First, I’m not representing any particular vendor here, but will add a link to an interesting site at the end.
Google is it…end of story…right? Well, as easy as it is to locate information with Google, search results are provided with context most of the time. Context?…I mean that the search results are normally tailored with previous search history providing refinement.
I remember the very creepy (but kinda cool too) feeling that came over me during one particular search. I’d been searching for information on mountain bikes for more than a year. My MTB friends had probably decided that I was all talk and no 2Bliss. (Inside joke) But mountain bikes can be VERY expensive, and I want to get the most for my dollar. One of my friends had mentioned a company that sold lights for bikes but, as I sat at my computer, I’d forgotten how to spell the name, guessed at the first three letters, then turned to look for the piece of paper I’d written the name on. When I turned back to the screen, filtered to the top of the results was the company I intended to search for.
But if you’re in a large company (or one that’s grown through acquistion) how do you find a colleague that has the skills needed for your project? They could be anywhere. (Because you use Bentley’s EIM systems to collaborate, they really could be anywhere! 😉 ) Sure, you have your talent management system, but I’m betting that it contains fairly static info. Wrong, you say, we have a policy of updating it once per year during annual reviews. Right.
But what if you had a system that could index what that colleague does as part of her normal work day? You know…documents, email, IM and posts to various social media. Then the system could build a dynamic profile that it would maintain for you. Before you say it…those emails, IMs and posts from work are property of the business and it’s long establishe that the company has rights to them. But, not to worry, such a system would respect a security model so only sanctioned streams would be indexed and search results would also be filtered based on security. And, because the profile is constantly updating, it’s going to reduce the ranking of topics that she really hasn’t been involved with recently. Now you might have a shot at locating someone that has up to date skills and is currently interested in the role you have. Nice.
This is the promise of a few companies I’ve run across recently…the latest while at a conference in Silicon Valley. I’ll link to them below and note that Engineering and Construction are a couple of their target markets. I think we might be seeing enterprise search 2.0 in a way that doesn’t require that we have a full grasp of triplestores. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
You might also be interested on how Bentley provides knowledge management on assets by collecting information as part of the normal process of working with asset information. I know, I know. Totally different…still much cooler than a separate (disconnected) knowledge management system that has to be maintained as a discrete task. Which is the point of mentioning it here.