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Day: November 20, 2012

Enterprise Search is Never Magic

How is it that the blockbuster deals for acquiring software companies that rank highest in their markets spaces seem to end up smelling bad several months into the deals? The latest acquisition to take on taint was written about in the Wall Street Journal today, noting that HP Reports $8.8 Billion Charge on Accounting Misstatement at Autonomy. Not to dispute the fact that enterprise search megastars Fast (acquired by Microsoft) and Autonomy had some terrific search algorithms and huge presence in the enterprise market, there is a lot more to supporting search than the algorithms.

The fact that surrounding support services have always been essential requirements for making these two products successful in deployment has been well documented over the years. Hundreds of system integrators and partner companies to Microsoft and Autonomy do very well making these systems deliver the value that has never been attainable with just out-of-the-box installations. It takes a team of content, search and vocabulary management specialists to deliver excellent results. For any but the largest corporations, the costs and time to achieve full implementation have rarely been justifiable.

Many fine enterprise search products deliver high value at much more reasonable costs, and with much more efficient packaging, shorter deployment times and lower on-going overhead. Never to be ignored is that enterprise search must be accounted for as infrastructure. Without knowing where the accounting irregularities (also true with Fast) actually lay, I suspect that HP bought the brand and the prospective customer relationships only to discover that the real money was being made by partners and integrators, and the software itself was a loss leader. If Autonomy did not bring with it a solid service and integration operation with strong revenues and work in the pipeline, HP could not have gained what it bargained for in the purchase. I “know” nothing but these are my hunches.

Reflecting back on a couple of articles (If a Vendor Spends Enough… and Enterprise Search and Collaboration…) I wrote a couple of years ago, as Autonomy began hyping its enterprise search prowess in Information Week ads, it seems that marketing is all the magic it needed to reel in the biggest fish of all – a sale to HP.

Successful Deployment of Systems of Engagement: Making it Work with the Team That Will Make it Work

Gilbane Conference Workshop: Successful Deployment of Systems of Engagement: Making it Work with the Team That Will Make it Work

Instructors: Scott Liewehr, President and Principal Analyst & Rob Rose, Senior Analyst, Digital Clarity Group
November 27th, 2012, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, at the InterContinental Boston Waterfront

We’ve all heard that enterprise marketing technology tools are really only as good as they are well-implemented. So why is it that enterprises often place much more effort into selecting the tool than they do the team that will make it work for their unique needs? Even if the deployment will be performed by the internal technology team, enterprise business managers need to make sure that the team that is going to help them realize their objectives by implementing the Web Content Management (WCM), Social, Marketing Automation, Search, and Analytics systems is ready to facilitate the new world of constant change in strategic content and web engagement. This workshop will explore proven methodologies for translating business strategies into selection criteria for both technologies and the agencies and integrators that implement them. It will prepare participants to answer critical questions that will help them ensure their enterprise technologies are successful:

  • What does my organization need to be prepared for?
  • How should I determine the optimal solutions given the many options?
  • What are the best practices for finding the best team to carry out my strategy and implement my chosen technology(ies)?
  • What responsibilities do I have for making sure the team is successful, and how can I stack the deck in my favor?

We will explore all of this and more in an entertaining, informative and actionable workshop. Led by Digital Clarity Group’s Scott Liewehr and Robert Rose, attendees will leave this workshop much better equipped to make strategic decisions about how to select and work with the team that help fulfill their vision.

See the full pre-conference workshop schedule at Gilbane Boston, then [button link=”http://gilbaneboston.com/registration_information.html” variation=”red”]Register[/button].