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SharePoint The Reality Series 3: SharePoint in practice

Another key ingredient in SharePoint adoption is that it supports the full service concept that Post packages for each respective business owner. There’s no winning them over with metrics or research. It’s the simple reduction that employees aren’t generating revenue through unproductive searches—shave off one hour in search time and the conclusions are self-evident. There’s also an easy way to diffuse potential silos and disarm renegade projects. SharePoint is the main platform both in Europe and in Rabobank’s global regions: “Anything that falls outside the paradigm is an isolated solution.”

Third-party search

Post reaches for some third-party assistance in areas where Microsoft lags. For instance, Rabobank tapped Montreal-based Coveo to upgrade SharePoint search. The decision spared Post’s team from cobbling architecture together for fragmented content: “The businesses don’t think in metadata terms—they use it [SharePoint] as a project tool and dumping ground for documents. We leverage Coveo’s indexing capabilities to present a unified search through one global interface—in lieu of metadata.”

Post doesn’t see search as a base-level utility but a bonafide business asset. “We don’t limit our use of search to document management. We index tabular references too.” For example, the bank’s debt management business indexes business data and presents a coherent view to employees: Here are the results you’re looking for and here are the documents that contain the data. Coveo does the indexing and uncovers the relationships.

Grant Thornton’s Ivey is no stranger to enterprise search tools. A former VP with Autonomy, he commends the value generated when native SharePoint search is augmented by BA-Insight and the search refiners, automated tagging and document previews of BA-Insight’s Longitude product. The latter can capture keyword occurrences in a folder and document level, affording offsite employees the option of browsing their keywords in context before undertaking full downloads.  

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