One of the constants in the enterprise is a proliferation of systems and data which is directly responsible for increase storage needs. This last fall in fact IDC predicted a 62% CAGR for unstructured data. Moreover enterprise storage as a whole is predicted to increase tenfold between 2005 and 20011.
The research varies from firm to firm but it is obvious that the data collected by organizations of all sizes has tremendous value and as such there needs to be ways to tap into this massive treasure trove of information.
One company looking to be your enterprise search vendor is not surprisingly Google. I spent some time last week meeting with Vijay Koduri the Solutions Marketing Manager at Google Enterprise regarding the need for better enterprise search tools in corporations today.
Utilizing search appliances, Google puts its search technology to work for your business allowing you to find the crucial needle in the data haystack both quickly and efficiently. Koduri explains the biggest competitor to Google Enterprise search is no search and moreover less than 25% of companies employ enterprise search.
Another interesting nugget is that Gartner says 66% of enterprises have six or more separate data repositories meaning employees need to search across each repository to get the answers they need. He added that some companies think they have enterprise search but instead what they have is search functions on a few of their disparate systems.
Vijay spent some time making the case for the technology his company sells through Google Search Appliances, bright yellow rack mount devices. He started by going back to the history of search. He explained Yahoo started to categorize websites but the job quickly became too big and a search engine was needed. Google became the defacto search engine as no good alternatives existed.
He then went on to explain that now that Google exists he is able to use it to check the status of flights without having to go to individual sites and remember separate URLs. In a similar manner he says users no longer have to worry about which app holds the data but more importantly they can just use Google as a front-end.
In fact the company uses their own appliances internally and when tracking trouble tickets you just enter a company name to see what tickets exist. He mentioned the tremendous productivity boost enterprise search can bring to an organization and in fact as you can imagine the company is looking to deploy its technology in contact centers as this is a natural place for technology which can speed customer interaction which boosts CRM levels and allows more efficient agent utilization.
In fact Vijay recently partook in a Google-sponsored TMC webinar where he discussed the virtues of enterprise search as it applies to contact centers.
Google is taking contact centers seriously and Vijay told me they are gaining traction with Google Apps in contact centers as they are lightweight tools. This makes sense as when you are outfitting a contact center with hundreds or thousands of computers the inherent savings in purchasing computers with less horsepower utilizing cloud-based apps which reduce license fees can really add up.
Most recently the company rolled out the 6.0 version of their Search Appliance which has a new architecture called (GSA) n which is designed to scale to billions of documents. In addition the GB-9009 is a new appliance which can search 30 million documents and the GB-7007 can now reach 10 million documents. Other benefits of this new release are social search features allowing user-added results, more customizable security and relevancy fine-tuning.
From my perspective I see no end in sight for the exponential growth of enterprise data and if you look into the future where all voicemails will be archived and meetings will be recorded via audio or video, there will be just that much more information which can be useful in corporations. As the proliferation continues it seems obvious enterprise search will achieve penetration in the 75% plus ranging meaning there is significant opportunity ahead for vendors in this space.