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The expectation of search

We are spoiled by the likes of Google, who seem able to instantaneously search the entire Internet, indeed seemingly the entire creation of Man, for content that often matches not just the search query we enter, but a hybrid of environmental information we make available to Google along with our search term. Many hundreds of thousands of servers and the minds of 50+ thousand very clever people have engineered a capability that seems to be able to read our minds. They have created and set in all our minds an expectation of search. And don’t even get me started on Apple ensuring everything has to look polished and just amazing.

Meanwhile. Back in the corporate world we see many organisations struggling to implement their own internal version of the Internet. Very often the technology chosen for this role is the capable Microsoft SharePoint platform.

Thinking about the launch period of your new SharePoint project, there are of course many capabilities and strategies that need to be communicated to your users. Unfortunately it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of just explaining the importance of good knowledge and document management to the business while reinforcing how great SharePoint will be, completely missing the need to demonstrate and educate just how those benefits can be realised in a day to day way.

If we just consider the topic of search. Any organisation implementing SharePoint into their business will seek to structure their knowledge and information in a way that suits and enhances their business. Maybe there are company structure considerations?, client market considerations?, definitely security considerations. In fact there are a myriad of reasons for “their” - your - knowledge taxonomy or knowledge graph to be the way it is.

Accordingly, in order to search SharePoint effectively requires a subtly alternative approach to the Google experience and communicating and demonstrating these methods to users in a timely manner is a vital element on the road to happy and effective users.

An example. Time and time again we meet frustrated users who complain that SharePoint retrieves too many items when they search for specific content. So many that they often fall back on their peer network to help them out. You should not assume that your users will use SharePoint search effectively just because there are search refinement buttons and features on the screen. Users need to be professionally introduced to the functionality and encouraged to use it.

Of course we can help you with your SharePoint project, it’s a capability of ours that we are very proud of and a capability our clients hold in high regard. You can read more about our SharePoint services here….  We offer a free half day workshop where you can find out some more about us and how we might be able to help you, you just need to give us a call or drop us an email.

Introduced and promoted and configured and populated and managed correctly SharePoint can be a wonderful enhancing tool for your business. Skip or skimp on some of these vital topics and it can quickly become a noose constricting your business growth.

And never forget the expectation that pesky Google has set - yet you must live up to.