The Swiftype Blog

Secret Search Confessions:
From an Ex-GSS User

NOTE: This has been published anonymously to protect the author’s identity.

First and foremost, I’m an engineer. I want to spend my time developing products and working on relevant projects. I might also be tasked with developing our website, which is fine, but literally the last thing I want to do is spin my wheels building or configuring custom website search. That seems pretty obvious. Totally agree that site search needs to work and work well, but it shouldn’t be a painful time-suck. I have better things to do.

Let’s say I did build it from scratch—the worst part by far would be the constant misconception that custom search is something that can be modified and optimized in a few minutes, (ahem, looking at you, Marketing.) This is a huge reason why I’ve personally avoided going custom. With the number of requests and the drain on back-end resources, it just doesn’t make sense for our team.

Historically, I’ve leaned on Google Site Search to fill that search gap. It’s been a long 11 years, and for much of that time I figured there wasn’t anything better out there. Honestly, I never even looked around that much. I was content. It met my needs. But lately, Google’s made some changes. Little changes. A lot of self-serving, little changes. And over time, those little changes have added up to a whole lot of frustration… and annoyance… and irritation. So, I’m pretty sure I’m done.

Honestly, one of the final nails in the coffin is that now that Google has made plans to actually kill off Site Search, their replacement, Google Custom Search Engine (CSE),  is being dangled out there as a “safety net” of sorts. A fall-back plan that just doesn’t seem to offer much more that what it’s replacing. In fact, it offers less. Yes, that’s right. Less. (Are you kidding me? What a joke.)

I want relevant results

Is it so much to ask that a site search tool be modern? One that’s built on a premise of helping my visitors search my site, not on serving ads or generating revenue for another company?

Google, like any company, is in the business of making (a lot of) money. And that’s great—When I want to find the highest-rated down pillow for my bed, the best day hike in Yosemite, or a lip-synced cat video, sure, I search Google. For every search, they give me uber-relevant advertisements from companies who pay them, (Companies who pay THEM.) They also happen to suck me in with convenient, free services (email, photo storage, access to a billion videos, etc.).

That’s all well and good for my personal interests and time, but at work, where my decisions impact the growth of my company and inevitably the future of my career (and my salary), I’m less interested in “free” and more interested in flexibility, control, and results.

I want my own branding

It’s completely insane that Google Custom Search Engine is going to allow ads from other companies to appear in search results on my website. Seriously, WTF? When visitors search on my website, I don’t want them to be bombarded by results from ANOTHER website, especially from any of our competitors. Yes, I know, that’s how Google makes money, and that’s what pays the bills for the cat videos I might be watching at my desk, but there’s no way that’s going to fly for our website.

On top of all that, it hilariously seems like Google completely forgot about the fact that search is, in fact, a tool. The ultimate goal is to control how to display/rank/promote the best content for visitors, right? This often puts Marketing and I at odds because that content changes rapidly and updates are requested frequently. Whether it’s ordering certain results by one attribute or promoting a specific piece of content for a particular search term, I need the flexibility to make these changes on the fly. I should be able to run our website the way I see fit, not the way Google does.

Without question, search should also fit in with the rest of our company’s brand and website design. A lot is invested in the overall branding, colors, logos, and web templates we use, so why would I want to slap a big Google logo on my search? Because I want more flack from Marketing? No. No one wants different formatting treatments on their search results. It just looks dumb.

I want the best visitor experience possible

In the end, we’re responsible for keeping our website visitors happy and engaged. Making sure they quickly and easily find what they’re looking for is obviously part of that. We want the best flexibility and control to make it our search. We want search to be an extension of our brand, another tool for us to guide visitors to what they want and how we want to provide it to them. But most of all, I want it to be simple, functional, and just work.

So, later, Google. Your site search options just aren’t enough anymore.


Looking for a better alternative that will allow you to customize your site search to be exactly what you’re looking for? Get a demo from the Swiftype team today and see what’s possible.

Welcome to Secret Search Confessions

With a world of information constantly at our fingertips, it’s easy to feel like we have it all: Instant answers, immediate feedback, easy instructions. The world is our knowledge oyster. But what if you didn’t know where or how to find the information you’re looking for? That content essentially becomes useless and sits distantly alone in the dark corners of the internet unread and unused.

But really…

What? That would never happen, you say? I can just search for it via a website search bar and find exactly what I’m looking for? Easy! No problem!

We all definitely take the ability to search for granted. We’re even quick to claim we can find what we’re looking for whenever we want. But we’ve all, without a doubt, had countless, frustrating, roundabout, dead-end search experiences that only lead us to stress-eating cartons of ice cream instead of to the actual info we needed.

