensive view of all the data created in an organization.”

“And it’s great because some of it’s highly structured, so you have a Salesforce account, [which is] highly structured data. But you also have things like PDFs in Dropbox, and that’s unstructured data. What we’ve done is we have this data pipeline that analyzes all this text, and builds the knowledge graph. It exists in many places, so we canonicalize, we clean, and we store data on a knowledge graph that is unique to your organization.”

5 – More productive meetings through technology: Push notifications before meetings

“The mobile app is frequently used for push notifications but it’s also a full blown search interface. Swiftype will look at your calendar and send you content that’s relevant to upcoming meetings and presentations. This popular feature among our customers is also one that I’ve gotten a lot of value from. I get a notification and I know that I don’t have to go searching for what I need, it’s just going to be pushed to me proactively.”

6 – Tracking progress and pushing projects forward: Searching by a colleague’s name

“Where other than a system like enterprise search do you have a comprehensive view of what someone is doing, like all the work they’ve created? In a lot of cases, and again I’m sure this is something that a lot of you can emphasize with, I’ll be working on something and I’ll be thinking Jason shared a file with me and I remember roughly what it is about and I’ve no idea what he named it and I have no idea where he put it, but I know that I worked on it with Jason. That’s how a lot of people think about this stuff, it’s more about collaboration than what a file is named or where it is stored. So we find a lot of these queries and a lot of the browsing centered around a person.”

7 – A platform for productivity: Quickly access the files and information you need

“Something we didn’t see out of the gate, but it came to us pretty quickly through customer feedback, is that people didn’t necessarily want to click a result and jump to some external system. I had assumed that they were trying to jump to wherever the actual destination was, a file, ticket, whatever it was they were trying to get to.”

“What we found was that a lot of people actually wanted information at a glance. There was information that they could get that didn’t require them going deep into whatever that external system was to get it. And it’s not every case, but it was actually a pretty decent percentage of cases. For us, and for the customer, it’s actually a much better experience if we can serve them more immediately within our interface.”

“In the interface you can click a document. You can get a full version of the document, look through it, and get all this information at a glance. We do a lot of metadata extraction and organization of that metadata, based on what your query is. And so we spent a lot of design and engineering time on this interface to try and make it useful to you in whatever your context is. And so again, that may mean not even jumping into these external systems, because we got a lot of questions where they were like, “Oh, but all I need is this piece of information. Why are you going to make me go to Salesforce and then log in and then go to that page? I just need this little piece of information.” So we’ve invested in making as much information available at a glance as we can.”

See how Swiftype can help your company

Want to learn more about Swiftype Enterprise Search? Visit our website for more information and get started with a free trial.

Salesforce Selects Swiftype as a Launch Partner for Federated Search

Swiftype has been chosen by Salesforce as a launch partner for its Summer 2017 Federated Search release. Swiftype’s proven Enterprise Search platform provides Salesforce users the ability to find and access content stored outside of Salesforce from within Salesforce Classic, Salesforce Console, or Lightning Experience. Regardless of where content lives, users can search for documents in Dropbox and Google Drive, content living in Confluence spaces, Jira tickets, Slack and Gmail conversations, and many other files critical to their work, without ever leaving Salesforce.

Swiftype’s extensive connector framework includes Box, Sharepoint, Slack, Google G Suite, Jira, Confluence, Evernote, Dropbox and more. For a full list, view here.  

Companies and their employees benefit greatly from the extension of Swiftype’s best-in-class artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) technologies into Salesforce Federated Search. These technologies help identify a user’s true intent for every search, and apply refinements to filter content from external sources, for a precise and desired result output.  

With Swiftype’s search engine powering Salesforce Federated Search, employees are able to search once and see results across all their external data sources in the same Salesforce results page. Swiftype’s backend technology better understands queries and prioritizes content sources based on the search queries themselves, historical search behaviors, and even the individual’s role and most-used sources. For example, support reps work on cases and often reference articles or documentation stored in apps like Confluence or Sharepoint, so, as they search, the system learns to prioritize results from those applications. Likewise, Swiftype’s algorithms learn and understand that sales reps work most in accounts and opportunities and often need to locate contracts or collateral — so it surfaces data stored in Dropbox, Google G Suite or Box. Allowing search to crawl outside data sources and populate results within a Salesforce user’s existing workflow is paramount to maximizing employee productivity and efficiency.

