Evaluating Enterprise Search Solutions Today - Q&A with Dr. John Lewis, Chief Knowledge Officer of SearchBlox
Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly
Getting the right data to the right users at the right time is becoming more difficult than ever. Recently, Dr. John Lewis, author of Story Thinking, and chief knowledge officer of SearchBlox, spoke with KMWorld about what users want in a search solution and how SearchBlox sets itself apart.
Joyce Wells: For those who may not be familiar with SearchBlox, can you tell us a little bit about the company?
John Lewis: At SearchBlox, we provide secure search solutions focusing on the financial services, healthcare, government, and technology sectors. We're listed in the KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter Most in Knowledge Management, and we were also listed in the KMWorld AI 50 companies this year, and in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines, we earned an honorable mention this year. And, finally, SearchBlox has been providing search solutions since 2003 with over 600 customers globally.
JW: Do your customers tell you specifically why they chose SearchBlox?
JL: Good question. There are many different specific reasons, but overall I'd say what we hear is that customers are looking for faster time-to-value—that means different things to specific customers, but, in general, it includes things like licensing, training required, setup time, and then, of course, the overall effectiveness of the search solution. So, where traditional search would take about a year to install, SearchBlox is able to do this in about a month while still providing the latest in AI technology.
Lewis says faster time-to-value is a key reason why customers choose SearchBlox.
JW: What are some of the main reasons you're able to implement search so quickly?
JL: Well, the short answer is out-of-the-box capabilities. Traditionally, customers would ask if the search engine could connect to their platform and index specific types of documents in certain languages, and this always ended up being custom work over years catching up to all those specific things. But now, this all comes out of the box to be able to jumpstart the search solution. So, for example, supporting 40 different languages or 150-plus data connectors out of the box. For example, people will say, "Well, most of our documents are on SharePoint or Salesforce or Slack or something—can you index that?" All of those connectors are already set up.
SearchBlox also supports 70 or so searchable file formats. So, of course, people know it would probably search HTML documents, maybe Word documents, probably PDF documents, but sometimes people will say, "We actually still have some WordPerfect documents, or we have some video documents—some MP4 files—that we'd like to see if you could search and find texts where someone's saying something. Can you do that?" That's all out of the box. Installation as well—whether you want Windows or Linux or in the cloud.
Now, connecting to content is not what search vendors are working on. The challenges are around making search more intelligent by using various forms of artificial intelligence.