Ok, let’s talk real life

Ever wondered what kind of impact a search bar can have on specific people’s lives? So have we. Join us in this 6-part series as we dive deep into the lives of everyday people who will share their unique struggles when it comes to finding information, the problems it caused, and ultimately how they overcame. From prospective college students, celebrity gossip readers, online shopaholics, to irate customers and even helicopter parents. To quote the infinite wisdom of R.E.M.—“Everybody hurts.”

Search that doesn’t work hits where it hurts for many people in many ways. Let’s walk in someone else’s shoes, shall we?

Stay tuned to the Swiftype blog to catch each installment over the next few weeks!

On the Search:  Connecticut State Library Implements Swiftype

Located in Hartford, the Connecticut State Library provides a variety of library, archival, public records, and other important information services for the state. Their mission includes holding digital archives from more than 70 departments and providing online access to searchable databases and digital collections.

After struggling with a generic site search tool, a new IT Analyst was charged with improving the experience for the library’s patrons. A unique challenge was that any new search solution had to combine information from not only the main website, but also from a separate, specialized platform for librarians.

Connecticut State Library IT Analyst, Jacqueline Bagwell, shares her experience of implementing Swiftype as the Library’s new site search solution:

What were your “must-haves” for search during your evaluation?

As part of the improvement project, we moved to a WordPress platform for our site and used the integrated search tool. But that didn’t allow patrons to also search our subdomain, which is a separate content management platform built specifically for librarians. It was really important to include that content in our search because, otherwise, so much information would be undiscoverable by patrons.

Searching two different platforms created a unique situation for us, but it was critical to include results from both. We have information in our subdomain that isn’t available anywhere else, like death records and historical patents. That information is unique to the library, so we have to make it easily accessible.

What has surprised you the most with your deployment of Swiftype?

I think that the usage of search is so high and growing. But it’s nice that Swiftype was able to just handle it so easily. I’m looking at the big picture to make sure our resources don’t get stretched to our limits. Swiftype is able to handle search traffic that’s growing beyond our expectations.

Before Swiftype, I don’t think patrons had a good understanding of how they could get the information they wanted. And the patrons obviously like our new site search and use it. It’s being used way more than I thought it would be, and that’s a big jump from before.

What was your biggest challenge during your implementation?

It’s our volume of information across two domains and we’re adding new databases to make it more useful for the patrons. We have all the legislative information as well that comes over from the state capital that gets digitized. We have records that go back a long way, so there’s quite a lot. But we met our deadline and have been expanding ever since.

How are you using Swiftype’s analytics to improve the user experience?

We’re seeing search grow on a regular basis, which is good. Probably about three times per week, I look at reports on broken links, pages accessed, no-results searches. That last one helps me understand if the query was bad or if there was another issue with redirects or something else.

Is there a feature you can’t live without?

The fact that Swiftype can index both sites, that’s its most important aspect.

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.


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 Goes Platinum for HighEdWeb

It’s undeniable that colleges and universities face unique web and tech issues. A university’s website is an important intersection for its varied audiences who are all looking for different information. These diverse audiences create diverse challenges. Why not learn from and collaborate with other brilliant higher education web professionals to solve these problems?

Why HighEdWeb?

Join Swiftype at the annual HighEdWeb Conference in Hartford, CT this October. HighEdWeb is the premiere event created by and for higher education web professionals. Whether you’re a web developer, marketer, programmer, web manager, designer or writer you’ll be able to take advantage of this event’s unmatched professional development.

You’ll have endless opportunities to learn, share, and expand your professional network over a four-day period. Reconnect and meet new peers at the kick-off Welcome Reception at City Steam on Sunday 10/8. Jump start your conference by selecting from 100+ high-quality sessions, presentations, and keynotes featuring internationally-recognized speakers. Explore the expo hall and learn about the latest tech available to solve web challenges currently facing the higher ed community. And finally pop into the Big Social Event on the final conference evening at the Connecticut Science Center where you’ll be able to explore four floors containing 150 hands-on exhibits.

The HighEdWeb Conference is hosted by the Higher Education Web Professionals Association: an international organization of web professionals working at varied institutions of higher education. While their highly-active community is year-round, everything annually culminates at the HighEdWeb Conference.

Platinum’s have more fun

Swiftype is excited to be a Platinum sponsor at HighEdWeb this year. We know that delivering content efficiently to your website audience can be complicated when your visitors range dramatically from prospective to current students, faculty, parents, alumni and donors. We’re looking forward to sharing why web developers at institutions such as NYU, Azusa Pacific, and St. Mary’s University realized that website search is key to making the right information accessible to these audiences and why they chose Swiftype Site Search to gain more powerful, customizable, and accurate search.

Register today and join HighEdWeb at the Connecticut Convention Center. But if you want to get ahead of the curve, learn more about Swiftype Site Search now

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.”

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