GETTING STARTED

Salesforce users can get started with Salesforce Federated Search by contacting Swiftype here or by signing up for a free 14-day trial.  More details on implementation can be found on the Salesforce blog here.

HOW IT WORKS

Users can launch Swiftype Enterprise Search several different ways from within Salesforce:

1) Directly from the search bar (see Figure 1)
2) From an embedded Swiftype Search tab (see Figure 2)
3) By using an installed Swiftype browser extension (see Figure 3)

Figure 1 (search bars queries will bring you to a results page like this)

 

Figure 2 (search within a designated Swiftype tab in your Salesforce instance)

 

Figure 3 (Swiftype’s browser extension populates results without disrupting your workflow)

 

How Swiftype Uses Swiftype: Part 3 – Office Management

I’m Lauren, the Office Manager here at Swiftype. I love our Enterprise Search product because it’s useful for so many reasons. I use it consistently throughout my day to find information.

You’d be surprised at how quickly this office goes through food and coffee (…and beer). Though if you follow us on Instagram, maybe you wouldn’t find it so surprising. Everyone has different tastes and most people are pretty vocal about their preferences. We don’t have a formal order request system—people usually just Slack or email me their suggestions and comments. And believe me, they have a lot of opinions. The Enterprise Search web app allows me to quickly reference the requests I’ve received throughout the week before I place large orders for the office, without having to scroll through channels and individual messages.

We recently tapped our kegerator and as an office rule, the person who finishes it ceremoniously picks the next beer to be ordered. But this time around, the selection ended up being a pretty unpopular option (Tecate). The office was about to riot, so I created a poll to let the people decide. After a few hours, and what I’m sure was some voter intimidation, everyone finally agreed on a new option: Racer 5.

When I placed the order, I had to be absolutely certain that Racer 5 was the final winner over Tecate, so I just searched for “Racer 5” in my Enterprise Search web app and all of our Slack and Gmail conversations came up instantly. I was even able to see the poll I created in Slack without having to hunt through our company-wide general channel to find it. Racer 5 beat Tecate 11-9. We now have a keg full of Racer 5 for the win!

On a less alcoholic note, we also get lunch catered every Monday through Thursday by Zesty, and I always let people know what’s on the menu in advance. I put each week’s options into a spreadsheet and a surprising number of people access it daily to stay up-to-date. (I’m 90% sure the most-searched term on our Enterprise Search macOS app internally is actually “Zesty”.)

There are quite a few other processes I’m responsible for in the office, but one of the most important, is onboarding our new employees. We’re constantly looking for new talent, and have been fortunate to find some great people and continue to grow at a steady rate. As a result, I’ve had several new employees to onboard since I joined the team. Because we deal with some very sensitive and secure information, our onboarding procedures also have to follow the requirements outlined by our Security Officer. Our Enterprise Search product helps me uncomplicate this process a lot. We have a shared Confluence document outlining our onboarding processes, but they refer to a number of Jira tickets we have set up, as well as Google Docs, Dropbox files, Slack channels, and more. Not all of the docs are included in the Confluence post, so without Enterprise Search I would still have to do a fair amount of searching through other applications to find the right files. Fortunately the Browser Extension shows me all related onboarding content without me having to hunt through each of our apps individually.

The process looks something like this:

  1. Email our Security Officer to give him a heads up that we’re adding someone new to our database.
  2. Add the new person to our HR database sheet in Google Docs.
  3. Create a new Jira ticket for the new user. Usually I can do this from a template we already have, which is already populated in the Swiftype Browser Extension, so all I have to do is click on the result to go directly to the Jira ticket template.
  4. Conduct a background check—these are housed in a repository that very few people actually have access to. But Enterprise Search uses my credentials and knows exactly which folders I can access and which I can’t so all the background check documents are populated in my Browser Extension.
  5. Set up corporate accounts for the new employee—like Gmail and Slack. Once I set them up in our Google Accounts Directory, Enterprise Search can use that information to populate their contact details, and read them as a user in our organization instead of a lead.
  6. Print out the employee handbook for them. This lives in Dropbox, at the end of a tree of folders. Instead of having to go into Dropbox and click through every single folder, I can run a quick search for “employee handbook” in the MacOS app and find it instantly.

