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Making Enterprise Search Work Like Google - Q&A with Kamran Khan, President and CEO of Pureinsights

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JW: Cloud and AI have become leading technologies. How is that impacting enterprise search for organizations?

KK: It's enabling what I just described. Without cloud-based technologies like Amazon, Azure, and Google, we wouldn't have easy access to some of these technologies that we could then apply. We can use NLP from Amazon Comprehend. We can use image search, we can use voice search—and all of these we can get from the cloud. The fact that the cloud and AI have come together is really enabling us to do the kinds of things that we want to do at Pureinsights—and our goal is to use the cloud, leverage it, and add those features to enterprise search applications, making them work a lot more like Google.com.
JW: Many companies have invested a lot of money in search. What can they do to insure or improve the ROI of those investments?

KK: With our experience, both at Search Technologies and now at Pureinsights, we've learned that a good search solution needs constant attention. It doesn't matter what search technology you're using. There are many great enterprise search solutions out there. It needs expertise to ingest content properly. You have to optimize search, measure search quality, and ultimately keep users happy with the results. Now, some organizations might well have that expertise in-house, and others really struggle to keep up because they think, "We'll apply a database person to the search application," and that tends not to work. Just recently, we talked with a customer, and when we got on the call, one of the key executives said, "We want to talk about how we can avoid having the conversation every 2 years about fixing search." What we've learned is that you really need to focus on it, apply the right expertise, and constantly evolve the search application—not just for functionality— but for the care and feeding.
JW: It's clear that you and your team have a lot of experience in enterprise search. Based on that experience, what are the key pillars of the Pureinsights proposition?

KK: Our ultimate goal is to take people beyond what you might call “traditional” search. As I've said before, want to make search work like Google or other internet search engines. We're going to do this by providing three key things.
The first, obviously, is expertise. We've got expertise in this space and we can help people by building the right search experience by providing manpower. We’re building products and assets that will make it easier to manage and evolve that sort of solution. Sometimes those products will be appropriate, other times they won't. But we're building those assets that we think will make it much easier to deliver that kind of experience.
And finally, we think that it's time for us to launch a managed service. We're actually coining the phrase "Enterprise SearchOps," where organizations, if they see fit, can come to us and say, "We'll give you your search bar. You deliver us good results."
"Give us your search bar; we'll make it work like Google" is kind of our mantra. So, we want to encourage customers to think about outsourcing search because it's an important application, just like you might outsource any other application, like we outsource our accounting to experts. We want to launch Enterprise SearchOps and have people do that. There are those three pillars, really.

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