There is no denying that more and more information is now being stored in the cloud instead of in on-premises enterprise solutions. This is a great change on a number of levels – it allows organizations to focus on their core business, it’s more efficient, it generally makes for more security and certainty and often there are economic benefits when making the move. But with all this data residing in a plethora of cloud-based repositories, difficulties are created in terms of indexing all that data and easing retrieval.
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Now of course one solution would be to just use a single cloud solution across an entire organization, but clearly that’s simply not viable – different use cases, business unit autonomy and inheritance of disparate systems through acquisition all mean that organizations use a diverse range of solutions. So what is an organization to do in order to ensure quick and easy search and retrieval? Well Coveo would like to suggest that you’ll sign up to their service which allows indexing of information from any on-premises or cloud based system.
Supplying their technology to well-known brands like L’Oreal, NASA and Yum Brands, Coveo’s indexing can federate, correlate and present content from thousands of different sources, including data warehouses, CRM, ERP, social channels, fileshares, collaboration platforms like Sharepoint. This is a useful little application and one company that can attest to that is Majedie, an asset management firm with an $11B portfolio. Majedie recently moved all of its systems into the cloud and came to the realization that having relevant information in a plethora of different systems sometimes made life hard. According to Majadie’s information director Simon Hazlitt:
The primary Achilles heel of a cloud-based information structure is that they’re very itemized. We had pools of information in lots of difference places. Consequently, the users were diving into all different places to get the full picture
Majadie wanted to unify its knowledge base across cloud-based databases, file systems, Outlook, SharePoint and Salesforce CRM. Coveo was integrated into SharePoint and Salesforce.com Chatter. Majedie uses SharePoint as a highly-populated wiki and Majadie analysts tag various facets and historical dealings with the different entities – in the case of Chatter, analysts can use Coveo to correlate up-to-the-minute information back to their main system of record, SharePoint.
The interesting thing about Majadie’s use of Coveo is that they didn’t have to pre-determine how content should ideally be arranged. Correlations between various cloud-based systems can be surfaced on-the-fly. As Majadie grows, Hazlitt believes that Coveo will ease many of the scaling hurdles, allowing new analysts to have clear visibility over data across systems. Essentially Majadie is using cross-product search to enable them to scale by moving knowledge finding on from requiring user intuition, to a place where the search system delivers its own “intuition” and, by extension, the right information for each user.
I often talk about “fabrics” that span various problem areas for an organization. Discovery and correlation of data across various systems is one of those fabrics and it’s certainly interesting to see what Coveo is doing.