Once all of this is complete, I can hand off the onboarding process to Finance, Tech Ops, and the new employee’s hiring manager, knowing they have everything they need for a smooth first day.

My responsibilities at Swiftype are diverse, span multiple teams, and often need to be completed as quickly as possible. Using Swiftype Enterprise Search everyday helps me stay on top of all of my to-dos by giving me immediate access to all the information and tools I need to get the job done. Instead of wasting time searching for the right documents in dozens of different apps, I can find everything instantly!

Try it for yourself – you can sign up for a free trial here!

Set Your Web Developers Free with Better Enterprise Search

David Walsh is a Senior Software Engineer and evangelist for Mozilla. He also runs a wildly popular eponymous blog for web developers, where he writes about topics ranging from how to create GitHub pull requests to reviews of web hosting services. In a recent post, David detailed his evaluation and implementation of a third-party website search alternative, which you can read here. During his evaluation, however, David discovered the vendor’s enterprise search solution and shared his thoughts.

The Cloud Means (Tricky) Business

The explosion of cloud-based apps and storage solutions is nothing new. Everyone, from retailers to media companies and governments to healthcare organizations, have made the move to the cloud. It’s become so prevalent that it’s no longer a trend, it’s just how things are now done.

However, what the cloud has done, which David so eloquently stated in his quote above, is make it incredibly easy to save content without ever thinking about it’s actual location.

Yeah, it gets tricky fast. In fact, ZDNet wrote that “the average medium- to large-sized business is actually using between 300 and 400 cloud apps.” That’s incredible, and incredibly daunting if you’re trying to find something — or if you’re a developer.

Where did I see that thing about that stuff?

Enterprise search is a fairly recent need, and the prevalence of cloud-based apps makes it even more of a strategic corporate imperative. Enterprise developers are ultimately on the hook, since search is the key to helping every employee work smarter and faster.

In David’s post, he points the finger at the proliferation of these specialized web services for making enterprise search such a bear. Just your marketing team alone might be using Slack, Dropbox, Marketo, Salesforce, and Zendesk. And people today are more likely to just assume search will help them find what they’re seeking. Alexa, where’s the sales development plan for western Pennsylvania?

If only it were that easy!

So, yes, as you’re now considering all the apps your company uses (and that you’re aware of!), you’re likely echoing David’s words: “Where the hell do we find anything?”

Make Search Your Enterprise Productivity Accelerator

As with most technical tasks, implementing enterprise search likely falls to departmental teams initially. Sales Operations or Marketing Operations might take the lead for their teams, but then IT should ultimately get involved. It is enterprise search, after all. And, it is a shortcut to helping employees work faster and smarter.

For developers, working faster and smarter means removing the burden of enterprise search foundational tasks, like API configurations. That’s where a good enterprise search solution saves huge amounts of time and budget compared with trying to develop a search solution on your own.

Packaged enterprise search solutions let you choose from dozens of prebuilt connectors to speed and simplify a comprehensive enterprise search. If a pre-built connector isn’t available, APIs should enable you to create a secure and unique endpoint in just a few clicks. It should be that easy. Enterprise search vendors put their R&D dollars and efforts into making search easier to implement, configure, and administer, and you reap the rewards!

As you look for a vendor, there are two key productivity outcomes of a good enterprise search solution. Your first goal is to help employees quickly find what they need, which increases productivity. Your second goal is giving developers get more control and more productivity for themselves by choosing a search that’s both easier to configure and provides better results for employees.

Solve for Search, then Move On

IT and operations developers struggle to appease the demands of a wide range of internal customers, from sales, service, content, and marketing teams trying to drive revenue and please customers to executives, finance, auditors, and others trying to run the business. But the nirvana of enterprise search hits smack into the reality of integrating dozens and dozens of local and cloud repositories.

While you can build your own custom enterprise search, it’s never going to be as good as a commercial search solution designed to work out-of-the-box with hundreds of existing cloud and SaaS solutions.

“Instead of rolling your own search,” as David put it in his blog post, take a look at some of the available alternatives. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find, and you might be shocked that the best solution for you doesn’t come from one of the giants who are synonymous with “search.”

Want to learn more about Swiftype Enterprise Search? Watch this video for a quick overview or connect with our team if you’d like to chat live.

The Heat is On for Software Developers: Enterprise Search Can Help

Most of us can relate to something coder Sean Hickey posted to his Medium account a few years back. Here’s the gist of it: In Year One, they stick to a very tight and succinct coding style. As the years progress, most coders take things to higher and higher levels, writing longer and more detailed strings of code. Eventually, they become so experienced and efficient that by Year Ten, they’re back to square one, writing short, sweet programs that work like more complex ones.  

But one of his commenters made me laugh out loud, with this response: “The Twentieth Year: “Hey John, can you write me that Hello World program? I need it by tomorrow.”’

Yup, we’ve all been there. The pace of everything in business has increased over the past few decades, and software developers and engineers are not immune to its effects. How often have you heard, “I need it yesterday!”

This Ain’t Your Grandad’s IT Department: Supply and Demand Rules

Higher consumer demand has led to an evolution in all aspects of business. For the modern software developer this means shorter project cycles, improved software tools, a higher focus on team collaboration, and the more prolific use of open source software. And while software development tools have improved, there are now also a lot more of them, and each one does something different.

In fact, the number and types of apps being built today is more than has been built in the last 40 years. Today, there’s an open source library for pretty much everything—and if you can’t find what you need, you create it.

Collaboration Is A Double-Edged Sword: Increased Efficiency AND Increased Data

Project timelines have sped up and collaboration has increased. Whereas most coding projects were solo endeavors 20-25 years ago, today most enterprises function in a highly collaborative manner. Projects filter through many departments and cycles are measured in minutes and hours rather than days and weeks.

Creating “one size fits all” applications from scratch is no longer optimal due to the fact that they can be complex, drawn out, poorly designed, and take years to complete. Instead, developers now look to open-source libraries to create applications that can easily integrate with other solutions, including third-party SaaS services. And while APIs make it simpler to complete these integrations, that also means the numbers of APIs to keep track of and systems to monitor have grown exponentially.

The best part of this “ease of integration” is that it has opened up new sharing capacity: Whereas systems at one time were focused on a centralized database (such as with desktop software), today aggregating to the cloud is the norm, and software is being designed to be easily shared and widely distributed, mostly due to increased demand from consumers and mobile employees.

Needless to say, it can be difficult to keep track of all the content created on a daily basis, as well as manage all the different duties of a software engineer all at once. And that’s where internal search helps increase productivity.

How Cloud-Based, Internal Search Helps Keep Software Developers On Track

As you might imagine, our developers use enterprise search tools frequently. Using our own  Enterprise Search solution internally even allows our developers to address customer service issues in record time, closing some tickets in seconds by quickly cross-referencing with other clients’ information requests via search—surely that’s one for the record books! With tickets in Jira, solutions in Github, and the conversation about it all in Slack, giving developers one tool to find everything can save them a ton of time.

Enterprise search lets developers quickly inspect why certain changes are being made, tracks important and potentially disparate data, and provides the context necessary to rapidly understand a new project. No more wasting time on email streams or knocking on office doors for explanations.

Working with design teams (and their MANY changes) is easier with enterprise search as well. A frequent complaint we hear from developers is that they often don’t know why they are building something or what the end goal is. With all the information about a project easily searchable—from the first creative brief to the final code—no one is left in the dark. Using simple but powerful search queries means hours aren’t wasted wading through Dropbox or Slack. Instead, when a request from marketing comes in, developers can source all the digital assets spread over whichever apps are in use on that project.

The heat is definitely on for software developers, and it’s only getting hotter. If you’d like to explore how Swiftype Enterprise Search could help take the pressure off your team, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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